South Africa excelled with 39 gold and gold outstanding medal winners. Results from Chile and Argentina were strong and consistent; however, the lack of gold medal winners reflected the testing, uneven vintages winemakers have had to contend with in recent years.
Ewan Lacey, General Manager of the IWSC said, ‘Our judges have been assessing wines since July and we have had to race to process the results in time for the Beautiful South tasting, but it has been worth it.’
South African wines were judged in Paarl and 2013 saw a record number of entries. Most of the gold medal-winning wines were from the top end of producers’ ranges. A notable gold outstanding award winner was Groot Constantia Grand Constance 2010, this is a wine with a very rich history – Jane Austen recommended it as the cure for heartbreak – and a very bright future.
Asda’s Extra Special Fairtrade Pinotage 2012 was awarded a silver outstanding, demonstrating that excellence in winemaking was recognised at all levels. Tesco Finest and Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range both scooped a clutch of silver medals which gives further weight to South Africa’s growing reputation as a producer of exciting value for money wines.
Argentina was another success story and producers were able to make wines of a very high consistent standard – 41% of entries were awarded silver medals – despite many of the winners coming from the frost and hail affected 2012 vintage.
Mendoza continues to justify its position as the home of the Malbec grape, accounting for over half of the wines rated outstanding. However, white wines also did very well – 31 medals were awarded to white wines – with the silver outstanding winner, Trapiche Extravaganza White Blend 2013 noted by our judges for its ‘explosive delivery of delicious, precise fruit flavours.’
Chile showed the strength in depth and consistency for which it has become renowned. Eight different wineries were awarded silver outstanding medals.
Carmenere featured prominently among Chilean winners, although it is notable that wines from a diverse range of varietals picked up awards. This was typified by the success of Concha y Toro which picked up 33 medals and was recognised for wines made from Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Syrah.
Latin American winners from Brazil and Mexico are also increasing with Mexico winning seven awards and Brazilian bubbly also being recognised.
The International Wine and Spirit Competition’s Head of Sales and Marketing, Anna Grant, said, ‘The entries for the IWSC have once again exceeded expectations and the results demonstrate the extraordinary quality and consistency being delivered by the industry. Our focus is to equip all the winners with marketing help to ensure they receive the recognition they deserve.’
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