The best wines under $20 according to Dan Murphy’s Decoded Wine Awards – including a $7 Pinot Noir

Dan Murphy’s has revealed the winners in its Decoded Wine Awards 2021, after 12 experts tasted over 1000 wines. 

“As wine experts, our judging panelists keenly follow the results of domestic and international wine shows. However, the majority of wine lovers simply want to find the right wine for the right occasion, which is what Decoded Wine Awards is all about,” said Dan Murphy’s Head of Fine Wine and chair of the Decoded judging panel Andrew Shedden. 

“In judging the wines, we have stripped back confusing tasting notes like ‘muscular’ or ‘herbaceous’ and instead focused on why we love these wines and how to best enjoy them to help guide our customers. The Dan Murphy’s Decoded Wine Awards are for wine lovers, not experts,” he added. 

This is the second year the awards have taken place, and after the first year’s success, hundreds of winemakers in Australia and New Zealand submitted wines into the Decoded Wine Awards. 

“We tasted more than 1000 wines over the course of 4 days, and we received a really wide range of expressions and styles of wine from all corners of the country, from Margaret River to the Hunter Valley and everywhere in between. As an Australian and New Zealand awards program, we also tasted some stunning wines from across the ditch” he said. 

The wines were blind tasted under full show judging conditions by a judging panel composed of Wine Merchants from Dan Murphy’s stores across the country, wine buyers and experts. 

10 winners have now been chosen and 5 of the winners are under $20. The judges have also named 10 wines as best value, as these wines offer exceptional value for money. 

“We’ve grouped wines by styles and price to make it easier for customers to explore what they enjoy within their budget,” Mr Shedden said.

The winning wines, value picks and finalists will now be promoted in Dan Murphy’s stores across the country as well as online and across social media, and are also available in mixed packs. 

Barossa Valley’s sister-run and owned Z Wine was a winner in the inaugural Decoded awards in February 2020, with the Z Wine Rustica Barossa Valley Grenache taking home the accolade for Best Light Red under $20. 

“Winning in the Decoded Wine Awards has been so amazing for us and we are still enjoying the flow-on effects from all the positive exposure,” said Z Wine’s Janelle Zerk. 

“We didn’t know what to expect as 2020 was the first year of the Decoded Awards, but we’ve seen a boost in brand recognition and sales across the country,” she added. 

Z Wine has many other prestigious wine awards under its belt, but Ms Zerk said that the Decoded awards are different to other wine shows because the target audience is the customer. 

“We can’t thank the Dan Murphys’ team enough for the wonderful work they have done to help customers find the winning wines and bringing the awards to life,” she added. 

The Decoded Wine Awards 2021 winners 

Category: Lighter White Under $20
Verdict: Sauvignon Blanc should jump out of the glass, and this one does exactly that.
Winner: Yealands Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand
Price: $13.99 

Category:Fuller White Under $20
Verdict: Full of classic chardonnay flavours, this is a rockstar wine that consistently over-delivers on value.
Wine: Devil’s Corner Chardonnay Tasmania
Price: $16.99 

Category: Lighter Red under $20
Verdict:This soft and polished go-to red is like a reliable friend. And talk about bang for your buck.
Wine: Cat Amongst the Pigeons Barossa Grenache Shiraz Mataro
Price: $15.99 

Category: Fuller Red Under $20
Verdict: This shiraz is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. It’s really fresh and plump, with a long finish that lingers.
Wine: The Butcher’s Friend Barossa Shiraz
Price: $15.70 

Category: Rosé
Verdict: If you’re looking for an Australian rosé around the $20 mark this is as good as it gets.
Wine: De Bortoli La Boheme Act Two Pinot Noir Rosé
Price: $19.99 

Category: Sparkling
Verdict: Take a break from the big name sparklings and grab this instead. The best wine you’ve ever tried.
Wine: Josef Chromy Pepik Tasmania Cuvée NV
Price: $29.99 

Category: Lighter White Over $20
Verdict: A super versatile wine that’s perfect for almost any occasion, from backyard BBQs to BYO dumplings.
Wine: Forest of the Echoes Riesling
Price: $24.99 

Category: Fuller White Over $20
Verdict: A New Zealand chardonnay that drinks the way the All Blacks play rugby: confident, intense, and always going the distance.
Wine: Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay

Category:Lighter Red Over $20
Verdict: Serve this to your wine-loving friends who think they know everything. It’ll surprise their taste buds.
Wine: Te Kairanga John Martin Pinot Noir
Price: $47.50

Category: Fuller Red Over $20
Verdict: Australians love a shiraz and this extremely likeable one showcases the classic Barossa style.
Wine: St Hallett Blackwell Shiraz
Price: $47.99 

For more information, interviews, or images, please contact [email protected] 

About the Dan Murphy’s Decoded Wine Awards 2021 

The Dan Murphy’s Decoded Wine Awards are for wine lovers, not experts. Now in its second year, 12 experts tasted over 1000 wines under full show judging conditions to find 10 winners and another 10 best value wines. In their verdicts, the judges focused on why the wines are great and how to best enjoy them instead of using confusing tasting notes like ‘muscular’ or ‘herbaceous’. For more information please email [email protected]


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