The International Wine & Spirit Competition’s (IWSC) expert panel of judges have been blind-tasting, debating and scoring French, Italian and Spanish wine submissions for the past few months and today sees the medal results announced for these regions alongside the much-anticipated Northern Hemisphere wine trophies for Champagne, Rioja, Madeira, Sherry, Port and Cava. For 2016, France led the Northern Hemisphere medal table with 37 Gold and 8 Gold Outstanding medals awarded by the IWSC’s international experts.
Sherry and Champagne scored highly, with supermarket products performing particularly well. Marks and Spencer’s Sherry portfolio especially impressed the judges, who awarded a Gold Outstanding medal to their Manzanilla as well as their Rare Pedro Ximinez. Marks and Spencer also picked up the top award, the Sherry Trophy, for their Very Rare Dry Olorosso – described by IWSC judges as ‘a brazier of roasting hazelnuts over sandalwood, candied citrus peel and a whiff of incense.’
The NV Champagne trophy was awarded to Champagne Le Brun de Neuville for their Cuvée Lady de N. Chardonnay NV, praised for its ‘appealing nose of baked apple and cream’, while the Vintage Champagne trophy was awarded to Champagne de Saint Gall for their ‘smooth and creamy’, Orpale Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs 2002.
Supermarket Champagne’s were also rated very highly with a Gold medal awarded to Tesco finest* Vintage Champagne 2009, and a Silver Outstanding medal to the £10 (RRP) Tesco finest* Premier Cru Champagne NV. Also performing well, Waitrose picked up a Gold Outstanding medal for their Brut Champagne NV, currently priced at £18 (RRP). Marks and Spencer again impressed the judges with their Vintage Abel Charlot 2005 gaining a coveted Gold medal. Lidl also scored highly for their Champagne, receiving a Silver Outstanding medal for their Champagne Bissinger Premier Cru NV which judges felt had ‘gorgeous elegance’, whilst Aldi’s Silver Outstanding winner, Philippe Michel Crémant du Jura, proved that France is producing great sparkling wines from other regions.
Ewan Lacey, Managing Director at the IWSC commented on the results, “Once again the UK’s supermarket buyers have proved they are selecting top quality wines at affordable prices so consumers should be on the lookout for the IWSC medal on these products in store.”
The next result’s announcement from the IWSC will be on Wednesday 27th July when all Spirits medal and trophy results will be announced for what has been a record breaking year for Spirit submissions into the IWSC.
Full Northern Hemisphere Trophy Results
Rioja Trophy - Coto Real Rioja Reserve 2011 - El Coto de Rioja SA
International Indigenous Grape Variety Trophy - Villa Gemma Rosso Antiprima Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC 2011 - Masciarelli Tenute Agricole S.R.L
NV Champagne Trophy - Cuvée Lady de N. Chardonnay NV - Champagne Le Brun de Neuville
Vintage Champagne Trophy - Orpale Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs 2002 - Champagne de Saint Gall
Madeira Trophy - Blandy's 1979 Verdelho - Blandy's Madeiras Lda
Sherry Trophy - Marks & Spencer Very Rare Dry Oloroso - Marks & Spencer plc
Port Trophy - Cálem Porto Colheita 1961 - Sogevinus Fine Wines
Prosecco Trophy - Mionetto Cartizze DOCG Luxury NV - Mionetto S.P.A.
Cava Trophy - Vallformosa Cava Classic Brut Rose 2014 - Masia Vallformosa SA