“The global wine landscape has never been more exciting”: International Wine Challenge Tranche One results highlights
IWC 2016 announces medal winners from Tranche One of the competition
In a competition first, Australian wine makers have beaten France to second place in the Gold medal tally at Tranche One of the 2016 International Wine Challenge. 19 Gold medals were awarded to Australian wines, beating France and New Zealand to joint second place with 17 apiece.
- Australian Shiraz dominated, with a total of eight being awarded Gold medals. The judges also awarded the first ever Gold medal to an Australian Montepulciano. Australian white wines also performed well with nine being awarded Gold medals. Winning the highest number of Gold medals is a huge coup for this winemaking nation. Alongside its mighty golden haul, 101 Aussie wines also picked up Silver medals and 116 won Bronze medals.
- France may have failed to win the most Gold medals, but it did top the overall medal chart with a whopping 295 medals. As usual Champagne and Burgundy performed well but the surprise of Tranche One was the particular success of Alsace Gewurztraminer, with two of these winning Gold. Having been named IWC Red Winemaker of the Year 2015, Cave de Roquebrun started the IWC 2016 with a bang. The southern French co-op won four Gold medals in this tranche.
- New Zealand wines also performed very well, with an impressive tally of 221 medals. This young winemaking nation almost doubled its medal count from last year’s competition, and won a total of 17 Gold, 89 Silvers and 114 Bronze medals. Kiwi Sauvignon Blancs from 2015 proved to be the shining beacon of this winemaking nation, with seven Gold medals being awarded, as well as a Gold for a Sauvignon Gris.
- Even celebrities are getting in on the wine making trend in New Zealand. Hollywood actor and star of Jurassic Park and Peaky Blinders Sam Neill won two Silver medals with Pinot Noirs produced at his Two Paddocks vineyard. The Two Paddocks Proprietor’s Reserve The Last Chance Pinot Noir 2013 and his Two Paddocks Proprietor’s Reserve The Fusilier Pinot Noir 2014 were medal-winners. UK TV and radio presenter Graham Norton also produced his own Silver medal winner, in collaboration with New Zealand vineyard, Invivo Wines. Graham Norton’s Own Sauvignon Blanc 2015 is available to buy from Majestic Wines for £11.99.
- South Africa won six Gold medals, with five of those being awarded to white wines, including a gold medal for Krisemma Elgin Chardonnay 2014, from John Lodge of the Moody Blues.
- Twenty-one English Sparkling wines picked up medals, with top bubbly Hart of Gold living up to its name, and winning the UK’s only Gold medal. Over half of all the medal winners were produced in Sussex, pointing the way to a bright future for winemaking here. 12 English wines received a Silver and eight received a Bronze medal. Although England is best known for sparkling wines, more medals were awarded to English still wines than ever before – nine in total.
- The majority of Italy’s success came from wines created in the country’s most iconic wine region, Tuscany. Tuscan wines received five Gold medals including one for Marks & Spencer Da Vinci Vin Santo 2008. The remaining Gold medals were awarded to two Amarone entries, and, in a competition first, a Gold medal was awarded to a Cagnulari produced in Sardinia. In total, Italy was awarded 172 medals with eight Golds, 52 Silver and 112 Bronze medals.
- Spain received 11 Gold medals, with the majority being awarded to its fortified wines. Spanish sherry continued to build on last year’s success, with seven Gold medals. However, they also received top prizes with Vermouth, Moscatel, and Rioja Crianza entries, as well as a Grenache Carignan Cabernet Sauvignon blend, proving the country’s winemakers can impress across a variety of styles.
- This is the first peek at IWC 2016 entries and there will be more results in May with Tranche 2. Will the Aussies stretch their lead? Will the French fight back and regain their crown at the top of the medal chart? Will New Zealand and their stellar 2015 vintage surprise everyone and take the crown from both their rivals? Stay tuned to IWC and find out on the 11th May 2016 for the full results.
- Visit the IWC website for the full list of winners: http://www.internationalwinechallenge.com
Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC commented:
“Tranche One of the IWC has seen an upset in the usual order: Australian wines stole France’s podium for Gold medal wins, and New Zealand proved it is a force to be reckoned with. The global wine landscape has never been more exciting. I can’t wait to see what happens next April, when we taste the wines at Tranche Two of the competition.”
See high res. images and full press release below