2017 Champions of the wine world revealed by International Wine Challenge
The 34th International Wine Challenge (IWC) announced its 2017 Champion wines last night at its annual awards dinner. Following an extensive blind-tasting process by the world’s finest wine judges, the IWC revealed the five wines that had beaten thousands of entries to claim this year’s top prizes.
- This year’s best bubbly and winner of the Daniel Thibault Trophy for Champion Sparkling Wine 2017 was Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut 2006. Described by the judges as ‘beautifully expressive and seductive’, this sparkling wine’s deep, blossomy aroma and delightful notes of croissant and brioche captivated the panel.
- France also triumphed in the white wine category, with Maison Albert Bichot Criots-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2014 receiving the IWC Champion White Wine 2017. This white Burgundy picked up a flurry of trophies including the French White Trophy and the International Chardonnay Trophy before securing this ultimate accolade. Its exquisite blend of lively citrus fruit with delicious hazelnut and honey notes impressed the judges and clinched the victory.
- New Zealand’s Rod McDonald Wines triumphed in the red wine category, the most hotly-contested of the competition. Produced in Hawke’s Bay, Rod McDonald Wines Quarter Acre Syrah 2015 was named IWC Champion Red Wine 2017. This young red beat thousands of other entries from around the world, thanks to its complex and sophisticated perfume of sandalwood, lavender, white pepper and rich red fruits.
- The Alois Kracher Trophy for Champion Sweet Wine 2017 went to Germany’s Weingut Horst Sauer for its Escherndorfer Lump Silvaner Beerenauslese 2015. The rich combination of luscious quince and pear aromas and its complex palate of apricot, kumquat and star anise ensured this stunning sweet wine from Franken in Germany secured Champion status.
- The winner of the Manuel Lozano Trophy for Champion Fortified Wine 2017 was a sherry from Spain’s Bodegas Tradición. Their Palo Cortado Tradición V.O.R.S. 30-Year-Old was praised for its beautiful balance, intense floral and nutty aromas, and hints of barley sugar and smoked oak.
- 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). The remaining shortlist was then tasted again by the IWC Co-Chairmen to decide which were the ultimate winners of each of the five categories.
- In addition to announcing its 2017 Red, White, Sparkling and Sweet Champions, the IWC also named its Champion of Champions 2017. This award goes to any past or current Champion wine re-entered this year and awarded a Trophy, qualifying it to be re-tasted by the International Wine Challenge Co-Chairmen who select their Champion of Champions. This year’s Champion of Champions was Champagne Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002. This received Champion status in IWC 2014, and impress the judges once again with its alluring blend of caramel and biscuit aromas and its perfect balance of youthful acidity with a rich creamy palate.
Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the International Wine Challenge, commented:
“Becoming an IWC Champion is a huge achievement, and is an acknowledgement of the knowledge, expertise and passion these winemakers pour into every single bottle. The 2017 Champions will go down in winemaking history. Beating thousands of entries from all corners of the globe is a real triumph, and these winners should be immensely proud of their victories. Each of these Champions will give glorious pleasure to anyone lucky enough to share a bottle.”
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