Australian Gourmet Pages' Australian Pinot Noir Challenge

August 2014



Every year, in August, AGP holds its annual Australian Pinot Noir Challenge and it's the only one of its kind. The word Challenge is rather apt as it is different enough to haul the judges out of their comfort zone and although it sound like a lot of fun, (which it is) it's also a lot of hard work.


12 Judges evaluate 12 Pinot Noirs. All masked, first without food and the scores are tallied. Then the same 12 masked Pinot Noirs are re-evaluated with a course of food. Again the scores are tallied. Note also that the wines are not scored in the traditional sense, but they are rated. Best wine gets a score of 1 and worst wine gets a score of 12, ergo the wine with the lowest score wins. Most years the winner of the Challenge 'Without' food and the winner 'With' food are different wines, but we did have a couple of years where the winner was the same in both categories.


This year's Challenge, the 13th so far, was held at China Republic in Sydney and the food was absolutely superb. If for whatever reason you have not eaten at China Republic as yet, then you need to go and sample their wonderful Cantonese food (and it's the only Chinese Restaurant in Sydney that does not serve offal).

Needless to say the service and attention to detail was impeccable and we thank Jason Ratcliffe, the GM of the restaurant for the wonderful hospitality.


I would like to thank China Republic for looking after us so brilliantly, all the judges for lending us their palates and time and the Australian Wine Makers for crafting such great wines.

Yours sincerely

Franz Scheurer






The Judges


Shane Kalloglian

Roberta Muir

Franck Moreau

Nathan Sasi

John Atwill

John Cunnington

Rebecca Lines

Jon Osbeiston

Jason Ratcliffe

Charles Leong

Nick Hildebrandt

Dane Richards


Results Without Food






1) Montalto Main Ridge Block

2) Gembrook Hill

3) Woodlands Reserve de la Cave

Results With Food





1) Montalto Main Ridge Block

2) Woodlands Reserve de la Cave

3) Curly Flat


The Wines




Congratulations to the winners!


1) Montalto Main Ridge Block taking out both categories