Vive la France: France tops medal table at International Wine Challenge 2015, picking up 1237 gongs
France dominates medal count at IWC, impressing across multiple styles
- France cements position as winemaking champion of the world with 1,237 medal winners
- 111 French wines received the much-coveted IWC Gold medal
- Burgundy and Champagne tied for the highest number of Gold medals, each scooping 31
France has yet again proved itself to be the undisputed master of fine wine production, after its winemakers were awarded an outstanding 1,237 medals at this year’s International Wine Challenge. France topped the medals table, scooping 412 more medals than its closest rival Australia. No stranger to victory, France has topped the chart every year since the International Wine Challenge was founded 32 years ago in 1983. 111 French wines scooped a Gold medal, while 427 secured a Silver medal and 699 won Bronze.
- Winemakers from Burgundy and Champagne lead the Gold charge, each region collecting 31Gold medals.
- In Burgundy, 31 gongs were awarded to wines created with its traditional grapes of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, all from the 2012 or 2013 vintages. The region of Chablis put in a very strong performance, with 10 entries striking Gold at the competition.
- Domaine de la Vougeraie was pivotal to Burgundy’s success, picking up a glittering haul of eight Golds, three Silvers and a Bronze medal. This family-owned estate received Gold medals for four of its white wines, including the 2012 Beaune and the 2012 Savigny-lès-Beaune. Proving it is a master of both white and red wine, Domaine de la Vougeraie also received four Gold medals for its reds, including its 2013 Chambolle-Musigny and 2013 Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru “Clos de Thorey” Monopole.
- The Jean-Claude Boisset company also performed well at the competition, scooping three Gold medals for its 2013 Saint Aubin 1er cru En Remilly, its 2013 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru and its 2012 Santenay 1er Cru La Maladière. The prestigious winery also received six Silvers and two Bronzes.
- Maison Albert Bichot also joined the wave of Burgundy successes with three Gold medals. Again, these came in both red and white, for the red 2012 Clos-de-Vougeot Grand Cru, Domaine du Clos Frantin and 2012 Echézeaux Grand Cru, Domaine du Clos Frantin, and the white 2013 Meursault Charmes, Domaine du Pavillon, as well as three further Silvers and a Bronze
- Winemakers in Champagne also put in a cracking performance, producing 31 Gold medal winners. Champagne house Charles Heidsieck picked up the highest number of Gold medals. It won five, including three for its 1983, 1985 and 1995 Blanc des Millénaires vintage champagnes.
- Piper-Heidsieck and Veuve Clicquot both received three Gold medals each. Piper-Heidsieck’s Cuveé Sublime Demi-Sec NV, Brut Vintage 2006 and its Rare 1998 all wowed the judges. Veuve Clicquot’s La Grande Dame 2004, Cave Privée 1989, and Rosé Cave Privée 1990 also scooped Gold.
- Tesco finest* Vintage Grand Cru Champagne 2007 (made for the retailer by Union Champagne) also struck Gold, and its price tag of £24.99 demonstrates how you don’t need to break the bank to get a top-notch champagne.
- Bordeaux produced seven Gold medal winners, as well as 35 Silvers and 78 Bronzes. Merlot-dominated reds topped the medal table, with five Bordeaux estates striking Gold, including Château Cantelauze 2011 and Château de Malleret’s M de Malleret 2012. The dry white Château Brown 2013, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon, won the only Gold for dry white Bordeaux.
- British shoppers looking to get a taste of France’s Gold medal-winning wines need to look no further than their supermarkets, as a number of own-brand and exclusive supermarket wines struck Gold at this year’s International Wine Challenge. The Tesco aisles will be shining with Gold medal winners after both its Tesco Finest* Vintage Grand Crus Champagne 2007 and the Tesco Finest* Chablis 2013 scored Gold at the IWC. Other notable supermarket French Golds include Sainsbury’s Winemakers Selection Champagne Blanc de Blanc NV and Morrisons Signature Chablis 1er Cru 2013.
- Top honours went to co-operative winery, Cave de Roquebrun, from St-Chinian in the Languedoc. It received six Gold medals for its reds, including the 2012 Les Fiefs d’Aupenac and the 2014 Terrasses de Mayline, as well as a further eight Silvers and eight Bronzes.
- The Cave des Vignerons de Pfaffenheim in Alsace also performed well, with a Gold medal being awarded to its Sélection de Grains Nobles Gewurztraminer 2009, plus six Silvers and 12 Bronzes. The ever-reliable La Chablisienne co-op also picked up a generous haul of medals, with a Gold for its Chablis 1er Cru Montmains 2012, in addition to eight Silver medals and two Bronzes.
- Domaine de la Verrière, an estate in the Rhône valley belonging to Xavier Rolet, Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange, and his wife Nicole, received two Gold medals a Silver medal and a pair of Bronzes.
- London got a taste of French success with its first working winery, London Cru picking up a Silver medal for its SW6 2013. The company transports Chardonnay grapes from the Roussillon region in a refrigerated lorry to its winery in South West London.
- Visit the IWC website for the full list of winners: http://www.internationalwinechallenge.com
Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC, commented:
“We have had a splendid haul of medals from France this year, with Burgundy and Champagne excelling as ever. France’s co-ops are in great shape too, with good medal hauls from co-ops as far apart as Alsace, Champagne, Chablis and the Languedoc. And Bordeaux made a bit of a comeback this year. France continues to dominate the medal table, and cement its position as winemaking champion of the world.”