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Coonawarra is Home to the Best Shiraz in the World

The 2021 Sommeliers Choice Awards saw the Riddoch Elgin’s Crossing Coonawarra Shiraz crowned as the best Shiraz in the world.

Inspired by the legacies and the footprints of the brands they now represent, Paragon Wines was established to honor the tradition of excellent viniculture from Australia and New Zealand. Today, Paragon Wines stands proudly behind a stable of premium brands, each with its unique story and a deep-rooted culture of winemaking. As the representative of these wineries, Paragon Wines believes in championing the brands' efforts and showcasing them to the world. 

This effort saw Paragon Wines enter wines from Riddoch in Coonawarra, Australia and Krondorf Wines in Barossa Valley to the 2021 Sommeliers Choice Awards held in San Francisco, USA. Six wines from these two wineries were awarded at the competition with Riddoch Elgin’s Crossing Coonawarra Shiraz recognized as the Best Wine by Varietal. 

The Sommeliers Choice Awards judges wines from all over the world based on their pairing ability (a wine’s food pairing ability); typicity (how well it reflects the varietal it champions); quality (the aroma, taste and body of the wine keeping in mind the target consumers); value (whether it is priced in closeness to its quality) and packaging (how a consumer will react upon seeing the bottle). These parameters help the judges select the best wines in the world all based on how well they will be received by connoisseurs, enthusiasts and regular wine drinkers. 

To find the best wines in the world from a collection that spanned across 26 countries and 142 different wines and varietals needed a set of highly trained and experienced experts. To make sure the wines were rated by the best, the Sommeliers Choice Awards brought together 20 Master Sommeliers under one roof, setting a precedent for other wine competitions in the world. 

The esteemed judging panel included the likes of Laura Williamson MS, CWE (Owner of Unlock Your Palate Inc and Partner at RingIT Inc); David Keck MS (Wine Director at VT Wine Shepherd, VT); Tonya Pitts (Award-Winning Sommelier, San Francisco, CA) and other notable names of the American wine industry. 

The Shiraz was among the top five varietals judged at the competition with Australia also among the top countries with the highest number of entries. In such a packed and competitive field, the Riddoch Elgin’s Crossing Coonawarra Shiraz reigned as the Best Shiraz at the competition, showing once again why Australia is a top shiraz producer in the world. Aside from the Best Shiraz in the world award, the Paragon Wines ensemble also included these award-winning wines. 

Riddoch Elgin’s Crossing Coonawarra Shiraz

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John Riddoch founded the Coonawarra fruit colony in 1891 which made him regarded as one of the founders of Australian wine. Over 125 years later, John Riddoch’s legacy is carried forward by Neil Doddridge, the brain behind the Riddoch Elgin’s Crossing Coonawarra Shiraz. The Shiraz Syrah blend was awarded the Best Wine by Varietal award at the 2021 Sommeliers Choice Award scoring an impressive 93 points

Elgin’s Crossing commemorates John Riddoch’s voyage away from Australia aboard the Lady Elgin ship. The red Coonawarra combines raspberries, satsuma plum, red currants with roasted walnut notes. Rich, with supple tannins and superb mineral length, the Riddoch Elgin’s Crossing Coonawarra Shiraz is a great wine to pair with meats. 

Riddoch Elgin's Crossing Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon

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Another classic from the Barossa Valley but not a Shiraz, the grapes for this gold winner are exclusively sourced from rich terra rossa soils. A special wine with great length and complexity, the Riddoch Elgin’s Crossing Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon brings together fragrant blackcurrant, bright cassis, dark plum and other earthy aromas and spices. 

Delicious and rich with ripe figs and blueberries. The Riddoch Elgin’s Crossing Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon is matured in oak barrels and has silky tannins with an underlying oak complexity. Its 93 points showing demonstrated that Riddoch’s Wines are equally capable of making a great Cabernet Sauvignon as good as their Shiraz. 

Krondorf Founders View Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon

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In 1847, a group of families arrived in South Australia from their homeland of Silesia, modern-day parts in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. They travelled across South Australia in search of a better life, which they found in Barossa. In Barossa, they settled in the small hamlet of Krondorf, German for ‘Crown Village’. Apart from making wine, the families worked as tradesmen and farmers. In the 1850s and 1860s, the South Australian wine industry started growing and Krondorf Village was one of the most prominent settlements. 

The village gave Barossa many families including the Lehmanns, the Nitschkes, the Henschkes and the Falkenbergs, all of whom started making wine. The Falkenbergs established the Glenview Winery which began a tradition of ambition and reinvention. Today, the Krondorf brand is led by Nick Badrice and aims to bring the Barossa region style of wine to the world. Their heritage and craft were showcased at the 2021 Sommeliers Choice Awards with four of their wines among the winners under the Paragon Wines brand. 

The Krondorf Founders View Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon was their top-scoring wine at the competition, amassing 91 points and a gold medal. A finely structured wine, the Cabernet Sauvignon has purple hues with its deep red color. The nose has blackberry and blackcurrant aromas with leafy notes while the palate consists of cassis with hints of chocolate mint and forest floor. The tannins and the spicy French oak support a core of expressive fruit flavors. 

Krondorf Founders View Barossa Shiraz

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The most famous and the most widely planted varietal of Barossa Valley, Shiraz is the crowning jewel of the South Australian wine industry. While the wines may vary in style because of the multiple sub-valleys, the one thing certain is that there will be a great Shiraz in store if the winemakers know their craft. Something Nick and his team have managed to do with the Krondorf Founders View Barossa Shiraz

The Shiraz starts off with aromas of concentrated plum and blackberries along with subtle cinnamon and nutmeg spice. Rich and full-flavoured, the Krondorf Founders View Barossa Shiraz has great depth. The dark berry fruit notes are supported excellently by premium French and American oak. 

Krondorf Barossa Shiraz

This 87 point scoring Shiraz is a part of Krondorf’s winemaker collection. While the Shiraz is from Barossa Valley just like the names preceding it, that is where the similarity ends. The Krondorf Barossa Shiraz has fresh aromas of raspberry and dark berries which give way to bright flavors of redcurrants with a hint of spice. The wine is full and silky on the palate, elegant and refined with subtle oak. The Krondorf Barossa Shiraz has a supple tannin finish and a nice, persistent length. 

Krondorf Old Salem Barossa Shiraz

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The final award-winning Shiraz from the Krondorf brand and the Paragon Wines umbrella is the Krondorf Krondorf Old Salem Barossa Shiraz. The 2019 vintage has come to fruition post a lot of challenges. Post a low rainfall, winter rain and more, February and March provided ideal harvest conditions which brought Krondorf Old Salem Barossa Shiraz 2019 to life. 

It has a bright nose of plum and blackcurrant with fresh spice. The palate holds flavours of dark berries and dark chocolate. New and seasoned French oak provides balance and support to the intensity of fruit, making the 86 points scoring Krondorf Old Salem Barossa Shiraz a great Barossa Valley Shiraz to pick. 

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