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Matthew Jukes unveils top 100 Aussie wines

More than 300 members of the UK drinks trade turned out at Australia House in London this week to mark the launch of Matthew Jukes’ 100 Best Australian Wines 2016 – the 13th edition of the list.

This year saw nine wineries make their debut appearance on the list. In addition to making the quality grade, all wines included on the list must be available in the UK for the coming year.

Familiar names featured include Fox Gordon and Yalumba, who were joined by newcomers that included Gundog Estate from the Hunter Valley and Vinteloper from the Adelaide Hills. Others include Amelia Park, Domaine Naturaliste, Houghton, La Violetta, Mount Stapylton, Payten & Jones and Thorn-Clark.

Many of these new wineries are not only fairly young, but also relatively new to the UK market, strengthening claims that Australia is an “exciting category to watch”, a release announcing the list’s launch said.

Jim Barry Wines was named by Jukes as his “Winery of the Year”, in recognition of the “stellar work that this family-owned firm does in all sectors of their portfolio”.

Explaining the decision to award this year’s title to Jim Barry Wines, Jukes said: “I was fortunate to take part in a 30-year vertical of Jim Barry’s iconic The Armagh Shiraz in October 2015 and it was, without doubt, one of the most memorable and impressive tastings of my wine life,” said Jukes.

“From the ridiculously keenly-priced The Lodge Hill Riesling and Shiraz pair, via a new brand The Veto, to Pb, Benbournie, The McRae Wood Shiraz and The Barry Brothers stunning TGAR red blend, everywhere you look the wines are delicious, fairly-priced and made with love.”

The diversity of wines coming out of Australia was highlighted by several members of the trade. Tom Surgey, business development manager at English sparkling wine producer Ridgeview, commented on the “off-the-beaten-track” wines featured which including Fiano whites and Portuguese-style blends.

Laura Jewell MW, regional director for the UK and Europe at Wine Australia, meanwhile commented on the quality of Pinot Noir wines on show.

“I was seriously impressed with the Pinot Noir line up – even better than last year with more variation and individuality shining through,” said Jewell.

The selection is due to go on tour around the UK, with a number of consumer events planned to help raise the profile of Aussie wines.

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