Lerida Estate wins Chair of Judges award at National Wine Show

Natasha Rudra

A Canberra winery has taken out the Chair of Judges award at the Dan Murphy's National Wine Show.

Lerida Estate's 2013 shiraz viognier was the only wine from the territory to take home one of the major awards at the show.

But there was some success for other Canberra wineries in the shiraz classes, with a number of gold medals for Collector, Eden Road and Nick O'Leary.

The National Wine Show trophies and awards were announced on Thursday night at the Realm Hotel in Barton.

Chair of Judges Jim Chatto, the chief winemaker at McWilliam's Wines, praised Lerida's shiraz viognier as a "gem of a drink".

"The Chair of Judges' award went to a lovely local shiraz viognier, a beautifully weighted, spicy, red fruited and textural wine of poise and real sense of place," he wrote in his judging remarks.

Lerida Estate is owned by Anne Caine and husband Jim Lumbers, with Malcolm Burdett as winemaker.

Mr Lumbers said the shiraz viognier, which is slated for release in mid 2015, was a typical example of what the Canberra district produced with classic characters of shiraz.

"But that's overlaid with spices and particularly the sort of spices in Christmas pudding, cloves and cinnamon and allspices and so on. And a bit of black pepper," he said.


Mr Lumbers said it had been a wonderful year for Lerida Estate's vintages and he was still trying to figure out exactly why every variety had turned out beautifully. 

He praised Lerida's winemaker Mr Burdett whom he described as "terribly retiring" but blessed with an enormous talent with shiraz.

"[Malcolm] should get a lot more recognition than he does," he said.

Collector's Wines' 2013 reserve shiraz and Eden Road's 2013 Canberra syrah both took gold medals in their classes.

Nick O'Leary was awarded two gold medals, for his 2013 Pyrenees shiraz and the 2013 Bolaro shiraz which also took out a major trophy at the NSW Wine Show in October.

Moppity Vineyard's 2013 reserve cabernet sauvignon also won a top gold in its class.

The semillon trophy was won by Peter Lehmann's 2009 Wigan riesling; the chardonnay trophy went to De Bortoli's 2012 Yarra Valley Section A5 chardonnay; and the cabernet sauvignon trophy was taken home by Xanadu's 2011 DJL cabernet sauvignon.

In the reds, Yabby Lake's 2013 Block 2 pinot noir took out the pinot trophy, Leura Park won for shiraz and the trophy for best dry red "other varieties", a trophy sponsored by The Canberra Times, was won by the West Australian winery West Cape Howe for their 2013 tempranillo. 

The Dan Murphy's National Wine Show is held in Canberra every year and wines can only be entered in the premium classes if they've previously been awarded a medal at a capital or "approved regional" wine show.