2022 Wine Judging - deliberations from our judges #13

Wine news

Thu 12 May 2022

Joining us today to oversee the  panels tasting wines from Spain and Portugal, we caught up with Master of Wine and IWSC Wine Judging Committee member, Mick O'Connell;


“So, tasting today has gone very well. We have been judging entrants from Spain and Portugal and fortified wines from both countries too.

“Overall, the standard of this year’s entrants has been high, there were not a lot of non-medal winning wines today. Lots of bronze medals, a good number of silver and a few golds.  A couple of golds on the fortified table too – top amontillado, a palo cortado and some good ports as well.

“What always strikes me is that the standard is rising. So, what we’re seeing, is that it’s not necessarily about scoring more gold medals but the fact that almost everything that's being entered is now at a standard where it takes bronze, and this has to be something to be commended. I suppose it just goes to show you the place that the wine production industry is at. Certainly, when I started in the wine industry 20 years ago, there was a lot of non-medal worthy wine and based on today, this isn’t the case anymore. The overall standard is super high.

“We had we had some very, very high-level Rioja’s tasting today, from all kinds of status, Crianza Reserva, Gran Reserva. Some interesting Dao and some interesting Alentejo wines from Portugal. Back to Spain and its Northwest whites, some really good Albarino and Godello on display today.

“And again, just across the board a really high standard. Actually, another flight to flag that stood out to illustrate the raising of the bar - there was a flight of Sauvignon Blanc/Verdello which traditionally maybe you'd look at and kind of worry that it's not going to be very exciting. But they’re basically all bronze medal winners. Consistent.

“So, in conclusion I think what I’ll take away is that overall, the standards are getting better. Today, here was a very good place to be!”


The IWSC’s 2022 Wine Results will be available from 23 May 2022. Discover other deliberations from this series on our News page here.