THE Riverina Wine Show have named their Sean Hampel Trophy for Best Shiraz winner, awarding the esteemed prize to Berton Vineyards for their 2019 Metal Label Black Shiraz.
The winning selection boasts plum, coffee and a deep intensity of flavour with a soft yet generous palate, a combination that managing director Bob Berton says is a bold example of an Australian Shiraz.
However, the victory came as more than just an impressive title for Berton Vineyards, as many of their team worked closely with Sean Hampel before his passing.
The commemorative trophy was introduced to honour his memory, and Mr Berton says it was incredibly bittersweet to walk away with this particular prize.
"It's particularly meaningful for us because we spent a lot of time with Sean," Mr Berton said.
"Winning the trophy that commemorates him, it's more than just a trophy for us."
Winemaker Bill Gumbleton grew up with Sean Hampel, the two best mates completed 13 years of schooling together at Griffith Public and Griffith High.
The winning Black Shiraz now carrying Hampel's commemorative title has given a spirited boost to the Berton team, marking the memory of a close friend to the company.
"It's quite a special moment to be honest," Mr Gumbleton said.
"We both grew up together and to be able to mimic his footsteps and make great wine like this, it hits the heart."
The 2019 Metal Label Black Shiraz not only did well on the local stage, but also picked up Gold Medals internationally at the AWC Vienna and China Wine and Spirit Competition.
"This is a wonderful endorsement of a core wine in our portfolio, a wine that is intrinsic to what we believe in and part of Berton Vineyards since the beginning," Mr Berton said.
"It reinforces our belief that we are making a true example of great Aussie Shiraz."