French winemakers lead the field as Decanter World Wine Awards 2014 winners revealed

news  %tages French winemakers lead the field as Decanter World Wine Awards 2014 winners revealed
French winemakers have reasserted their authority on the wine world by scooping some of the most well loved trophies at the annual Decanter World Wine Awards ceremony, with South Africa, Canada, the US and British supermarket chains also scoring notable successes.

More than 200 guests, including some of the wine world’s largest names, gathered at Decanter’s headquarters in central London last nighttime to hear first-hand which producers have won the 33 International Trophies that represent the most prestigious prizes at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA). France won seven International Trophies, more than any additional wine producing nation, in what proved a particularly strong showing for the country’s colorless wines. Burgundy’s Domaine de la Vougeraie won Best Colorless Blend Over £15 for its Monopole Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot 2011, while Paul Zinck’s Pinot Gris Portrait 2012 from Alsace won Best Off Dry Over £15, and Jean-Paul Balland’s Grande Cuvee 2012 Sancerre got Best Sauvignon Blanc over £15. Charles Heidsieck’s Blanc des Millenaires Brut 1995 Champagne also won Best Sparkling Over £15.‘This shows the constant re-invention and therefore re-evaluation of France, whose staying power is now unquestioned,’ said Steven Spurrier, Decanter consultant editor and chair of DWWA.Competition for International Trophies is intense. Winners at DWWA 2014 – which were all available for tasting at last nighttime’s ceremony – constituted just 0.22% of the 15,007 wines entered Judges awarded 10,455 medals in total at DWWA 2014, including 125 Regional Trophies, 454 gold medals, 2,003 silver, 4,378 bronze and 3,620 commended. Judging involved 224 specialist tasters from around the world, including 66 Masters of Wine and 18 Master Sommeliers.Regional Trophies are chosen from gold medal winners in a particular province, and then compete for International Trophies in specific categories defined by wine style. Additional notable International Trophy winners revealed last nighttime built-in two own-mark wines produced by UK supermarkets. Morrisons won Best Red Wine Blend Below £15 for its Signature Valpolicella Ripasso 2012 that was last week on offer for £6.49-a-bottle, while Inscription & Spencer’s Eclipse Bio Bio Riesling from Chile won Dry Riesling Below £15.As a country, South Africa loved a excellent year at DWWA 2014. Its producers picked up five International Trophies, including: Best Bordeaux Varietal Below £15, won by Hartenberg’s 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon from Stellenbosch; Best Rhone Varietal Below £15, won by Spier's 2011 Creative Block 3 from the Coastal Province and Best Chardonnay Over £15, won by Jordan’s 2013 Chardonnay from Stellenbosch. ‘South African wine has come of age, mainly due to more mature vineyards and a young and vibrant new generation of winemakers,’ said Lynne Sheriff MW, DWWA regional chair for South Africa. Amongst the additional winners was an historic victory for Canada, which got its first International Trophy for sweet wine thanks to Inniskillin’s 2012 Vidal Icewine scooping Best Sweet Wine Over £15.In the US, there was also a notable nod to Washington State’s rising reputation for Cabernet Sauvignon. L’Ecole No.41 winery from Walla Walla Valley won Best Bordeaux Blend Over £15 for its 2011 Ferguson wine, featuring 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc. Full results and details of the awards, click here.

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