Resounding Riojas: Spanish successes at the 2014 International Wine Challenge
Rioja leads the Spanish medal table at the 2014 International Wine Challenge
Spain was very well represented at the 31st International Wine Challenge, held at the Kia Oval, London (with a first-ever entry from Andorra, among many others). In total, the IWC judges awarded Spain 50 Gold, 189 Silver and 342 Bronze medals.
- Sherry wines win most Gold medals for Spain
- The Tempranillo grape wins most medals overall
- 45 medals for Cava, Spain’s top fizz
- In Tranche 1 (held last November), the IWC 2014 gave awards to 98 wines
- Rioja enjoyed a successful show, with 267 wines winning awards, of which 13 were Gold medals (one for a white Rioja). Successful wineries included Bodegas Olarra and Luís Cañas, with two Gold medals each. CVNE, Rioja Vega, El Coto, Bodegas Ondarre, Barón de Ley, Pernod Ricard Winemakers Spain and Bottle Green Ltd all won Gold medals
- Sherry won a veritable shower of 28 Golds (32 Silvers and 17 Bronzes). Among them, wines from famous producers such as González Byass and Emilio Lustau. Two ‘en rama’ wines, Williams & Humbert Fino en Rama and Delgado Zuleta Manzanilla Goya en Rama, scored Golds. ‘En Rama’ means ‘raw’ in Spanish, meaning the Sherries are un-fined and un-filtered, as they are bottled straight from the barrel
- Eight ultra-sweet sherries, made from Pedro Ximénez, won medals, including Golds for González Byass’s Nectar and Noe VORS. Palo Cortado was another strong category, with eight Golds, including three from Emilio Lustau (Lustau Palo Cortado VORS, Waitrose Solera Jerezana Palo Cortado and Marks & Spencer Dry Old Palo Cortado)
- Further north, Castilla y León and its sub-regions won 104 awards, and Catalonia won 68. Cava and other sparkling wines took another 59 awards. Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Vintage Cava Brut 2011 and Marks and Spencer Rosado Cava Prestige each won Silver
Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC commented:
“Once more, the Sherry region has proved it can make some of the finest wines in the world, dry and sweet. Rioja performed very well, too, and Cava now makes solidly reliable fizz, and some very fine ones. Spain’s winemakers are very well-served by all their native grape varieties, particularly Tempranillo in all its forms. This is a European wine country that is continually refining its wine styles. We may have old favourites, but there are many new stars rising.”
“The International Wine Challenge is committed to rigorous and fair tasting and has subsequently earned its reputation as the most well-respected wine competition in the world. By hosting two separate tasting events across the year, wines are given the best chance to perform well, wherever they’re from.”
“If a shopper sees an IWC medal sticker on a bottle of wine, its quality can be trusted, as it has been selected by some of the world’s best tasters. Whether you are a wine novice or an experienced wine-drinker, our stickers can help you find a great wine every time,” he added.
Visit the IWC website for the full list of winners: www.internationalwinechallenge.com