Last Wines Standing: The International Wine Challenge announces its shortlist for the Champion wines of 2016
IWC announces finalists still in the running to be named Champion wines of 2016
The International Wine Challenge today announces its shortlist of wines still in with a chance of being named Champions of 2016. Following two weeks of intensive blind tasting in London last month, and the medal announcement last week, the IWC has revealed the finalists competing to take home the ultimate accolade. From the thousands of wines entered and tasted, one wine from the Red, White, Sparkling, Fortified and Sweet will receive Champion status. The final results will be announced at the IWC Awards Dinner on 7th July in London.
- 12 exceptional wines have been shortlisted for the accolade of Champion Red. In addition to the usual suspects such as Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and USA, there are a few surprise entries still in the running; Lebanon’s Château Heritage Family Reserve 2008, and Georgia’s Kakheti Wine Company Shumi Ilerco 2012 are both included in this year’s shortlist.
- Thirteen superb white wines are competing to be named Champion White this year, including entries from Australia, Austria, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. The dark horses in this category are the Chardonnay JCR Rosehall Vineyard 2013 from Canada, Hungary’s Top Selection Grófi Juhfark 2013 by Tornia Pincészet and the Ermitage Sélection Charles Rolaz 2012 from Swiss producer Charles Rolaz, Hammel-Terres de Vins.
- Three sparkling wines from England, France and Spain are in the race for Champion Sparkling. With its Blanc de Blanc 2009, Sussex sparkling wine producer Nyetimber is competing against the French Cuvée Orpale Grand Cru 2002 by Champagne de Saint Gall and the Torelló Brut Nature Gran Reserva from Spanish producer Torelló.
- Eight dessert wines are vying for sweet success in the Champion Sweet category. Powerhouses of sweet wine production such as Austria, France and Germany are represented, however the list also includes wines created in Hungary, Italy, New Zealand and South Africa as well as Croatia’s only finalist – the Muŝkat momjanski San Salvatore 2011 by Benvenuti.
- Four finalists fight it out for Champion Fortified, with two of the shortlisted wines coming from Portugal. Madeira’s Henriques & Henriques 50 Year Old Tinta Negra Rich is battling against Kopke Colheita 1941, a port by Sogevinus. Australia’s Morris Wines Old Premium Rare Liqueur Topaque NV is also in the running, along with Cuatro Palmas NV, a Spanish sherry from Gonzàlez Byass.
The IWC also announced its International Varietal Trophies today – naming the best examples using single grape varieties.
- France picked up three trophies for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Viognier this year. The winning Pinot Noir was the Jean Claude Boisset Close de la Roche Grand Cru 2014, and the Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2014 by Domaine Christian Moreau Père Et Fils received the International Chardonnay Trophy. The International Viognier Trophy went to Gilles Flacher for its Condrieu Les Rouelles 2013.
- Australia received a pair of international trophies; McLeish Estate Cellar Reserve Semillon 2007 took the International Semillon Trophy and Domaine Naturaliste Sauvage Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2014 received the International Sauvignon Semillon Trophy.
- New Zealand scooped two International varietal trophies. after an exceptional year for Kiwi Sauvingon Blanc at the competition Blind River Sauvignon Blanc 2015 was named the International Sauvignon Blanc winner. The International Syrah Trophy went to Matua Single Vineyard Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014.
- Finally, the International Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy was awarded to USA producer Terlato for its Chimney Rock Sauvignon 2012.
IWC Winemakers of the Year 2016:
Sparkling Winemaker of the Year
Champagne Henriot Laurent Fresnet
Charles Heidsieck Cyril Brun
Nyetimber Limited Cherie Spriggs
White Winemaker of the Year
Christian Moreau Fabien Moreau
Domaine De La Vougeraie Pierre Vincent
La Chablisienne Vincent Bartement
Red Winemaker of the Year
Cave De Roquebrun Alain Rogier
Penfolds Peter Gago
Wolf Blass Wines Chris Hatcher
Sweet Winemaker of the Year
De Bortoli Julie Mortlock
Weingut Hermann Fink Hermann Fink
Weinlaubenhof Horst Sauer Horst & Sandra Sauer
Fortified WineMaker of the Year
Emilio Lustau In recognition of Manuel Lozano (Posthumous)
González Byass Antonio Flores
Sogevinus Fine Wines Carlos Alves
Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC, commented:
“The International Wine Challenge certainly lives up to its name with shortlisted Champion wines coming from all corners of the globe. Whatever happens at the IWC Awards Dinner in July when the final Champions are named, every one of these wines should be very proud of their accomplishment.”
Visit the IWC website for the full list of winners: http://www.internationalwinechallenge.com