The Lipman Karas Great Australian Red 2018 Results

The results are in and we got quite a surprise when we unveiled the winner! It’s great news for affordable red wine lovers…

A stunning shiraz cabernet blend with a street price under $30 has triumphed over wines priced up to $295 to win The Lipman Karas Great Australian Red two years in a row.

Pepperjack Certified Shiraz Cabernet 2016 was the grand champion winner of competition in 2017 and has returned for a repeat performance in 2018, also snaring The Orora Closures Stelvin Trophy for The Best Shiraz-Dominant Blend.

Pepperjack winemaker Richard Mattner was inspired to refine this blend after judging The Great Australian Red in 2016. He blended the wine from McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek and Barossa fruit shortly after judging that year.

This is not the first back-to-back repeat result in The Great Australian Red. Yalumba Caley Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2012 was the winner of the competition in 2014 and repeated the performance in 2015. For a second wine to win back-to-back is a one in 100 million chance, a grand testament to both the calibre of the wine and the consistency of the judging.

‘It is remarkable that any wine could win The Great Australian Red two years in a row,’ said Tyson Stelzer, cofounder of the competition alongside Matthew Jukes. ‘All the more incredible with the third-highest entry count in 13 years of the competition, judged by a completely different set of 13 judges to last year’s line up!’

The Lipman Karas Great Australian Red employs a uniquely rigorous judging system in which every wine is judged by not the usual three but 13 judges. Two panels of six judges (no associates) each assess the same wines simultaneously. Two panel chairs (Matthew and Tyson) then compare notes with the chairman (who also tastes every wine) and come to a consensus on medals.

With two gold and three silver medals, Wolf Blass was the most successful exhibitor, narrowly trumping Jacob’s Creek/St Hugo and Pepperjack to take out the hotly-contested Riedel Trophy for Winery of Show. Wolf Blass Grey Label Cabernet Shiraz 2016 was the winner of The Openbook Howden Trophy for The Best Wine $25-$60 and Wolf Blass Black Label Cabernet Shiraz 2016 took out The Quervin Trophy for The Best Cabernet-Dominant Blend.

Wolf Blass has been one of the most successful exhibitors across the thirteen years of the competition, and was also the winner of The Riedel Trophy for Winery of Show in 2014 and 2012.

In testimony to the dexterity of the Pernod Ricard winemaking team in crafting this blend at both premium and value price points, Jacob’s Creek Wines Limited Release Shiraz Cabernet 2016 was awarded The Antipodes Trophy for The Best Wine Over $60 and George Wyndham I Am George Shiraz Cabernet 2016 won The Kemenys Trophy for The Best Wine Under $25.

‘We are looking forward to pouring these champions of Australia’s iconic red blend for the key influencers across the wine world,’ commented Matthew. ‘We are delighted to partner with our headline sponsor, Lipman Karas, to showcase all our winners in Hong Kong and London next year.’

The Great Australian Red 2018 attracted 108 entries, judged at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide by Matthew and Tyson alongside Andrew Hardy (chair of judges), Daniel Swincer, Bruce Gregory, Stuart Blackwell, Mark Bulman, Adam Carnaby, Marie Clay, Alex MacClelland, David Bowley, Mark Saturno and Tom Barry.

The Great Australian Red 2018 is grateful to its sponsors Lipman Karas, Riedel, Kemeny’s, Antipodes, Orora Stelvin, Quervin and Openbook Howden.

Read the full results.

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