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
e. iwc@manifest.london

International Wine Challenge

Aisles of Gold: UK supermarket wines shine at Tranche One of International Wine Challenge 2018

Under embargo till 11am 30/11/2017

391 wines available at UK supermarkets for Christmas have been awarded medals at Tranche One of International Wine Challenge 2018.

Lucky wine fans can pick up world-class wines in their local supermarket aisle, according to today’s results from Tranche One of the International Wine Challenge 2018. An impressive 391 supermarket wines received medals at this tranche of the competition, including 14 Gold, 160 Silver and 217 Bronze medals. Shoppers will be spoilt for choice as they peruse the aisles, with still, sparkling, sweet and fortified medal winners all up for grabs.

Morrisons secured an outstanding 78 medals, including five Gold, 27 Silver and 46 Bronze medals. Three of its Gold medals were awarded to own-brand sherries, produced by esteemed producer Emilio Lustau. This trio of Gold medal winners include Morrisons The Best Oloroso, Morrisons The Best Palo Cortado and Morrisons The Best Pedro Ximenez. Each priced at just £6.00, these Gold medal winners make perfect gifts this Christmas for any sherry fans.

Morrisons also impressed in the red category. Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir 2015 was an instant hit with the IWC judges thanks to its cherry and cranberry fruit with well-integrated oak and long finish. This red is available to buy in-store for £20. The supermarket’s final Gold medal winner was Morrisons The Best Marques De Los Rios Rioja Gran Reserva 2011, Subtle and elegant with fresh blueberries, rich bramble fruits and complex spicy notes. This Gold medal winner will be hitting the shelves this December, priced at £12.00.

Waitrose took home an impressive haul including two Gold, 28 Silver and 42 Bronze medals. Both Gold medals were awarded to Australian wines available in its range, the Polish Hill River Riesling 2012 (£12.99) produced by O’Leary Walker Wines, and The Hedonist Shiraz 2016 (£14.49) from Hedonist wines.

Silver medals were awarded to twelve white wines available at Waitrose, including two of its own-brand non-vintage Champagnes, perfect for toasting the festive period. The Waitrose Blanc de Noirs Brut (£21.99) and Waitrose Blanc de Blancs Brut (£22.99) are available nationwide; offering a taste of luxury without breaking the bank.

Tesco put in a strong performance with a total of 64 medals, including two Gold, 31 Silver and 31 Bronze medals available to buy in-store. Those with a penchant for port will be clamouring to get their hands-on Tesco Finest* Vintage Port 1997 (£20.00) which struck Gold. The supermarket’s other Gold medal was awarded to its Tesco Finest* Chablis Premier Cru 2015, a deliciously zesty white wine available for just £15.00.

For those looking to sample some home-grown bubbly this Christmas, Tesco Finest* English Sparkling Wine (£17.50) should be top of their list. This Silver medal winner is produced at Kent’s Hush Heath Winery, and makes a brilliant alternative to Champagne.

Aldi secured an impressive medal haul including two Gold medals, 16 Silver and 15 Bronze medals at Tranche One of the competition. The first Gold was awarded to its Chateau de Myrat Sauternes Grand Cru Classe 2013, a botrytis white wine produced in Bordeaux by Benoit & Valerie Calvet, and available nationwide for just £11.99. Aldi’s second Gold medal went to its Maynard’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 1992 (£19.99), delighting the judges with its fig, prunes, damsons and cinnamon notes.

Named IWC 2017 Supermarket of the Year, Marks & Spencer continued to impress the judges, with one Gold, 26 Silver and 35 Bronze medals being awarded to its wines. The high street favourite struck Gold for its Colomé Altitude Blend Malbec Cabernet Franc Tannat 2015. Produced in Argentina and priced at just £12.50, this bold red is a real steal.

The supermarket also impressed with its fortified wines, including three produced for its own-brand range by Williams & Humbert. The Marks & Spencer Fino Dry Sherry, Marks & Spencer Manzanilla and the Marks & Spencer Rich Sweet Cream Sherry all received Silver medals at the competition. With price tags between £8.00 and £8.50 apiece, these will be flying off the shelves this December.

Asda has been awarded a total of 51 medals including one Gold medal, 19 Silver and 31 Bronze medals. The supermarket’s golden entry was the Asda Extra Special Selection Pinot Noir 2014. Produced in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, this structured and elegant red was an instant hit with the judges.

Fancy a Gold medal winning red for under £7? Head to Lidl, and get a bottle of its Fortezza dei Colli Chianti Classico Riserva 2014 (£6.99). This Italian red will be flying off the shelves. The supermarket also secured a further four Silver and four Bronze medals.

Co-op received an impressive total of 20 medals, including eight Silver and 12 Bronze medals. Those with a taste for Italian white wines should pick up a bottle of Co-op Irresistible Fiano 2016 or the Co-op Irresistible Grecula Greco 2015. Both cost just £6.99 yet received Silver medals after impressing the judging panel.

Peter McCombie MW, Co-Chair of the IWC commented:

“Shoppers this Christmas will be spoilt for choice at their local supermarkets. Every year at the International Wine Challenge we see the wine buyers from the nation’s top retailers continue to improve and enhance their offering, going above and beyond to ensure shoppers are getting quality wines at unbeatable prices.”

“Wine makes a great Christmas gift for friends and family, and with such fantastic options available in supermarkets, shoppers are really spoiled for choice. Our medal stickers are a sign of quality that can make selecting a great wine, for yourself or as a gift even easier. You can buy in confidence knowing this wine has been tasted and judged by some of the finest wine experts in the world”

See full list of supermarket Gold medal winners below:

£20 and under

  • Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir, 2015, £20.00, Morrisons
  • Tesco finest* Vintage Port,1997, £20.00 Tesco
  • Maynard’s Late Bottled Vintage Port, 1992, £19.99, Aldi

£15 and under

  • Tesco finest* Chablis Premier Cru, 2015, £15.00 Tesco
  • The Hedonist Shiraz, 2016, £14.49, Waitrose
  • Polish Hill River Riesling, 2012, £12.99 Waitrose
  • Colomé Altitude Blend Malbec Cabernet Franc Tannat, 2015, £12.50, M&S
  • Morrisons The Best Marques De Los Rios Rioja Gran Reserva, 2011, £12.00, Morrisons
  • Chateau de Myrat Sauternes Grand Cru Classe, 2013, £11.99, Aldi

£10 and under

  • Asda Extra Special Selection Pinot Noir, 2014, £8.50, Asda
  • Fortezza dei Colli Chianti Classico Riserva, 2014, £6.99, Lidl
  • Morrisons The Best Oloroso, NV, £6.00, Morrisons
  • Morrisons The Best Palo Cortado, NV, £6.00, Morrisons
  • Morrisons The Best Pedro Ximenez, NV, £6.00, Morrisons

Visit the IWC website for the full list of winners: http://www.internationalwinechallenge.com

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