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

Champagne Review: Baron-Fuenté NV Grands Cépages Chardonnay

Liz Palmer Champagne ReviewThis is Baron-Fuenté’s top wine. Light gold hue with expressive nose intermixing aromas of pear, nuts and citrus fruit; the palate is well-balanced; the minerality is palpable with a zingy edge and lemon-zest flavors which flow through to a long palate.

Pair with:
This fruity well-balanced champagne will be ideal with turbot and dill, lemon-pie or excellent as an aperitif.

Variety: 100% Chardonnay

Winery: Baron-Fuenté

Sugar Content: 6 g/L

Sweetness Descriptor: XD – Extra Dry

Style: Rich & Complex

Date Published: July 20, 2017

Wine Review: Fleur Du Cap 2016 Bergkelder Selection Chardonnay

Varietal: Chardonnay (100%)
Region: Western Cape, South Africa
Producer: Bergkelder Ltd.
Alcohol: 13.6%

This lush offering is medium-bodied, brilliantly clear with light straw hues; boasts fresh citrus notes on the nose followed by hints of tropical fruit, revealing hints of oak and spice, which unveils right through on the taste; a beautiful balance between sweetness and acidity that leads to long lingering finish.

Suggested Food Pairing
This wine works wonders with seafood especially shellfish, mussels and oysters. It is also a good choice for creamy curies, rich chicken dishes and medium cheeses. Serve chilled, but not ice cold.

liz-palmer.com – June 13, 2017
Rating: 90 points

Notes:
Fleur du Cap has been ranked amongst the world’s finest Chardonnays as one of only two South African wines to receive a gold medal at the 2015 Chardonnay du Monde competition in Burgundy, France.

http://www.fleurducap.co.za/
www.instagram.com/fleurducapwines/
https://twitter.com/FleurduCapWines?lang=en

Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay 2015  – Wine Review

Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay 2015  
Wine Review

Lush tropical fruit integrated with some citrus notes. These flavors are carried through to the palate with some hints of vanilla spice to round out the long, lingering finish.

Recommended Food Pairings:

White meats, brie, goat cheese, parmesan, butter and cream sauces.

Notes:

America’s #1 selling Chardonnay for 25 years!

90/100
Liz Palmer
March 14 2017

Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay 2015 [Niagara] – Wine Review

Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay 2015 [Niagara]
 Wine Review

Aromas of orchard blossoms and fruit, with hints of dark earth and integrated oak. Shows elegance on the palate with creamy orchard fruits (apple and pear), seamless spice with a tangy lengthy finish.

Recommended Food Pairings:

Bloomy-rind cheeses, creamy seafood, roasted chicken and roast pork with apples.

Tip:

Serve slightly chilled.

90/100 Liz Palmer

March 10 2017