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SA Shiraz wins top award at Vinexpo

Wine

A McLaren Vale Shiraz has beaten a strong field of French and international wines to win a special prize at the coveted Citadelle du Vin awards.

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Following judging in Bordeaux earlier in the month, Serafino Wines was this week awarded the Special Prize FIJEV (International Circle of Wine Journalists and Writers) for its 2014 Magnitude Shiraz at Vinexpo in Hong Kong.

“We always thought it was pretty smart – it’s spent up to two years in American oak so it’s quite a big, full-flavoured wine but the oak fits really nicely into the fruit category of the ’14, which is a lovely juicy colour with lots of dark fruit characteristics, and it really looks quite bright and vibrant even though it’s been in oak for that long,” Serafino winemaker Charles Whish says.

“We just decided it would go well in a show like that and we also put two Cabernets, a 2015 and a 2016, in and they won silver medals.

“We put three wines in and got three awards, which is pretty good.”

More than 1200 wines from more than 30 countries were entered into the Citadelle du Vin awards, with more than 75 per cent of them coming from outside France.

The 2014 Magnitude Shiraz retails for $A45 and although it is being sold at the Serafino cellar door its broader release is still a few weeks away.

Whish says previous vintages of the wine have been sold only in Australia but the award might provide an opportunity to sell some into restaurants in Asia.

“It’s good for South Australia and McLaren Vale to get a bit of international focus on our wines, particularly in a place like Bordeaux, which is known for its reds.

“What’s also significant is that the award was presented in Hong Kong, where our big markets are, so it’s probably good to show an award-winning wine at that event and also have it there so people could taste it.

“I think it will be very appealing to some of the Chinese and Hong Kong markets; it’s got some of the fruit depth and structures that they seem to enjoy.”

Serafino exports into Hong Kong and Singapore and is looking to increase its sales in China. National sales and marketing manager Russell Gallagher was in Hong Kong to accept the award and planned to use the opportunity to introduce the Serafino brand to potential Chinese distributors.

“We’ve certainly got the products to sell but we’re just trying to establish new links into markets there,” Whish says.

“If this can help get people interested in our brand and our products then we can show them other wines that we make as well and see if we can some sort of leverage and foothold into China.”

Vinexpo Hong Kong is the most influential wine and spirits trade fair in Asia. This year, the May 29-31 fair celebrated Australia as the “Country of Honour” and a record 151 exhibitors showcased more than 225 Australian wine brands.

This article was first published on The Lead.

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