Top drops: International Wine Challenge announces its 2016 Champions
Five wines are crowned Champions of the 2016 IWC, beating thousands of other entries
The 33rd International Wine Challenge announced its 2016 Champion wines last night at its prestigious awards dinner, following an intensive and rigorous blind judging process by the world’s finest wine experts. European wines dominated, with Champions from France, Spain and Austria.
- France came out on top, with three Champions this year. Champagne de Saint Gall Cuvée Orpale Grand Cru 2002 received the Daniel Thibault Trophy for Champion Sparkling Wine 2016. This elegant sparkling wine was praised for its luxurious combination of shortbread, cream and lemon notes, and was described by the judging panel as ‘impossibly youthful.’
- Domaine Christian Moreau Père Et Fils received the 2016 Champion White Wine award for its Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2014. Its sophisticated blend of apple, cinnamon and honeysuckle flavours seduced the IWC judges during the blind tasting, beating thousands of other entries to scoop the top prize in the white wine category.
- The Champion Red of the year also came from Burgundy. Jean Claude Boisset’s Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2014 was best of the best in the red wine category. This richly-fruited Pinot Noir impressed with its polished oak and overall balance, and judges suggested it will get even better with time.
- Austrian producer Weingut Hermann Fink received the 2016 Alois Kracher Trophy for Champion Sweet for their Cuvèe Wrchnb TBA 2013. The IWC judges loved the delicious combination of orange marmalade, rhubarb crumble and marzipan flavours in this sweet botrytis wine, as it stormed to victory. Head winemaker at the family run vineyard, Hermann Fink, was also named IWC Sweet Winemaker of the Year.
- The Manuel Lozano Trophy for Champion Fortified Wine 2016 was awarded to Cuatro Palmas Amontillado, by Spanish sherry producer González Byass. This sherry enticed the judges with its extraordinary complex bouquet, with aromas ranging from burnt orange peel to dried sweet mushroom. The company’s master blender, Antonio Flores, also received the prize for IWC Fortified Winemaker of the Year.
- These Champion wines were selected following a rigorous judging process, beating thousands of contenders from all around the world. The wines were awarded IWC Trophies during two weeks of tasting in April this year at London’s Kia Oval. The best wines in each style from every country were then awarded National Trophies (i.e. Italian Red Trophy). Finally, these national Champions went head to head before the Co-Chairmen of the IWC to decide which were the ultimate winners of each of the five categories.
- The IWC Champion of Champions Award went to sherry producer Harveys. The Harveys Very Old Amontillado 30 Year Old V.O.R.S, received this prestigious prize, which is open to all wines that have received Champion status in a previous competition. If past Champions are entered again into the competition and receive a trophy, they qualify to be re-tasted again and the International Wine Challenge panel chairs select their Champion of Champions each year.
- For further information on the International Wine Challenge and the 2016 winners please visit: www.internationalwinechallenge.com
Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC commented:
“This year’s IWC has been one of the most competitive we have ever seen, and these Champion wines are truly amazing. Anyone lucky enough to get their hands on any one of these wines will be in wine-lover’s heaven. To beat thousands of entries from all around the world, and come out on top in this competition is a huge achievement.”