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Is this Australia’s best-value red?


An inexpensive red blend from McLaren Vale has taken out the coveted Max Schubert Trophy for best wine at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show.

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McLaren Vale’s Shingleback Wine beat much pricier rivals to win the best wine in show gong this morning with its 2016 Red Knot Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre.

The wine, part of Shingleback’s base range, sells for $15 a bottle at the McLaren Vale cellar door but can be picked up for $12.99 at bottle shops in Adelaide and online.

Already this year the wine has won trophies at the Royal Queensland Wine Show (Best Grenache, Red Rhone Varietal or Blend) and Sydney Royal Wine Show (Best Value Red Wine), and Gold Medals at the China Wine & Spirits Awards, Perth Royal Wine Awards and New Zealand International Wine Show.

The Red Knot GSM also took home the Tilbrook Rasheed Trophy for Best Grenache or Grenache Blend at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show and the Montgomery Trophy for Best Red Wine Under $20. Shingleback’s 2016 Local Heroes Shiraz Grenache ($25) won the Radoux Australia Trophy for Best Other Red Blend.

The Red Knot GSM is 70 per cent McLaren Vale Grenache, 20 per cent estate-grown Shiraz and 10 per cent Mourvedre picked within metres of the Stump Hill Road cellar door.

“It’s a product we’ve been doing for a long time and it’s slotted into a label that’s at a fighting price and is the bread and butter of our company to a large extent,” Shingleback director of viticulture & winemaking John Davey said.

“The prettiness of the Grenache, the strength of the Shiraz and savoury flavours of the Mourvedre are creating that synergy that’s getting this wine attention.

“There’s a lot of excitement and everything old is new again. Grenache is coming back into fashion but the reality is that sales will never be even a blip on Shiraz.”

Shingleback is no stranger to competition success, with its D Block Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon winning the Jimmy Watson Trophy in 2006 when the business was just a decade old.

Started by brothers Kym and John Davey in 1995, Shingleback produces 150,000 cases a year, about 100,000 of which are under the Red Knot brand. It has numerous export markets including the US, UK, Canada, China and New Zealand.

“Every company needs the breadwinner and certainly Red Knot is that for us,” Davey said.

“We do pride ourselves on putting out great wines at prices that people can afford to put on the table every night of the week if they want.”

South Australian producers dominated the trophy tally, with 15 of the 25 trophies awarded to the home state at this morning’s presentation ceremony at the Adelaide Showground.

The judging team, headed by Michael Brajkovich MW, sipped its way through 2647 wines over four days this week before selecting the winners.

Evans & Tate’s Karridale Chardonnay ($30) from Margaret River was awarded the George Fairbrother Memorial Trophy for Most Outstanding White Wine in Show while Barossa Valley drop Yalumba’s The Octavius Shiraz 2013 ($100) won the trophy for best Shiraz in Show.

The InDaily Trophy for Best Australian Vintage, Tawny or Ruby was awarded to Morris Wines (Victoria) for its Morris Old Premium Tawny ($60).

Other trophies went to:

Best Rose: Jericho Adelaide Hills Rose 2017, Jericho Wines, $27.

Best Other Varietal White: Saltram Winemakers Selection Fiano 2017, Saltram Wine Estates, Barossa Valley, $25.

Best Sauvignon Blanc: Lambrook Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Lambrook Wines, $20.

Best Riesling: Leasingham Classic Clare Riesling 2012
Leasingham, $40

Best Traditional Australian Red Blend: Jacob’s Creek Expedition Barossa Valley Cabernet Shiraz 2015 Jacob’s Creek

Best Other Varietal Red: Brown Brothers Cellar Door Release Montepulciano 2016, Victoria, $25.

Best Pinot Noir: Eddystone Point Pinot Noir 2016, Tasmania, $31.

Best Cabernet Sauvignon: Richardson Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Blue Pyrenees Estate, Victoria, $60.

Outstanding Wine of Provenance: Lindemans Coonawarra Limestone Ridge Shiraz Cabernet (2015, 2010, 2005).

Best Sparkling: House of Arras Blanc de Blancs 2008 House of Arras, Tasmania, $60.

Andrew Spence is a senior journalist at The Lead.

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