Thu 25 Jun 2015

International Wine Challenge and Decanter Award-Winning Wines

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The Society exists solely for members’ benefit, and your kind feedback confirms our satisfaction with our wine range. It is, however, always heartening to see wines we stock recognised by the industry as being ‘best in class’.

The results of the 2015 IWC (International Wine Challenge) and Decanter World Wine Awards have been announced, with a raft of gold medals to celebrate, topped off with some coveted regional and international trophies. Some are available now (hyperlinked below), others later in the year.

International Wine Challenge Trophies

International Wine Challenge TrophyViña Undurraga T.H. Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo 2012 (£11.50)
Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy – International Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy
We have been following Chilean winemaker Rafael Urrejola’s elegant wines since his time at Viña Leyda. He is perhaps the most talented winemaker of his generation. At Undurraga he has been given free rein to go out and search for wines made from the best combinations of grape variety, soil and climate in a project called ‘TH’ or ‘Terroir Hunter’. His wines are always beautifully balanced, and this exciting red is formed more by its terroir than a caricature of its grape variety, producing a wine which is the opposite of the soft and squidgy new world ‘fruit bomb’ style.

The Society’s Exhibition Crozes-Hermitage 2012 (£11.95)
Crozes-Hermitage Trophy
We were delighted to see this wine rated so highly in only its second vintage. Nicolas Jaboulet was tasked with using his extensive contacts in the northern Rhône to come up with a blend, all coming from well-known growers, before being bottled by the Perrin family. This is a fragrant, full and refined Crozes, with blackberry fruit and a hint of peppery spice.

Framingham Classic Riesling 2012 (£11.95)
Marlborough Riesling Trophy
Andrew Hedley has a marksman’s touch with the riesling grape, and this wine, utilising the oldest riesling vines in New Zealand, has been well received by members and the press since its introduction last year. Like an aristocratic German riesling, albeit not too dry, electrocuted with Marlborough freshness.

Pieropan La Rocca 2012 (£22.50)
Soave Trophy
Sons Andrea and Dario run this exceptional estate, although still under the watchful eye of father Nino, whose relationship with The Society goes back for decades. Not the first time that this wine has won the Soave Trophy, and doubtless not the last!

Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva Mirum La Monacesca 2012 and Matetic Vineyards EQ Syrah 2012, which will arrive shortly, also won the San Antonio Valley Syrah and Marche White Trophies respectively. The Society’s Exhibition New Zealand Chardonnay 2013, now sadly out of stock, also won the Kumeu Chardonnay Trophy, Auckland Chardonnay Trophy and overall New Zealand Chardonnay Trophy.

Decanter Trophies

Decanter World Wine Awards TrophyRiesling Grand Cru Kirchberg, Domaine Louis Sipp 2013 (£23)
Dry White Alsace over £15 Trophy
We were delighted to see this bone-dry, mineral, richly flavoured and very long Alsace riesling being recognised. This comes from a top grand cru vineyard, one of the region’s finest, overlooking Ribeauvillé, and a vintage perfectly suited to the riesling grape.

La Rioja Alta 890 Seleccion Especial Gran Reserva 2001 (£75)
Red Rioja Gran Reserva over £15 Trophy
We are delighted to have secured more stock of this expensive but simply remarkable Rioja, described by buyer Pierre Mansour as ‘a uniquely brilliant wine.’ 2001 is a highly acclaimed Rioja vintage, and winemaker Julio Sáenz describes it ambitiously as ‘the best 890 in our history.’ Such is the quality of this 2001 gran reserva that it has been deemed the highest distinction of ‘Selección Especial’ (the first time in La Rioja Alta’s history).

Paul Ginglinger Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Pfersigberg 2013 (International Trophy: Off-Dry over £15), Terrunyo Carménère Lot N°1 2013 (Chilean Red Single-Varietal over £15) and Soalheiro Alvarinho Vinho Verde Monção e Melgaço, 2014 (White Northern Portugal over £15) are all en route.

Gold-Medal Winners

At the IWC, sparkling success came in the form of a gold for Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV (£43). Lustau Botaina Amontillado (£11.50) and Cayetano del Pino Palo Cortado Solera (£14.50) flew the flag for sherry, whilst the stylish and now-ready Taylor’s 1985 port (£75) also won.

Look out also for an Antipodean trio of winners coming soon in the form of Pask Declaration Syrah 2013 (New Zealand) and Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 2012.

Fortified wines also performed well at Decanter, and golds were awarded to Hidalgo Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada (£10.50) and Osborne Capuchino Palo Cortado, 30 years old 50cl (£21), continuing sherry’s rich vein of form this year, and Henriques & Henriques Bual, 15 years old 50cl (£25) from Madeira.

Forthcoming Decanter gold-medal winners include Paul Ginglinger Riesling Grand Cru Pfersigberg 2013 from Alsace, Muga Selección Especial Rioja Reserva 2010, Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 from California and Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2012.

Categories : Wine Competitions

Comments

  1. Allan Cole says:

    You appear to have missed out the wines from Ch Salettes, Bandol.
    International Trophy for the rose and Gold for the white.

    • Martin Brown says:

      Impressively eagle-eyed! Left out at the time of publication as there was a slight issue with the timing of our order, but delighted to confirm Salettes will be with us soon.

  2. Gavin whyte says:

    There ought to be a clear link on the site (not one tucked away somewhere that didn’t even open when I tried it) to all WS wines that have medalled in these two competitions and that should be online ASAP after the awards are announced. The point is that these awards are independent whereas having the wine society’s Portuguese/Alsace etc buyer commenting on the quality of the Portuguese/Alsace wines lacks a certain objectivity shall we say, however well-intentioned. Think Sepp Blatter reporting on FIFA’s acheivements for the year (but in that case without the well-intentioned bit!).

    • Martin Brown says:

      Thanks for your comment. Firstly I’m sorry to hear that a link didn’t work when you clicked it – do let us know where this was and we will endeavour to put that right. Tucking it away was certainly not our intention, purely that the blog was a good way of broadcasting more topical material, and we placed a link to this post from the ‘awards’ section of our website. We did publish this asap after the awards’ announcements and as such did so prior to the write-ups from the panels being readily available: we simply wanted to share the news with our membership and any other interested parties. I hope this goes some way to clarify our decision to post this here and in this way, and that it addresses your concerns.
      Martin Brown
      The Wine Society

      • Gavin Whyte says:

        Thank you for your reply and certainly this time the link worked perfectly and all the information I hoped to see when I tried before is there. I suppose in an ideal world I would like to be informed once the awards are announced which wines won which medals without having to check the website periodically to see if i’ve even got the right month but I appreciate I may be alone in this. Many thanks again for getting back.

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