International Wine Challenge: 2019 Trophy winners

The International Wine Challenge, a British-based wine challenge has revealed its 2019 Trophy winners.

 The Process
Several hundred sommeliers and industry professionals blind-taste over 13,000 entries in three tasting rounds during a two-week period. The wines which score 85 points and over, in the initial round, advance to the second round, where they are awarded gold, silver and bronze medals. The third and final round is exclusively for the gold-medal winners, to assess which is the trophy winner of its class.

Here are some of the winners!

Four years in a row: Syrah Trophy win for New Zealand

New Zealand has been awarded the International Syrah Trophy for the fourth year in a row. The best Syrah has been named as Te Awanga Estate’s Trademark Syrah 2015, which won the Hawke’s Bay Syrah Trophy and International Syrah Trophy.  The Te Awanga Estate wine was also awarded the New Zealand Red Trophy, fighting off stiff competition from New Zealand’s world-famous Pinot Noirs.

IWC co-chair Peter McCombie MW said: “There isn’t much Syrah planted in New Zealand but what there is makes world-class wine. Stylistically closer to Rhone Valley than Barossa Valley, we expect New Zealand Syrah to have abundant fruit and remarkable freshness. Te Awanga, winner of the New Zealand Red Trophy, is a brilliant example of this style.”

Own-label supermarket wines 

Two supermarket own-label wines were awarded Trophies this year:

  • Waitrose Côtes de Provence Rosé 2018 won the Provence Rosé Trophy; and
  • Tesco took home the Amarone Trophy for its Cantina Valpantena’s Tesco Finest Amarone 2015.

Italy crowned Rosé champion

Provence may be the most famous rosé region in the world, but a Sicilian rosé made from Nerello Mascalese has been awarded the International Rosé Trophy. Torre Mora’s Scalunera Etna Rosato 2018 scored 96 points on its way to receiving both the Sicilian Rosé Trophy and the International Rosé Trophy.

Top Chardonnay

The top Chardonnay is from France’s Chablis region:

  • Domaine Christian Moreau’s Chablis Grand Cru les Clos 2017 won four Trophies – Chablis Grand Cru Trophy, White Burgundy Trophy, French White Trophy, and International Chardonnay Trophy.

Top Pinot Noir

  • France’s Burgundy region also produced the top Pinot Noir in the competition, Château de Santenay’s Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2017 which won the Clos du Vougeot Trophy, Red Burgundy Trophy and International Pinot Noir Trophy.

First red success for China

To celebrate the increase in quality from China, the IWC judging panel awarded a Chinese Red Trophy for the first time this year, with the top gong going to China Great Wall’s Five Star Cabernet Sauvignon 2016.

Winemakers of the Year shortlist

The IWC has also announced the shortlist for its Winemaker of the Year 2019. The winner will be announced at the IWC 2019 Awards Dinner on July 9, 2019, at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.

The shortlist shows that the 2018 Winemakers of the Year in each category are putting up a strong fight to retain their titles (namely Hervé J. Fabre, Didier Séguier, Sergio Martínez, Cherie Spriggs, and Helmut Lang).

Shortlisted IWC Red Winemaker of the Year 2019

  • Bodegas Fabre – Hervé J. Fabre
  • Bird in Hand – Dylan Lee
  • Edouard Delaunay – Christophe Briotet
  • Wolf Blass – Chris Hatcher & Steven Frost

Shortlisted IWC White Winemaker of the Year 2019

  • La Chablisienne – Vincent Bartement
  • McGuigan – Neil McGuigan
  • William Fevre – Didier Séguier

Shortlisted IWC Fortified Winemaker of the Year 2019

  • Emilio Lustau – Sergio Martínez
  • Morris Wines – David Morris
  • González Byass – Antonio Flores

Shortlisted IWC Sparkling Winemaker of the Year 2019

  • Nyetimber – Cherie Spriggs
  • Charles Heidsieck – Cyril Brun
  • Domaine Chandon California – Pauline Lhote
  • Champagne Rare – Régis Camus

Shortlisted IWC Sweet Winemaker of the Year 2019

  • Weingut Helmut Lang – Helmut Lang
  • Hans Tschida – Hans Tschida
  • Weingut Horst Sauer – Horst & Sandra Sauer

IWC Own Label of the Year Shortlist 2019

  • Aldi
  • Berry Brothers & Rudd
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Tesco

Full list of awards found here:  www.internationalwinechallenge.com

New Zeland Wine Exports on Track to Exceed Forecasts

HAPPY SAUVIGNON BLANC DAY!

A recent report released by Dutch bank Rabobank reveals modest growth for New Zealand wine exports, with analysts predicting that the industry is on track to exceed the 2019 forecasts.

Hayden Higgins, senior analyst of horticulture and wine, said: “In early 2019, wine import growth continued the slowdown witnessed in 2018 for both the US and China, while Brexit has been thrown a lifeline, for now”.

New Zealand’s export value and volume is in line to exceed MPI 2019 forecasts. Rabobank expects overall value growth to be around NZ$60 million, representing a 4% year-on-year change.

Higgins said: “Wine export revenue to the US contracted slightly in the 12 months to February 2019 by around 1%, but the US remains our lead market by value.

“Total US wine imports, on a case equivalent basis, contracted by 4% in the 12 months to December 2018, but New Zealand achieved overall growth at the expense of other exporters such as Chile, Australia, Spain and South Africa.

“Total US import volumes contracted again in the first two months of 2019, but at a slower rate than 2018.”

Rabobank expects continuous modest US value and volume import growth for New Zealand Wine across 2019. Although downside risks do exist in 2020, with the potential for a modest US recession looming, New Zealand continues to experience strong wine export growth to China, off a small base.

In regards to Brexit, Rabobank expects importers to run down current inventory levels, and then start rebuilding stocks in the third quarter, prior to the new Brexit date.

The release of the report coincides with International Sauvignon Blanc Day today. New Zealand Winegrowers has launched a promotional campaign, beginning in New Zealand before rolling out to a series of events globally.

Chris Yorke, global marketing director of New Zealand Winegrowers, said: “New Zealand produces less than 1% of the world’s wine production, but Sauvignon Blanc shows huge popularity all over the globe, with the zesty variety making up 86% of all wine exported from New Zealand.

“International Sauvignon Blanc Day gives us an opportunity to enjoy and celebrate the diverse styles of this sought-after variety.”

Sauvignon Blanc was commercially produced on New Zealand shores for the first time in 1979, and is now New Zealand’s most widely planted variety. New Zealand wine exports are currently valued at $1.75 billion, while 98% of New Zealand’s vineyard producing area is Sustainable Winegrowing NZ certified.

 

Sources:  Dutch bank Rabobank

Inter Rhône has launched a new campaign across key markets for Côtes du Rhône Wines

Following a soft launch during Wine Paris, the new campaign for Côtes du Rhône Wines is being rolling out across key markets including the  UK, US, Germany, Belgium and France.

The Campaign will engage consumers between 30 and 45 and will include the tagline ‘Distinctive wines since 125 BC‘ which celebrates the region’s long history and its impact on the character, profile and quality of Côtes du Rhône wines.

The new, eye-catching campaign focuses on the intrinsic features of the appellation which have enabled the Rhône to become one of France’s leading AOC. The campaign highlights its history, the expertise of its winemakers and wine merchants, cultural heritage and provenance with a contemporary feel and a touch of wit.

Etienne Maffre, co-president of the appellation, said: “As we become increasingly globalized – notably through the internet and social media – we felt it was a good time to focus our message on our roots. The ‘Made in France’ concept continues to be a highly successful trend, synonymous of quality and authenticity. Tapping into our provenance will resonate internationally and support our premiumisation strategy”.

“Our new campaign showcases the key qualities that have made our wines so popular,” says Philippe Pellaton, joint president of the appellation.” We’re celebrating our terroir, experience, rich diversity and extraordinary heritage – elements that are truly unique to us. We’re convinced this visual approach will resonate with both the trade and curious wine lovers, in the UK and globally.”

Côtes du Rhône has always been a trail blazer when it comes to advertising, from its iconic and multi-award-winning Think Red campaign, to the data-driven ‘Everyday Sophistication’ London underground campaign of 2017.

Alongside the new ads, Côtes du Rhône is introducing a new logo which is reflective of the region’s geographical and historical roots. In a design that is both modern and heraldic, the logo links three icons of the Rhône: The Bridge of Avignon (Pont Saint-Bénézet), the river and the vine – strongly cementing Avignon as the capital and historic birthplace of the appellation.

About Côtes du Rhône Wines

The majority wines come from the southern region. 80% of Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages wines are red, along with producing whites and rosés. The reds are primarily made from a blend of fruity Grenache, spicy Mourvèdre and full-bodied Syrah. Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages are easy-drinking, food-friendly wines that are excellent served with a slight chill.

World wine production reached a record of 292.3 mhl in 2018

World wine production reached a Record high in 2018 in a clear departure from the historically low production of 2017, but consumption stabilized, according to  Pau Roca, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) Director General in his presentation April 11, 2019

Global wine output for 2018 rose 17% to 292.3 million hectoliters (mhl) which was close to the exceptionally high level of 2004, driven by Italy, France, and Spain.  These three countries recording output at least 13% above their five-year averages states Roca.

Top performers:

Italy confirmed its position as the world’s largest producer with 54.8mhl, followed by France with 49.1mhl and Spain, which produced 44.4mhl.

In the US, wine production in 2018 increased by more than 0.5mhl compared with 2017, with production in Argentina growing 2.7mhl to reach 14.5mhl.

Chile recorded a 3.4mhl increase to reach 12.9mhl.

Declining:

Brazil saw its production fall to 3.1mhl in 2018.

South Africa produced 9.5mhl in 2018 – a 1.4mhl decrease compared with 2017 due to the impact of the drought.

Britain recorded a 3.1% drop in consumption to 12.3mhl, while mainland China recorded the biggest decrease in consumption among the world’s top 20 largest wine consumers, down 6.6% to 18mhl.

The slight decrease could be due to extreme weather in Europe, including drought and storms.

Stability:

Australian production remained stable, with 12.9mhl vinified. New Zealand produced 3.0mhl, an increase of 0.2mhl since 2017.

In terms of global consumption, 246mhl was consumed in 2018 compared with 246.7mhl in 2017, the OIV estimated, adding estimates were tentative due to limited data.

Global trade in 2018 increased slightly in terms of volume, with 108mhl traded; it also rose by 1.2% in terms of value, reaching €31.3 billion.

Wine exports in 2018 continued to be largely dominated by Spain, Italy, and France, which together accounted for more than 50% of the global market by volume, equating to 54.8mhl.

Spain continued to be the biggest exporter by volume with 20.9mhl, representing 19.4% of the global market. France was the biggest world exporter by value, with €9.3 billion exported in 2018.

Bottled wines made up 70% of the total value of wines exported in 2018. By value, sparkling wines accounted for 20% of the global market, despite representing just 9% of the total volume exported.

The OIV the total world area under vines at 7.4mha, which is almost equivalent to that of 2017.

Further Details
http://www.oiv.int/fr/vie-de-loiv/2923-millions-dhectolitres-la-production-mondiale-de-vin-atteint-un-record-en-2018

Larkin Launches Premium Canned Wine

Larkin Wines, a boutique Napa winery which specializes in premium wines, has launched the first super-premium canned wine range to hit the UK market. The wines are aimed at specialty food retailers, drink retailers and event specialists.

The range includes: Larkin Napa Valley White 2017 is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Roussane; Larkin Napa Valley Red 2017 is a 100% Merlot; and Larkin Napa Valley Pink 2018 is a 100% Pinot Noir from Carneros.

Grapes have been sourced from the same small plot vineyards used for Larkin bottlings.

How the idea came about:

“The idea for Larkin came about when I was at the beach with friends and we had no wine due to the no glass policy. I started researching alternatively-packaged wines already on the market, and quickly realized there was no offer within the super-premium category” said owner/winemaker Sean Larkin.

UK distribution will be through James Hocking Wine, the new specialist boutique Californian agency. The cans will retail in UK at £9.99 for 37.5cl.

http://jacklarkin.com/

jameshockingwine.com