Highlights and surprises from the International Wine Challenge 2016
The world’s most prestigious wine competition, International Wine Challenge announces its 2016 medal results today following two weeks of intensive blind tasting in London last month. Amongst the big winners, the international panel of expert judges discovered more than a few surprise winners from all corners of the globe.
- Topping the chart was France with a massive haul of 130 Gold medals – and the Champagne region alone produced a whopping 50 Gold medals.
- Next in line was Australia which took home 80 Gold medals, while Portugal narrowly beat its Spanish neighbour to secure third place collecting 64 Gold medals, compared with Spain’s 63. Fourth place was nabbed by New Zealand that received 36 Golds, while Italy finished a very respectable fifth in the Gold medal chart with 28.
- The USA had a record year of success, securing five Gold medals. Four of the Golds were given to wines produced in California, however Oregon also made its mark, with a Gold for the Angela Estate ‘Angela Vineyard’ Pinot Noir 2013.
- South America put on a good show, with 11 Gold medals awarded to Argentine wines, while Chile picked up nine Gold medals. Argentine Malbec stormed the competition, scooping nine Golds, while Chile impressed across a range of red wine styles as well as securing two Gold medals for white wines. Brazil produced a Silver medal winner; the Raizes Gran Corte 2012 red from Casa Valduga Vinhos Finos. Vinicola San Lorenzo also claimed a Silver medal for Mexico with its Casa Madero Malbec 2014.
- Hungary had a record year of success at the competition taking home eight Gold medals. Tokaj, long famed for its sweet wines, produced six of the Gold medal winners. The Pécs region in the southwest of the country also produced a further sweet winner, the Matias Jégbor 2011, from Matias Borászat, and the Top Selection Grófi Juhfark 2013 by Tornai Pincészet, frpm the Somló region, was Hungary’s only Gold dry white.
- Swiss winemaker Charles Rolaz picked up a pair of Golds for Switzerland with Les Montbrisés, Sélection Charles Rolaz 2014 and the Ermitage – Sélection Charles Rolaz 2012, both dry whites.
- The Principality of Andorra won its first ever Gold with the Imagine 2014 by Celler Casa Auvinyà. Grown in the Sant Julià de Lòria region at around 1,200m altitude, this white wine blend was a big hit with the judges.
- Wine Company Shumi secured a single Gold for Georgia with its Ilerco 2012, made with the native Saperavi grape.
- Lebanon received its first Gold medal at the competition, for the Family Reserve 2008, a Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon blend by Château Heritage. Neighbouring Jordan also received its first ever Silver medal at the competition with the Jr Jordan River Reserve Viognier 2013 by Eagle Distilleries and Winery. Turkey continued its run of success from the previous years with an impressive lineup of 19 Silver medals and 30 Bronzes.
- After receiving its first Gold medal win last year, Taiwan took two Silver medals home this year for a pair of its Moscatos made by Domaine Shu Sheung National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism.
- China picked up three Silver medals, two for red wines both from Zhongfei Winery, the Zhongfei Reserve Cabernet Franc 2014 and the Zhongfei Reserve Shiraz 2014. The third Chinese Silver was won by the Shadong Taila Italian Riesling Sweet White Wine Late Vintage 2015.
- Visit the IWC website for the full list of winners: http://www.internationalwinechallenge.com
Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC commented:
“This year’s competition has been a treasure-trove of discoveries – with new countries and regions clamouring for attention. One of the real joys of being an IWC judge is coming across hidden gems from places you’d never have thought would make great wine. Our panel taste thousands and thousands of wines from around the world. Finding a Gold or Silver medal winner from somewhere quite unexpected always puts a smile on our faces.”
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