Unusual suspects: Uruguay, Turkey, Ukraine named rising stars of wine by top panel of international judges
Fancy a taste of something different? International Wine Challenge announces unusual winners you should try
Top wine judges have uncovered some surprising wines at Tranche One of the International Wine Challenge, revealing how the wine industry is flourishing in some unexpected locations. A flurry of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded to wines from emerging wine countries such as Turkey, Ukraine, Peru and India.
- The biggest surprise was a Gold medal wine from Uruguay. Uruguay’s Bodega Garzon scooped this sensational award for its Garzon Reserve Tannat 2015, available for a very reasonable £12. Further success came to the vineyard, based in the Maldonado region, with an additional eight Bronzes for a range of styles including Garzon Reserve Albariño 2016 and Garzon Estate Pinot Noir Rosé 2016.
- Turkey put in a strong performance, with seven Silver medals and 12 Bronzes. The country’s Thrace region shone, winning six of those seven Silvers. Thrace vineyard Mey Icki Sanayi ve Tic won four Silvers, and neighbouring Suvla Wines collected two Silvers and two Bronzes.
- Ukraine and Sweden were awarded two Silver medals apiece. All the Ukraine awards came from the Shabo Wine Company , Silver medals were awarded to the Telti-Kuruk Grande Lukuridze Family Reserve 2014 and the Chardonnay Grande Reserve Shabo Lukuridze Family Reserve 2014. The winery also received a further four Bronze medals from the IWC judges.
- Swedish producer Vingården I Klagshamn received two Silver medals for its Inkognito 2015 and Ego 3, two crisp white wines produced in the Scania region.
- Croatia and Bulgaria secured a Silver medal each. Bulgarian producer SIS Industries collected a Silver medal for its Minkov Brothers Oak Tree Thracian Region 2013, and Croatian producer Badel 1862 – Vinarija Benkovac, from the country’s Dalmatian coast, picked up a Silver for its Korlat Syrah 2012, in addition to a further three Bronze medals.
- Moldovan producer Château Vartely put in an impressive performance, with its Chardonnay Dulce 2013 winning Silver, while its Individo Feteasca Regală Riesling 2015 received a Bronze. Lebanese wine producer Chateau Ksara, from the Bekaa Valley, received a Silver and a Bronze medal for its Le Prieuré 2014 and its Château Ksara Red 2014 respectively.
- Greece also picked up some medals at the competition. The Marks & Spencer Atlantis Santorini 2015 produced by Greece’s Estate Argyros racked up a Silver medal, and Athanasiou Winery, in Nemea, received a Bronze for its Assyrtiko Athanasiou.
- Taiwan’s impressive performance surprised the judges, with the two of its winemakers taking home medals. Vino Formosa Rosso, a fortified red, clocked up a Silver medal for Central Taiwanese winemaker Domaine Shu Sheng NKUHT, and Weightstone Vineyard Estate & Winery received a Bronze medal for its Musann Blanc Cuvée No. 15 2015, produced in the Taichung region.
- Further wins came from India and Israel, with each winning three Bronze medals. Indian producer Krsma Estates received two Bronzes for its Krsma Sangiovese Hampi Hills Vineyard 2015 and its Krsma Chardonnay Hampi Hills Vineyard 2016, and Sula Vineyards from the Nashik region secured a third Bronze medal for India with its Sula Sauvignon Blanc 2016.
- One of Israel’s largest wine producers, Barkan Wine Cellars scored three Bronze Medals for its 2011 vintage Altitude +720 Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Assemblage Eitan 2011, and its Altitude +780 Sauvignon Blanc 2015.
- Romania was awarded two Bronze medals for the Wine Atlas Feteasca Regala 2015 and the Dorvena Feteasca Neagra 2015. Elsewhere, Oao Apf Fanagoria from the Russian region of Krasnodar picked up two Bronzes, Medal for the sparkling Fanagoria Blanc De Noirs Brut 2015 and the Cru Lermont Chardonnay Fanagoria, 2014.
Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC commented:
“The Tranche One tastings have been fascinating across the board, with the judges discovering amazing wines from unusual destinations. Anyone who thinks that good wines come only from Western Europe, the Antipodes and the Americas will be very surprised by our results. We had winning wines from ancient wines countries (Greece and Turkey), as well as very recent ones (India). Uruguay is definitely one to watch; with one Gold medal under its belt, it will be interesting to see if it can come up with others in Tranche Two, in April of next year. It is great to see the wine industry thriving in surprising pockets all over the world.”