Brand Tasmania Newsletter, November, 2011, Issue 122
Winemaker Nick Glaetzer has tipped the Australian wine industry on its head by producing a Tasmanian shiraz that has won the holy grail of wine awards – the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy for the best young Australian red wine at the Melbourne Wine Show.
Glaetzer, 31, who left his family’s wine business in the Barossa Valley six years ago to seek perfection in Tasmania, won the 50th Jimmy Watson with his 18-month-old cool climate shiraz, the Mon Père 2010 under his Glaetzer-Dixon label.
Mon Père also won the Dan Murphy’s Trophy for the Best Rhone Style or Shiraz at the show.
The chairman of the 33-strong Melbourne Wine Show judging panel, David Bignell, said the result was akin to a hand-grenade being thrown into the Australian industry.
“You couldn’t dream up a result like this," Mr Bignell said. “More than 90 per cent of the little red wine that does come out of Tasmania is pinot noir, so for a Tasmanian shiraz to get up and win the Jimmy Watson is just extraordinary.”
Mr Glaetzer, who won the Wine Australia Medal as Young Winemaker of the Year last month, crushed just four tonnes of grapes from the Tamar and Coal valleys to make the shiraz that outshone 1,249 other young red wines from around the country.
Mr Glaetzer has championed the potential of Tasmania’s stylish, lighter and refined red wines, particularly pinot noirs, since his move to the State.
Mr Bignell said the win showed the Australian industry was going through a change, with fruitier, high-alcohol reds from warmer locations going out of fashion in favour of more stylish, lighter wines such as Mon Père.
Glaetzer is known in the industry as the ‘black sheep’ of his famous family. His two brothers Ben and Sam and his father Colin and his uncle John are all noted winemakers in the Barossa, where the Glaetzers have grown vines and made wines since the 1880s.
Nick’s move to Tasmania was in recognition of its cool-climate potential and to pursue his passion for experimentation and for challenging Australian wine convention.
The Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy is named after a legendary Melbourne wine industry figure and has been presented at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show every year since 1962 for the best one- or two-year-old red wine.
A Melbourne Wine Show media release said the awarding of the Jimmy Watson Trophy to a Tasmanian wine [for the first time] attested to the State’s emergence as one of Australia’s most important cool-climate terroirs.
Over four days, 3,298 wines from 538 exhibitors were tasted by the judging panel. Nineteen trophies were awarded.
Glaetzer told The Mercury after his award that Tasmania’s cool climate was responsible for the superior grapes that had been used in his award-winning wines. He said the State was poised to become one of the greatest wine-producing regions on the planet. “We are at the front of the wave,” he said. “I don’t know any other regions in Australia or the world that have the same conditions as Tasmania in terms of the possibilities.”
Tasmania’s wine industry had scored a double jackpot in September with Glaetzer’s Young Winemaker success and sparkling specialist Ed Carr’s confirmation as Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine’s Winemaker of the Year.
Now October has topped September, the local wine industry is looking at new possibilities and the Tasmanian brand is riding high.
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