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IWC reveals Trophy winners

Published:  09 May, 2019

The International Wine Challenge (IWC) has announced its 2019 Trophy winners.

Described by the IWC as the “best of the best”, the winners were chosen from gold medal-winning wines that have “undergone further rigorous blind tasting” by a distinguished panel of international wine experts.

For the fourth year in a row, New Zealand was awarded the International Syrah Trophy for Te Awanga Estate’s Trademark Syrah 2015, which won the Hawke's Bay Syrah Trophy and International Syrah Trophy.

“There isn’t much Syrah planted in New Zealand but what there is makes world-class wine,” said IWC co-chair, Peter McCombie MW.

“Stylistically closer to Rhône Valley than Barossa Valley, we expect New Zealand Syrah to have abundant fruit and remarkable freshness. Te Awanga, winner of the New Zealand Red Trophy, is a brilliant example of this style.”

New Zealand also scooped the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Trophy and International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy for the Saint Clair Family Estate’s Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2018.

Italy saw off rose specialist Provence to win the International Rosé Trophy, courtesy of a Sicilian rosé made from Nerello Mascalese. Torre Mora’s Scalunera Etna Rosato 2018 scored 96 points to win both the Sicilian Rosé Trophy and the International Rosé Trophy.

The top Chardonnay came from France’s Chablis region. Domaine Christian Moreau’s Chablis Grand Cru les Clos 2017 won four Trophies - Chablis Grand Cru Trophy, White Burgundy Trophy, French White Trophy, and International Chardonnay Trophy.

France’s Burgundy region also delivered the best Pinot Noir, Château de Santenay’s Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2017 which won the Clos du Vougeot Trophy, Red Burgundy Trophy and International Pinot Noir Trophy.

And there was a first for China, with the judging panel awarding a Chinese Red Trophy for the first time to China Great Wall’s Five Star Cabernet Sauvignon 2016.

Meanwhile, own-label supermarket wines put up a brilliant showing. Waitrose Côtes de Provence Rosé 2018 won the Provence Rosé Trophy and Tesco won the Amarone Trophy for its Cantina Valpantena’s Tesco Finest Amarone 2015.

In total, an impressive 11 Gold medals went to supermarket own-label wines, which the IWC said was a measure of the “exceptional quality” of supermarket buying teams.

“Most UK wine-drinkers buy their wine from supermarkets, and, with the results we’ve uncovered in this year’s International Wine Challenge, it’s quite obvious why,” said Charles Metcalfe, co-chair of the IWC.

The IWC Own Label of the Year Shortlist 2019 includes Aldi, Berry Brothers & Rudd, Marks & Spencer and Tesco, while the shortlist for Winemakers of the Year 2019 includes Hervé J. Fabre, Didier Séguier, Sergio Martínez, Cherie Spriggs, and Helmut Lang.

The winners will be announced at the IWC 2019 Awards Dinner on 9 July 2019 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.