Wine labels usually don’t factor in wine competitions, where blind-tasting rules mean that wines are judged in a vacuum. YGOW is unique because it is not a blind tasting. The quality of the wines, of course, has primacy for the judges, but other factors are allowed into play, including creativity, leadership, the whole wine package….
History Made at 2020 Young Gun of Wine Awards
This year’s Young Gun of Wine Awards on June 1st represented a couple of firsts for the trophy presentation in its 14-year history.
It was the first time that we have held the event virtually (a social symptom of COVID-19), with our entire Top 50 ready to link up via video, as well as beaming into the homes of a legion of Young Gun followers. It was also the first time that the winner of the Young Gun of Wine took out the Best New Act in the same year, and only the second time a maker has taken home two trophies in the one year.
Alongside the general public and our winemakers, chefs Adam Liaw, Ben Shewry, Adrian Richardson, media personalities Eddie McGuire and Merrick Watts, wine royalty such as Jancis Robinson, Vanya Cullen and Prue Henschke, and even sporting legends like Ricky Ponting, were just some of the names who tuned in and wished the winemakers good luck.
With makers from both established regions and those little known, this year’s field of 50 finalists was an incredibly strong one, with each of the trophies hotly contested. The Young Gun itself took much deliberation, with some very persuasive arguments from the judges finally helping to reach an accord after hours of agonising deliberation. The People’s Choice went right down to the wire, even requiring a countback, and 29 of the 50 winemakers received #1 votes from their peers in the Winemaker’s Choice voting.
The Young Gun itself took much deliberation, with some very persuasive arguments from the judges finally helping to reach an accord after hours of agonising deliberation. The People’s Choice went right down to the wire, even requiring a countback, and 29 of the 50 winemakers received #1 votes from their peers in the Winemaker’s Choice voting.
The Trophies presented were the 2020 Young Gun of Wine, Best New Act, Winemaker’s Choice and People’s Choice Awards. The Danger Zone trophy was awarded to the most adventurous wine, as selected from the finalists’ submissions.
“Dilworth & Allain have made a profound impression with their young label,” said YGOW founder Rory Kent. “Loïque and Chris are a husband and wife team that do everything from farming and making truly exceptional wines right through to the artwork that adorns the labels. That their offering – in the eyes of our panel of industry experts – has been chosen as the most compelling from 50 of Australia’s best emerging winemakers is testament to just how good these wines are. And that they’ve done this in their first year is phenomenal.
“The Macedon Ranges is one of Australia’s coldest wine regions, but it is white hot right now. There’s a terrific new breed in Macedon, as the four makers in our Top 50 illustrate, making wine from exceptional fruit sources and employing a modern thoughtful approach that is about exploring flavour and texture through minimal inputs and artisanal making, and Dilworth & Allain are the perfect emblem for this group.”
As voted on by all the 2020 finalists, the Winemaker’s Choice award went to Steve Crawford of Frederick Stevenson, in the Barossa Valley, who took out the same trophy in the 2015 edition of the awards.
The People’s Choice award – as decided by online voting – was a tightly fought contest, with Will Gilbert of Gilbert, in Orange triumphing in the end.
The Danger Zone award went to the 2019 Dhiaga Moscato, made by Justin Purser. There’s no surprise that an extended skin-contact moscato infused with beer hops and finished like a pét-nat to give it a little natural carbonation would be a contender for most adventurous wine, and it’s testament to Purser’s skills that it would be so successful, wowing our judging panel.
To find out more about the Top 50 makers, see here.
You can purchase products from winners at Langton’s, our retail partner. For Dilworth & Allain, click here.
The judging panel for 2020 included Rory Kent (Founder of YGOW), Nick Stock (Gourmet Traveller WINE, et al), Tony Harper (Courier Mail, Delicious, et al), Max Veenhuyzen (Broadsheet, Gourmet Traveller, et al), Katie Spain (The Advertiser, et al), David Moyle (The Saturday Paper), Jessica Ho (Time Out), Samantha Teague (Concrete Playground), Pip Anderson (MONA), Penny Grant (Ghanem Group Sommelier), Jane Lopes (Sommelier), Louella Mathews (Bibo Wine Bar), Ian Trinkle (Howard Smith Wharves), Charlotte Hardy (Charlotte Dalton Wines) and Damon Koerner (Koerner Wine and 2019 YGOW winner).
Notes to People’s Choice Award voters
Winners of the prize draw (Liebherr wine cellar, The Ultimate Mornington Peninsula experience, A year’s supply of wines from the 2020 Top 50 winemakers) will be notified via email by this Friday, June 5th.
All who voted are eligible to receive $50 off their next $250 order via Langton’s brokerage. Langton’s will be in touch over email later this week with details on how to redeem. Itchy trigger finger? Get in touch with your broker or email [email protected] to confirm your eligibility today.