An Australian Shiraz scored higher in total awards than any other wine in the past year.

Mike Pomranz
September 29, 2017

Despite Australia still being an often overlooked New World wine producer, most (if not all) people would agree that Australians are making some good wines. But are they making the best wine? Literally, the one best wine? One purportedly objective source believes that's the case, claiming that the most award-winning wine of 2017 comes from the land down under.

Unlike other rankings, the World Association of Wine Writers and Journalists annual World Ranking of Wines & Spirits considers itself the "definitive ranking" because it's compiled from a selection of 80 international wine contests, looking at more than 700,930 wines in all. From there, the ranking attempts to take a mathematical approach, weighting each competition based on prestige and then awarding points based on the level of recognition a wine received at each event. From there, points are added up and a total for each wine is determined. After all that number crunching, one wine came out on top: Taylors 2014 Jaraman Shiraz, an Australian wine that retails for about $25.

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As if Taylors (which is sold as Wakefield Wines in some markets) didn't have enough to hang its hat on, the winery also claimed the title of the second and fourth most awarded wines of the year, as well as the most awarded winery of the year overall. "The broader Australian presence is significant this year, with 21 Australian wines on the list of the top 100 wines in the world and a ranking of 5th on the list of most awarded countries," International President of the WAWWJ Leonardo Castellani said according to Australian news site News.com.au.

However, some skeptics might be thinking, This doesn't add up! And they'd be right… kind of. It actually adds up too much. As mentioned, points are awarded for every contest, but these points are never averaged out. As a result, the more competitions a wine enters, the more opportunities it has to raise its score. So digging a bit further, Taylors Jaraman Shiraz won 21 awards in 18 ranked contests, reaching the score of 628.31 points. By comparison, France's most awarded wine was Champagne De Castelnau CRVC—which won eight awards at a mere 7 ranked contests for a total score of 223 points. So while the debate over the best wine may rage on, a different debate has been answered: Math can't solve every problem.

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