Top 10 wines for Valentine's Day
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, IWSC have teamed up with Harden's restaurant guide to bring you our top 10 award-winning wines (and whiskies) to celebrate with - and don't miss the top six dos and don'ts this February 14
Cheval des Andes 2012
Deep dark red with garnet rim. Ample, ripe bouquet infused with spices, dried orange peel and enhanced by tarry oak aromas. The palate is massive, full bodied, concentrated, silky smooth and offers lavish, mellow flavours reminiscent of licorice, creamy texture and hugely seductive, leaving a long lasting after-taste. Seriously good and perfect to drink now.
Where to buy: Woodwinters Wines and Whiskies, £60
Aromas of red cherries, liquorice, anise with a hint of herbs and vanilla. On the palate, rounded full bodied with soft tannins and length and elegant finish.
Where to buy: Majestic Wine, £40
Lovely delicate pink with persistent slow fine mousse. Plenty of fruit and full of Pinot character, savoury strawberry aromas. These combine with beautiful yeasty autolytic notes of freshly baked bread. Zesty fresh acidity balances the rich apricot flavours. Elegant and long finish.
Where to buy: Just in Cases, £31.50
Pale yellow with greenish glints. Citrus peel, rising dough, crushed pistachio nuts on the nose. Beautifully dry in the mouth, the flavours are very long and elegant.
Where to buy: The Wine Society, £9.50
Delicate and very persistent bubbles roll sensuously over the tongue revealing flavours of yellow plum, apple, with brioche, toasty savoury nuts. The palate is layered with a chalky texture. Remarkably fresh and youthful for age, will go on and on.
Where to buy: The Whisky Exchange, £145
Evolved rose gold colour with fine persistent small bubbles that burst on the nose with aromas of wild strawberry. A delicate and elegant wine with long finish and layers of complexity from yeasty almond Danish and brioche notes, intense but not heavy gives a light touch to the lengthy finish.
Where to buy: The Whisky Exchange, £162
Pale rose-salmon tinted with fine yet powerful bubbles, nose is delicate with apple fruit, fresh yeast and lovely dried flower accent. On the palate, vinous, textural depth and concentrated flavours, bracing acidity, hint of orange zest. Multi-layered wine.
Where to buy: The Champagne Collection, £55.20
Lemon colour. Fragrant nose of burnt sugar and pineapples. Mouth watering acidity with lemon curd, caramel and candied apple. Long honeyed length.
Where to buy: Reif Estate Winery, $120
Fancy something stronger? Try a trophy-winning whisky…
The aroma is firstly driven by a unique distillery character, which pairs with the oak to give foam penny banana sweets, ought hints of tobacco and some mint. the palate has some additional green veg, freshly steamed and just ‘al dente’ enough to retain flavour with the finish giving some seas salt and milk chocolate notes.
Where to buy: The Whisky Shop, £110
Velvety notes of plums and damsons, with some quince jelly and a wholesome note of delicately smoked meats. The palate gives a richness of cookie dough, creme bruluee topping, more plums and some sour cherry. The finish adds a hint of spice and more cherry notes, this time sweet and fresh cherry.
- “As a start-up brand you focus hard on achieving credibility and creating awareness. Winning Gold Outstanding and the Mezcal Trophy provided us with a level of credibility and exposure that we simply could not have achieved on our own. The awards helped secure key listings in Harvery Nichols and Selfridges and certainly played a significant part in opening up dialogue with potential U.S importers and ultimately securing one. I thought hard about which competition to enter and what the return on that investment would be. I can say with absolute confidence that the IWSC was worth every penny.”David ShepherdFounder & Director, Corte Vetusto
- “IWSC is a very important competition to us in terms of showing consumers our quality. It's one of the competitions that we definitely enter on a yearly basis.”Ian ChangMaster Blender, Kavalan Distillery
- “Out of all of the awards, the IWSC is probably the most prestigious and most honest awards. You choose your judges very well and they're very good, honest, decent people. They do it for the love of the industry.”Sukhinder SinghMD, The Whisky Exchange
- “The IWSC is a very prestigious competition. The prestige is a great thing to be able to communicate to our customers who have great respect for it.”David PorterOperations & Buying, Lea & Sandeman
- “The IWSC represents everything, without a doubt. There's no better competition in the world where you can judge yourself not just against your countrymen but against the rest of the world.”Andy AndersonWinemaker, Takapoto Estate
- “Fantastic company and fantastic award . . . In the wine industry, having an award like this is such an accolade.”Claire GriffithsCommercial Director, Vina Cono Sur
- “It's one of the greatest international awards you can get. It's similar to an Oscar, if you like.”Lenz MoserWinemaker, Yantai Changyu Pioneer Company
- “Because of the number of international judges that are tasting the wines and the number of wines that are being entered, it’s a great privilege for us to receive this award. The history of the competition, the standing that it has amongst the international wine world and certainly amongst one’s peers, to be able to get an award at the IWSC means a lot. There are a lot of competitions around the world – this probably represents the top award you could get as a winemaker.”Gary & Kathy JordanWinemakers, Jordan Wine Estate
- “It’s a great honour to win especially as nowadays people are focusing on the quality not just the numbers, so it does mean a huge amount getting recognition from an institution as well sought after as the IWSC.”Chris BlandyOwner, Blandy's Wines
- “This will be a recognition that will help in building the brand further, and building its prestige around the world.”Victor FuentesDirector General, El Coto de Rioja S.A
- “The IWSC is a well renowned, well looked up to standard and a symbol of premium products so it’s a great achievement to win any award.”Andrea FreeboroughCellar Master, Nederburg Wines