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The Max Crus Trophy

The Max Crus Trophy

The Max Crus Trophy has been awarded every year since 1996 (see below for the complete list of winners), and for a variety of reasons.

However before we delve into those reasons, we first need to address the quirk of human nature and mathematics that raises the curly question, for which year is the trophy awarded?

Traditionally it has been awarded on Australia Day, until that date became ‘onthe nose’, and an issue yet to be resolved, but in any case early in the newyear. So do we call this year’s winner the 2022 winner, or given we are looking at wines from 2021, should it be called that?

The problem there is that 2021 sounds so last year and could lead to the perception that there is a newer winner. How awkward and annoying.

Who cares? Fair enough, let’s get on with the show.

The first winner, Seaview Shiraz, was given for being such a stalwart of the Aussie wine scene, particularly for uni students and other impecunious miscreants.

Jacob's Creek Riesling won it the year after, and not only for being a fabulous wine and an absolute bargain, but it was also the wine we drank the most of that year (largely by virtue of its fabulous value) and it almost won again the next year after Jacob’s Creek sent a case in gratitude (bless their little Barossan souls).

Subsequently, wines won it also just for being incredibly good value, others for simply standing out in the crowd - sort of being in the right place at the right time - or merely (merely?) for being really interesting or a leader in a style, eg Crittenden's Verjus which wasn't even a wine, strictly speaking, or Angove'sNine Vines Rosé before anyone knew what rosé was let alone wanted one.

Wines as cheap as $7 have won, and one at $200 has also won. Almost half the winners have been shiraz or a shiraz dominant blend, reflecting not only the ubiquity of the grape but, not unrelatedly, our (and other’s) love of the grape.

Novelty has been a big influencer over the years, well, who doesn’t like exploring and coming up with something not only new but delightful and delicious tempting one to question “could this be the next big thing?”

Which segues nicely into this year’s, 2021 winner. Fairly often the winner over the years was also the highest scoring wine of the year, but not necessarily, and so it is this year.

Mind you it still scored 9.6/10,

So with further ado…well, gotta try to build these things up…drumroll please…the winner of the 2021 Max Crus Trophy is…how many ellipses can you have in one sentence?...

So congratulations Cook’s Lot, your trophy is in the mail


Past Max Crus Trophy winners :

1996: Seaview Shiraz

1997: Jacob’s Creek Riesling

1998:Taylor’s Cab Sav

1999: Ingoldby Cab Sav

2000: Banrock Station Shiraz Cabernet

2001: Dromana Estate Verjus

2002: Oxford Landing Shiraz

2003: Fox CreekShadow’s Run Shiraz Cab Sav

2004: Plunkett Gewurztraminer

2005: Gramps Shiraz

2006: Angoves Nine Vines Rosé

2007: Logan Gewurztraminer

2008: Zema Estate Cabernet

2009: Mollydooker's Enchanted Path Shiraz Cabernet

2010: Torbreck Woodcutters Shiraz

2011: yellow tail Premium Cabernet Sauvignon

2012: Pimpernel Pinot Noir

2013: Churchview Zinfandel

2014: Fox Gordon ’The Sicilian’ Nero d’Avola

2015: Berton Vineyard High Eden The Bonsai 2012

2016: Howard Park Wines 2012 : Leston Shiraz

2017 : Quarisa The Great Bonza Reserve Shiraz Cabernet 2015

2018 : Tim Stevens Mudgee 'Signature' Shiraz 2016

2019 : Ox Hardy 1891 Ancestor Vine Shiraz 2008

2020 : Hurley Vineyard Balnarring Mornington Peninsula 'Hommage' Pinot Noir 2018.

2021 : Cooks Lot Orange Arneis 2021


Max Crus is a Clarence Valley-basedwine writer and Grape Expectations is now in its 26th year of publication. Findout more about Max or sign up for his weekly reviews and musings by