The results are in following Tranche 1 of the International Wine Challenge (IWC), and there is plenty to write home about! In its 36th year, the International Wine Challenge is accepted as the world’s finest and most meticulously judged competition and with 212 wine experts from 23 countries putting the wines to the test, there was very little ambiguity about the answers that came out of the four days of judging that took place at The Oval earlier this month.
Fortifying times for supermarket wines
It’s been well documented that supermarkets are working hard to improve the quality of their own label wine, bringing in expert buying teams including MWs to help select the best wine for their customers. It looks like this tactic is proving to be successful given the impressive selection of supermarket own brands that won the highly coveted IWC Gold medal. Overall, 11 of the Gold medals in the competition went to the supermarkets, spanning all categories, bar rosé. The fortified category was the one that most impressed for the supermarket own brands. Marks & Spencer’s bringing in two top gongs for its own label Sherry and Port made by Emilio Lustau and Taylor’s respectively, while Waitrose brought in one Gold for its Palo Cortado, also made by Lustau.
England and France the only countries to win Gold medals for sparkling wines
While Champagne dominated the sparkling wine category, England was the only other country whose wines were deemed Gold-worthy. Both Ridgeview from Sussex and Raimes from Hampshire were awarded Gold with 95 points for their Blanc de Blancs 2014 and Classic Brut 2014 respectively. No other sparkling wine from any other region scored Gold.
Charles Metcalfe, Co-chair of the competition, said “England and France are the only Gold medal winners among sparkling wines! That is amazing, and shows the astonishing improvements English producers have achieved over the past few years, battling head-to-head with Champagne.”
For the full results, check out the website here.