words by IWSC judges
19 October 2022
While you may well be familiar with Chardonnay from Down Under, Australian white wine is far more diverse and has plenty more to offer than that heavily-oaked style that came to fame in the 90s. The country covers such vast territory, which of course results in a broad spectrum of aromas and flavours in the glass. But there’s also an increased focus on terroir-driven winemaking and small-scale production. Now, you’ll find world-class Chardonnays that could give many white Burgundies a run for their money, as well as razor-sharp Rieslings, white blends made from white Rhône varieties, and increased plantings of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris to boot.
The IWSC’s 2022 results go a good way towards showing how diverse Australian white wine can be but nevertheless, it was Chardonnay that came out as the champion. Topping the judge’s list was a South Australia Chardonnay from Penfolds, scoring an impressive 96 points and wowing with a ‘full, ripe, rounded palate with crafted freshness holding the fruits together in gelled harmony.’
Flying the flag for Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon was a wine from Vasse Felix, which earned a Silver medal and 92 points. Judges praised its ‘delicate refined palate’ and ‘serious length’ on the palate.
Tasted By: Beth Pearce MW, Helena Nicklin, Joseph Arthur, and Alex Hunt MW.
For even more Australian white wines worth exploring, see the below list of Gold and Silver medal-winners from the IWSC 2022.