Tassie pinot wins Jimmy Watson

By Nola James

5 Nov, 2023

Lowestoft Estate takes out top gong at the 2023 Melbourne Royal Wine Awards.

The trophy winners for the 2023 Melbourne Royal Wine Awards were announced on Friday, November 3, with Lowestoft Wine’s 2022 Lowestoft La Maison Pinot Noir taking out the coveted Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy.

This is the first time Lowestoft Wine has won the award and just the third time a pinot noir has claimed the Jimmy, following the pinot noir wins of Home Hill in 2015 and Yabby Lake Vineyard in 2013.

The Jimmy Watson Trophy, awarded to the best one- or two-year-old red in show, is one of the most prestigious and sought after wine awards in Australia. Now in its 60th year, the style of wine likely to claim the trophy has evolved from the ‘Hermitage’ style shiraz and cabernet sauvignons of the 1960s.

Lowestoft winery and vineyardLowestoft's 2022 Lowestoft La Maison Pinot Noir has taken out the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy.

A shifting tide towards lighter-style reds came to the fore in 2011, when Tasmania’s Nick Glaetzer won the trophy with his 2010 Glaetzer-Dixon Family Mon Pere Shiraz. Last year, Hentley Farm Wines took out the gong with its 2021 The Old Legend Grenache.

The 2022 La Maison Pinot Noir was also awarded the James Halliday Trophy for Best Pinot Noir, which is the third consecutive year La Maison has taken out the top pinot gong. The 2020 La Maison was named Pinot Noir of the Year in the 2023 Halliday Wine Companion with a score of 96 points. 

Other Melbourne Royal Wine Award winners include Handpicked Wines, who won the François De Castella Trophy for Best Young White for its 2022 Handpicked Wines Wombat Creek Vineyard Yarra Valley Chardonnay. The same wine was also awarded Best Chardonnay and Best Victorian Chardonnay.

The Douglas Seabrook Trophy for Best Single Vineyard Wine went to McWilliam's Wines 2022 Single Vineyard Shiraz, with the same wine also taking out the Trevor Mast Trophy for Best Shiraz. In their first win at the Awards, Tasmania’s Freycinet Vineyards won the Dr Tony Jordan Trophy for Best Sparkling. 

For the full results listing, head to