On the eve of the annual KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show awards, 2017’s invited international judge, Master of Wine, Mark Pygott says he likes what he sees in the evolution of Australian wine – and only not from the usual suspects.
Mark Pygott was invited in 2017 to join 30 Australian wine experts in tasting and judging more than 2100 entries across four days at the KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show at Sydney Showground.
Mr Pygott, originally from Northern England but these days director of Sniff Wine Ltd in Taiwan by way of lengthy winemaking stints with respected French wineries, became a Master of Wine after completing a research paper on climate change and adaptive viticultural practices in the Barossa Valley.
Mark Pygott says he also has seen firsthand the changing views on Australian wine, from what he says began as “friendly, approachable, fruit-forward, cheaper ‘sunshine in a glass’ offerings to places like the UK and the US, to the extremely high quality product the wine drinking world (including newer markets like China) know the Australian wine sector for today.
“The quality of the Grenache and some of the Semillon I have seen in judging this has been outstanding,” he said.
“Not just very good wines – world class wines.
“If I said I have tasted some great Shiraz, everyone would say ‘of course’,” he added.
“A wine has made me cry, it happens maybe once every two years.”
While not revealing whether any of the reds, whites, sparklings and fortified entries in 2017 made Mark well up during 2017’s competition, he says he likes the fact the Australian wine sector is always testing itself and striving to improve.
“I think you have to be very careful about thinking that what you have is the best, because if you stand still, other people won’t and that’s dangerous.
“You must keep on looking for the next best thing,” he said.
Mark Pygott was also highly complimentary of the standard of the judging panel assembled for 2017’s KPMG Sydney Wine Show.
“You look around the room at the quality of not just the Judges, but Associate (invited trainee) Judges and there are some serious people here, people who have huge amounts of experience, hugely qualified and here to get a better picture of wine in Australia.
The KPMG Sydney Wine Show culminates in the Awards Night on Thursday, July 27 2017, a trade day on Friday the 28th July 2017 and the grand finale, the Sydney Royal Wine Experience this coming Saturday, July 29th 2017, when members of the public are invited and encouraged to taste the very same premium Australian wines the Judges assessed.
Tickets for the Wine Experience are $80 per person, $150.00 for a double pass, with a discount for RAS Members.