International Wine Challenge

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The International Wine Challenge (IWC) owned by William Reed Business Media is now in its 35th year. The IWC is accepted as the world's finest and most meticulously judged wine competition which assesses every wine blind and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage Throughout the rigorous judging processes, each medal winning wine is tasted on three separate occasions by at least 10 different judges and awards include medals (Gold, Silver, Bronze) and Commended awards

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Elly Barham-Marsh Helen Kenny
Manifest London
t. +44 (0)203 1379 270

International Wine Challenge

World’s largest Sake competition, International Wine Challenge Sake announces medal results

Under embargo until 11am 17.05.17 

The world’s biggest Sake competition, International Wine Challenge – Sake 2017, announces its results today, following three days of intensive blind tasting in London last month by a panel of 62 international judges from 15 countries. In partnership with the Sake Samurai Association, the International Wine Challenge awarded a total of 574 sought-after medals to Japanese Sake, including 56 Gold, 225 Silver and 293 Bronze medals.

  •  Premium Sake variety Junmai Daiginjo was the most successful style at the competition with 14 Gold medals being awarded in that category. Next in line was Junmai Ginjo and Daiginjo which each secured ten Gold medals each. Six Gold medals were awarded to Junmai, with Futsu-Shu with five Gold medals. Next was Koshu (aged) Sake, which secured four Gold medals, closely followed by Honjozo, which earned three Gold medals. Finally, two Sparkling Sake entries were awarded Gold medals as this relatively new category popular with young adults in Japan proved equally popular with the IWC Sake judges.
  •  Yamagata was the most successful region at this year’s competition, with nine Gold medal winners being produced there. The Prefecture’s success was largely bolstered by the Dewazakura Sake Brewery, which was responsible for four of the Gold medal winners.
  •  Having been named IWC Sake Brewer of the Year in 2016, Dewazakura continued its success this year, securing Gold across range of styles. Its Dewazakura Ikko received a Gold in the Junmai category, its Junmai Ginjo entry Dewazakura Tsuyahime was also awarded a Gold, as was its Sparkling Dewazakura Tobiroku. In the aged Sake category, Koshu, its Dewazakura Karesansui Aged 10 Years struck Gold. This outstanding result demonstrated this brewery’s ongoing talent for producing world-class Sake, whatever the style.
  •  Sake breweries from Nagano and Fukushima also put in a strong performance, with four Gold medals being awarded to Sakes produced in each of those regions.
  •  Nagano’s most successful brewery was Daishinsyu Breweries Inc., which had a very strong year, receiving two Gold medals for its Daishinsyu N.A.C Hitogokochi and its Daishisyu Tenouchi Junmai Ginjo. Endo Brewery’s Keiryu Kuragokoi also earned itself a Gold in the Futsu-Shu category, and the Kisoji Junmai Daiginjo by Yukawa Sake Brewery Co. completed the Gold medal wins for the Nagano region.
  •  Three Fukoshima breweries were responsible for the four Gold medal wins for the region. 2015 Champion Sake maker Homare Sake Brewery, took home a pair of Gold medals for its Junmai Ginjo Karahasi Yamadanishiki and its Aizu Homare Daiginjo. Sasamasamune Brewery received a Gold for its Sasamasamune Junmai Ginjo, and Niida Honke Co. was awarded Gold for its Shizenshu Junmai Ginjo.
  •  The IWC Sake competition returned to London this year, after it was hosted in Hyogo, Japan in 2016 to celebrate its 10th year of of blind tasting Sake. Its presence in Japan helped to raise the profile of Sake in both Japan and beyond, and the IWC Sake intends to host future competitions in Japan to further accelerate the growth of this enticing drink around the world.

Chris Ashton, IWC Event Director said:

“The IWC Sake competition is a hugely exciting and rewarding undertaking for the IWC, and we are thrilled to continue to help promote Sake around the world. Last year’s competition in Japan really invigorated the category, and we saw more entries coming to London than ever before, which is fantastic. It has been a privilege to be able to continue to work in partnership with the Sake Samurai Association to boost international awareness and export, as well as increasing the popularity of Sake within Japan.”

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