Following the end of another busy day of judging, we caught up with Sarah Abbott MW to find out how the judging across her panels went:
“Today I've been working with four panels, each with four of the IWSC’s expert judges and we've tasted wines from all over the world.
“We’ve had a big focus on Asia, tasting wines from across China and Japan. We had some lovely Japanese whites and saw some real stars emerging from Muscat Bailey A which would not have been expected five years ago. But that grape is really coming through with lovely, visceral freshness.
“From China it was mostly reds, principally from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Merlot blends. For the wines that performed well what we're seeing is that these are the ones where the producers have the confidence to take their foot off the gas. So the wines that had that beautifully exuberant, exotic floral fruit, but yet didn't have a really heavy hand on the extraction. These wines we were able to medal.
“Elsewhere, we had some really lovely wines from across Europe. So still wines from
England did really well today. We tasted quite a few English still wines which were absolutely sensational: a couple of really good Pinot Noirs, some very good Chardonnay. England was a real highlight today.
“Switzerland also did well today, we saw some really lovely white Swiss wines, beautifully elegant, precise, and intense, but delicate. These wines were very well judged by the panel. They are the kinds of wines that could so easily be the overlooked because they are understated and textural. But the panel did a great job and picked out some brilliant medal winning wines.
“We had some lovely wines from Austria principally red but also some lovely white wines. And from Hungary, some dry tokaij and furmints, they showed extremely well and I would add the overall quality and interest of what was submitted was very high.
“For the medal winning wines, we saw a really good spread from bronze through to gold. It wasn’t a year when you have lots of perfectly enjoyable but maybe not the most distinctive wines. We have had a great array today including some truly distinctive, beautifully balanced wines that we were able to give higher medals to which is really rewarding and great fun.”
The IWSC’s 2022 Wine Results will be available from 23 May 2022. Discover other deliberations from this series on our News page here.