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Australia's Best Wine List for 2016

25 Jul 2016

2016 Wine List of the Year Award winner, fermentAsian, and their remarkable wine list struck a chord with the judges this year.

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fermentAsian, Tanunda, SA and Grant Dickson take top gong in Prestigious Australia’s Wine List of the Year 2016 National Winner

Wine List of the Year Awards - Winners 10

 

Embargoed until 6pm AEST Monday 25 July, 2016.

Presenting partners, Gourmet Traveller WINE and the Australian Liquor Industry’s the drinks Association today announced fermentAsian in Tanunda, South Australia as winner of the prestigious Australia’s Wine List of the Year for 2016.

‘fermentAsian’s remarkable list has struck a chord with the judges (domestically and Internationally), perhaps in much the same way that it has charmed those who have flocked to this restaurant in the small Barossa village of Tanunda over the past five years’, commented Chairman of Judges, Peter Forrestal. As the sommelier responsible for the winning list, Grant Dickson also receives the Judy Hirst Award, presented in memory of the inspirational woman who helped establish these awards.

‘Judy Hirst would have loved the unlikely scenario of a musician taking on the role of sommelier and restaurant manager and growing a list organically. Grant Dickson is a musician who combines an ear for poetry, a penchant for wine history and a delight in sourcing the obscure and improbable: and producing a commentary on the wines which breathes life into an extraordinary list’, added Peter Forrestal.

Two years ago, Victoria seemed to dominate these awards. Since then, New South Wales has lifted its rating and there is a much more even spread of stunning wine lists across the country. Not only is South Australia delighting in its most stellar achievement, but also the number of three glass lists in the State, per capita, arguably leads the nation. The State / Territory winners this year were – Rubicon (ACT) and fermentAsian (SA) for the third time; Jonah’s (NSW) and Lalla Rookh Wine Store (WA) for the second time; and the Botanical (Vic), Stokehouse Q (Qld) and Stillwater (Tasmania) for the first time.

Established in 1994, to recognise and reward Australia’s best Wine Lists and the individuals and establishments behind them, Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards has an outstanding panel of local and international expert judges to maintain absolute integrity and independence – plus add a global perspective.

Headed by leading wine writer and commentator Peter Forrestal, the long-term panel of over thirty (30) includes internationally respected Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine such as Brian Julyan MS, founder of The Court of Master Sommeliers and CEO Europe, past World’s Best Sommelier – Gerard Basset OBE, MS, MW, MBA, Cameron Douglas MS, Toni Paterson MW, James Lawther MW, Andrew Caillard MW, plus leading wine writers and commentators Jeni Port, Mike Bennie, Huon Hooke, Peter Bourne, Sophie Otton and Louise Radman to name but a few. The depth of local and industry knowledge is complemented by the inclusion as judges of the President of Sommeliers Australia – represented this year by Mark Protheroe, and the previous year’s winner of the Judy Hirst Award – Nick Hildebrandt.

The increased sophistication of the Australian dining scene is reflected in this year’s results with again more establishments entering the Awards and also with a record number of clubs, pubs, hotels and wine bars achieving either a two or three glass rating (72%).

Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards founder Rob Hirst, Chairman of Fine Wine Partners, thanked sincerely Award Partners – Gourmet Traveller WINE and the drinks Association for their on-going support of the Awards and congratulated all entrants on the quality of this year’s lists – commenting that “The most popular award category remains Best Wine By the Glass – the perfect vehicle for introducing premium wines to the consumer, followed by Best Matching of Food and Wine – reflecting the even closer liaison now occurring between sommeliers and chefs.”

Judy Sarris, Editor, Gourmet Traveller WINE added – “ Australian sommeliers continue to address the everevolving landscape of wine with talent and finesse. While organic, biodynamic and natural wines seem to have taken a stronger hold on lists than ever before, some of the most ferocious competition is to be found in the ever-expanding and improving by-the-glass lists – which can only be a bonus for the adventurous or the curious.”

Sandra Przibilla, CEO, the drinks Association said, “Congratulations to the winners of the Australian Wine List of the Year Awards 2016. We are proud to be Trade Communications Partner for the awards and look forward to celebrating and promoting the winners through our trade publications and social media network. It is an honour to raise a glass to you all at the awards ceremony tonight.”

Winners will be listed at winelistoftheyear.com.au on July 25th. Full results and entrant reviews will be available via Aug/Sept 2016 Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine – on sale July 27th , and all entrants’ reviews are available via the Gourmet Traveller WINE digital edition at gourmettravellerwine.com.

For interviews and further information, plus pictures, please contact

Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards – 2016

Presented by Gourmet Traveller WINE and the drinks association
  • NATIONAL WINNER OF THE 2016 AUSTRALIA’S WINE LIST OF THE YEAR: fermentAsian, Tanunda, SA

Award Winners

  • WINE LIST OF THE YEAR: fermentAsian, SA
  • JUDY HIRST AWARD: Grant Dickson
  • BEST CITY RESTAURANT WINE LIST: Est, NSW
  • BEST COUNTRY RESTAURANT WINE LIST: fermentAsian, SA
  • BEST HOTEL RESTAURANT WINE LIST: Jonah’s, NSW
  • BEST PUB RESTAURANT WINE LIST: Upstairs at the Lord Nelson,
  • NSW BEST CLUB RESTAURANT WINE LIST: Queen’s Club,
  • NSW BEST WINE BAR LIST: Love, Tilly Devine,
  • NSW BEST NEW LIST – THE TONY HITCHIN AWARD: Silvereye,
  • NSW BEST SMALL LIST (MAX 50 WINES): Merricote, VIC
  • BEST SMALL LIST (MAX 100 WINES): Spice Temple, VIC
  • BEST FOOD & WINE MATCHING LIST: Provenance, VIC
  • BEST LIST OF WINE BY THE GLASS: Quay, NSW
  • BEST BEER LIST: The Source at MONA, TAS
  • BEST APERITIF LIST: Apothecary 1878, SA
  • BEST DIGESTIF LIST: Sepia, NSW
  • BEST LISTING OF A REGION’S WINE: Healesville Hotel, VIC
  • BEST LISTING OF AUSTRALIAN WINES: Altitude, NSW
  • BEST LISTING OF NSW WINES: Biota Dining, NSW
  • BEST LISTING OF SA WINES: The Grill at the Stirling Hotel, SA
  • BEST LISTING OF TAS WINES: Stillwater, TAS
  • BEST LISTING OF VIC WINES: Royal Mail, VIC
  • BEST LISTING OF WA WINES: Frasers, WA
  • GOURMET TRAVELLER WINE READERS’ CHOICE: Hubert, NSW

State Winners

  • BEST WINE LIST ACT: Rubicon
  • BEST WINE LIST NSW: Jonah’s BEST WINE LIST QLD Stokehouse Q
  • BEST WINE LIST SA: fermentAsian
  • BEST WINE LIST TAS: Stillwater
  • BEST WINE LIST VIC: The Botanical
  • BEST WINE LIST WA: Lalla Rookh Wine Store

Hall of Fame 2016

Hall of Fame – previous national winners
  • Bentley Restaurant + Bar, NSW (2015)
  • Lake House, Daylesford, Vic (2014)
  • Rockpool Bar & Grill, Perth (2014)
  • Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld, Vic (2012)
  • Pilu at Freshwater, NSW (2011)
  • Rockpool Bar & Grill, Melbourne (2010)
  • Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sydney (2009)
  • Aria, Sydney (2003)
  • Circa the Prince, Vic (2001)
  • Syracuse, Vic (1999)
2016 Hall of Fame – previous national individual award winner
  • Franck Moreau MS (2014)
2016 Hall of Fame – previous three time winners – states/territories
  • Apothecary 1878 (Best SA) 2004, 2011, 2012
  • Appellation (Best SA) 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Aria, Brisbane (Best QLD) 2011, 2013, 2014
  • Aubergine (Best ACT) 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Char (Best NT) 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Cru Bar & Cellar (Best Qld) 2004, 2009, 2015
  • Friends (Best WA) 1999, 2002, 2003
  • Me Wah (Best TAS) 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Rockpool Bar & Grill (Best WA) 2011, 2012, 2014
2016 Hall of Fame – previous three time winners – national categories
  • Botanical (Best Pub Restaurant) 2012, 2013, 2014
  • European (Best Cafe) 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Glass Brasserie (Best International Hotel) 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Healesville Hotel (Best Pub Restaurant) 2003, 2004, 2008
  • Healesville Hotel (Best Beer List) 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Lake House (Best Country Restaurant) 2008, 2010, 2013
  • Melbourne Supper Club (Best Wine Bar) 2004, 2011, 2012
  • RACV City Club (Best Club) 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Royal Mail (Best Country Restaurant) 2009, 2011, 2012
  • Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (Best Club) 2003, 2004, 2008
  • Settlers Tavern (Best Pub Restaurant) 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Aria, Sydney (Gourmet Traveller WINE – Readers’ Choice Award) 2011, 2012, 2013

Australia's Wine List of the Year 2016

All winners – judges comments

Two years ago, Victoria seemed to dominate these awards. Since then, New South Wales has lifted its rating and there is a much more even spread of stunning wine lists across the country. Not only is South Australia delighting in its most stellar achievement, the number of three glass lists, per capita, arguably leads the nation. State / Territory winners were Rubicon (ACT) and fermentAsian (SA) for the third time; Jonah’s (NSW) and Lalla Rookh Wine Store (WA) for the second time; and the Botannical (Vic), Stokehouse (Qld) and Stillwater (Tasmania) for the first time.

New South Wales celebrates Jonah’s with its best ever list earning Best Hotel Restaurant List; a revitalised Est wining Best City Restaurant List; Upstairs at the Lord Nelson, the Best Pub Restaurant List; and the sublime Love Tilly Devine redefines the notion of what a Best Wine Bar List could look like. Don’t take the word of our Gourmet Traveller Wine readers who voted for the CBD’s Hubert as their favourite. Just go and find out for yourself. Two outstanding newcomers head the list for Best New Restaurant List – Silvereye and Bennelong. Both offer new ways of defining classy dining in the Harbour City with Silvereye taking out the Award. And the CBD Club, Queens, took out the Best Club List for the first time.

No award is tougher than Best List of Wine by the Glass: here, Amanda Yallop and her talented team indicate another strong reason for Quay’s popularity. Proving that it’s impossible to restrain an outstanding sommelier, third time winners in Victoria are Merricote’s Bronwyn Kaboord with Best Small List (50), and David Lawler of Spice Temple (Melbourne) with Best Small List (100). Kabir Antoniak at MONA’s The Source (Tas) defies the challengers for Best Beer List in consecutive years.

Victoria provides the winner of two of the most keenly fought awards. Best Food & Wine Matching going to the stellar Beechworth restaurant, Provenance, with sommelier, Damien Moylan being challenged to match chef Michael Ryan’s knowledge, skill and daring. Best Listing of a Region’s wines is the third area in which Michael Kennedy’s Healesville Hotel has excelled alongside its Hall of Fame Status for Best Pub Restaurant List and Best Beer List. A remarkable feat. Both Apothecary 1878 (SA) and Sepia (NSW) have shone over several years and it’s no surprise to see their continued success with wins in Best Aperitif List and Best Digestif List respectively.

The resurgence in interest of Australian wines in the past few years is demonstrated by the dilemma faced by the judges with Best Listing of Australian Wines: while Altitude was a worthy winner there was scarcely a hair’s breadth between the outstanding top four lists. The new awards – for Best Listing of the wines of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia – show the strength of the country’s regional lists and introduces new winners: Biota Dining (NSW), The Grill at the Stirling Hotel (SA) and Fraser’s (WA).

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