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    Sep 09, 2013

    Aussie winemakers win big at major competition

    AUSTRALIAN winemakers emerged the big winners at one of the biggest wine competitions of the year, scooping up the most awards of any country.

    Australia hauled six international trophies out of 32 categories for its wines at the 10th annual Decanter World Wine Awards in London last week, in categories such as best chardonnay, best riesling and best red blend all over £15 (S$30).

    Meanwhile, the biggest loser was France, which this year scored only three international trophies, half of what the country took home last year.

    Spain, South Africa and Chile tied with four winners each.

    The international winners beat out a whopping 14,362 wines from 61 regions to snag the coveted trophies across 32 categories.

    Decanter World Wine Awards chairman Steven Spurrier explained that to award the coveted "Oscar" of the wine world, critics are looking for wines with distinction and character.

    "What we look for is intrinsic character...," he said in a video. "It has to speak of where it's from and we don't know where it's from but it has to speak to us."

    Hungary also surprised the wine world by taking home a trophy for best red Bordeaux varietal over £15 for the 2009 Sauska Cuvee 5.

    Croatia won big by taking the title of best sweet wine for more than £15, while Canada's Mission Hill Family Estate brand claimed the best pinot noir for under £15 with its 2010 Martin's Lane in British Columbia.

    Other winners include:

    (bullet) Red Bordeaux varietal under £15: Aromo Barrel Selection 2010, Chile;

    (bullet) Sauvignon blanc under £15: Lawson's Dry Hill Mount Vernon Sauvignon Blanc 2012;

    (bullet) Red blend over £15: Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet-Shiraz 2010, South Australia;

    (bullet) Best chardonnay over £15: Josef Chromy Chardonnay 2011.