Turkey Flat wins Jimmy Watson Trophy

Drinks: Drinks, Grenache, Wines

Shiraz growers in Australia will be spluttering into their fermenting tanks with news that one of Australian wine’s most prestigious awards has gone to a Grenache for the first time ever.

Turkey Flat Grenache 2016 picked up the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy at this year’s Royal Melbourne Wine Show – the first in over 50 years of the award.

The trophy is awarded annually to the best one or two-year old dry red wine. Since its inception in 1962 the winners have tended to be Cabernet Sauvignons, Bordeaux blends or Shiraz.

But the last five years have seen a change with two Pinot Noirs (Yabby Lake and Home Hill) and a Syrah (SC Pannell) as well as Deep Woods Reserve Cabernet in 2016.

For Turkey Flat winemaker, Mark Bulman –a self-confessed Grenache obsessive – it’s a particularly sweet vindication of his work and of the variety’s potential, with Grenache undergoing a real renaissance in Europe as well as Australia.

The 2014 is available to the on-trade through Mentzendorff, for £13.50 ex VAT, though the 2016 is due to arrive in January.

About Author

Chris Losh

After five years working on My Weekly magazine (during which time he learned how to write horoscopes and make things out of mince) in 1995 Chris Losh entered the world of drinks writing and, despite all advice from his doctor – and the wishes of most South African winemakers – has stayed there ever since. He began on Wine and Spirit International, editing it for several years before moving on to edit Wine Magazine. Both publications have since gone the way of the Dodo, but he claims to have nothing to do with their demise, and his alibi appears solid, since he was freelance writing for anyone who would pay him at the time. In 2007, he helped to set up both Imbibe magazine and the Sommelier Wine Awards, and has spent much of the last three years eating, drinking, and listening to French sommeliers talk about minerality. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Louis Roederer Feature Writer of the Year, but didn’t win. Perhaps he should have stuck to horoscopes. And mince.

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