Six Nations 2016 - Medal Results

2016 Six Nations Wine Challenge Results

New Zealand wins Nation Of Show and the USA takes Eight Trophies

The Six Nations Wine Challenge is a Sydney-based wine show that uses an international judging panel to compare the very best wines from six countries (Australia, here New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Canada and the US). This is the 14th year of the competition.

It works like this. A selector/judge from each of the six countries makes up a list of 100 of the very best wines produced, with a maximum of 10 wines in any of 15 different classes (sparkling, Chardonnay etc. etc.). The wines are sorted into classes and served blind to the judges who choose their top 12-15 wines (depending on class size) and rank them in order of quality. The judges’ rankings are recorded and added to find a winner in each class, a runner-up and the top country by class. Each country’s marks are added to identify the top country.

Top Three Trophies

Wine of Show USA Roederer Estate L’Ermitage Brut Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2007
White Wine of Show USA Anthony Road Dry Riesling 2014
Red Wine of Show New Zealand Akarua Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2014

Class Winners

New Zealand won seven classes; Australia five; Canada two; and Chile won one.

Top Wine of the Class Trophies

The USA won six, New Zealand four, South Africa four, and Australia one.

USA Consul General Valerie Fowler (R) accepting the Wine of Show trophy from President Judith Kennedy.

2015 Results

New Zealand Dominates the 2015 Challenge

Nation of Show, Wine of Show, Five Class Trophies and a bag of Gold Medals put New Zealand at the top of the New World of winemaking for 2015.

Australia’s Challenge judge Mr. Huon Hooke presented all of the class trophies to the successful winemakers at the gala dinner attended by international government dignitaries including the Ambassadors of Argentina and Chile.

Australia held second position on the Nation of Show board however took only one class trophy, South Africa four, USA three, Chile two and Argentina one. Australia also won the Fortified Exhibition trophy.

The Wine of Show was awarded to Framingham for their 2014 vintage Noble Riesling and the trophy was presented by New Zealand’s Consul General Ms. Billie Moore to winemaker Dr Andrew Hedley at the formal trophy dinner held in Sydney.

White Wine of Show was awarded to Chilean Concha y Toro’s Terruno, Block 6 Riesling 2011. Red Wine of Show went to the U.S.A’s Niven Family Wine Estates Baileyana Winery S-Bar Pinot Noir 2013.

The Chairman’s position rotates annually and the current Chairman Mr Eduardo Brethauer of Chile commented “The Six Nations Wine Challenge is an open window that shows the excitement of a viticulture that is always moving forward, discovering new spots, innovating with varieties, experimenting with styles, reflecting the tradition and bright future of the New World scene”.


Marked by Surprises

Interestingly, the results are a clear demonstration of the high level of competitiveness, year after year, at the Six Nations Wine Challenge.

And 2014 will be marked by surprises, something that should be very welcome by global consumers, because it would help them to open their minds and palates. A South African Sauvignon Blanc over New Zealand´s or a Chilean Riesling highlights some of the best representatives. Somewhat more surprising is an Aussie Malbec chosen over many from Argentina. And there is revenge at the hands of Argentina’s Syrah. The United States has taken one of the most competitive classes of the show; Bordeaux Blends, and New Zealand has dominated the Chardonnay class.

Each year it becomes more difficult to select because the qualities are very close, and the typicity of terroirs and styles tend to be a more subjective assessment, especially in these blind tastings of almost 600 wines.

However, it is still very entertaining and interesting to taste all the wines in the Challenge when judges from each country choose their top wines regardless of commercial quantity available. It is during the judges’ discussions and exchanges of views with other references in all classes, where we learn more, and so can better communicate to our consumers.
The contribution of the Six Nations Wine Challenge to the development of the wine in the New World regions is surprising. To bring us back to the Challenge it´s enough for the judges just to see the enthusiasm from participating wineries and their anxiety to know the results, and also the consumers’ response when tastings and presentations are carried out in different countries.

I congratulate this year’s winners and I look forward to 2015 which will be the 13th year of this important Challenge.

Fabricio Portelli
Chairman representing Argentina


USA Joins the Challenge

This is our eleventh annual wine competition. We started in 2003 as the Tri-Nations Wine Challenge then changing to the Five Nations Wine Challenge with the addition of Chile and Argentina and to the Six Nations Wine Challenge this year as we welcomed the United States of America.

The competition celebrates both uniformity, with the common language of wine assessment shared by our six judges, and diversity as we compare and contrast wines from many regions and grape varieties.

There is a strong spirit of camaraderie amongst the judges. We all welcome the chance to meet annually to taste and assess the very best wines from six countries. That bond has been strengthened this year by the arrival of Dan Berger, our US selector and judge, whose experience and keen intellect has made a great contribution to the event. The US has made a strong showing in its first year, winning five out of 17 class trophies, demonstrating considerable strength over a wide
range of wine styles.

Congratulations to Australia for earning first place by country and its ninth overall win since the competition began.

Bob Campell