Andrew Corrigan MW, Chair of Judges at the Cairns Show Wine Awards 2014, highlights the value wine buys.

I said it last year but it’s worth saying again — the results of the Cairns Show Wine Awards are wonderful as a guide to value wine buying.

Largely this is the result of the food matching classes under which wines are judged but also the requirement for wines entered to be currently available for sale.

Several judges expressed their delight in the reds on show. They expected that, in this tropical setting most reds would be heavy and not so enjoyable but the opposite occurred. A range of reds was judged and lighter elegant styles from cool climates as well as fuller styles from areas such as South Australia did well.

A common comment from judges was the disparity between quality and the high volume categories favoured by many consumers — Sauvignon Blanc and blends, Moscato and “alternative” sparkling wines such as Prosecco are all very popular but the quality of these classes in the show was disappointing.

In contrast, the “traditional varieties” were wonderful — Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Some up-and-coming varieties were excellent — the classes for Verdelho, Pinot Grigio/Gris, Tempranillo, Malbec and Grenache particularly.

Despite the obscurity of Semillon, there were several excellent results, McGuigan Bin 9000 winning top awards.

Look for:

• Sparkling – Blue Pyrenees Midnight Cuvee
• Chardonnay – Tyrrells Vat 47
• Verdelho – Deen De Bortoli
• Viognier – Rutherglen Eternity
• Pinot Grigio – Cockfighters Ghost, Pinnacle, Sidewood
• Pinot Noir – Home Hill
• Cabernet Sauvignon – Bowen Estate
• Shiraz – Shaw Estate, Claymore, Harcourt, Moppity Estate, Pinnacle, Flints, Zwine
• Tempranillo – Nepenthe Altitude