The results of the second London Wine Competition are in and they are a resounding success for Australia, which picked up a staggering 31% of all the medals that were handed out. What’s even more impressive is that the bar was raised significantly in the awards’ second year with more entries, more medals and more judges taking part. The awards were introduced to represent how consumers buy wines, based not just on their quality, but what they look like on shelf, and what value for money they offer.
As well as Australia there was also strong performances for some Old World classics and some successes for producers from lesser known wine countries in the second London Wine Competition.
The London Wine Competition was introduced to be different from any other major wine awards. It did not just want to do more of the same. But instead look at wine through the eyes of the consumer and how they buy and choose which wines to buy. Of course, the quality of the wine is ultimately what will determine whether a consumer comes back to buy another bottle, but to do so first it needs to sell itself through its design, packaging and value for money.
All three are the key criteria by which all wines in the London Wine Competition are judged meaning any of the medal winners know they have a wine they can rightly take to the market with the knowledge it works on all three consumer levels.
The results of the second London Wine Competition also reflected the quality and innovation that is taking place all over the world. But it was Australia that is leading the way, taking away 11 Gold medals and scooping up 31% of the medals awarded. But there was also a long tail of countries that also picked up a share of the spoils with France, Italy through to Portugal, New Zealand, Austria, Spain, the US and England all being awarded category medals.
Kellermeister’s Wild Witch Shiraz seized the top Gold medal, scoring 98 points, and also securing ‘Wine of the Year’ and Best Wine By Quality. Situated in the Barossa Valley Australia’s classic region for top quality Shiraz growing and producing, the Wild Witch is not produced in every vintage.
The second highest score was for 97 points shared between Guinevere 2016, from Gusbourne in the UK, Fink & Kotzian Weinbau OG 2017, from Fink & Kotzian Weinbau OG in Austria; Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Classico Riserva, 2013 from Tenuta Santa Maria di Gaetano Bertani in Italy.
Other key winners included
Best Varietal in Show: Gusbourne for its Guinevere Chardonnay
Best Wine by Package: Austrian winery Fink and Kotzian Weinbau.
Best in Show by Country for France: Jean Bouchard’s Mercurey Rouge 2015
Best Winery of the Year: Jean Bouchard
Best in Show by Country for Italy: Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva from Tenuta Santa Maria di Gaetano Bertani
Best Sangiovese: La Prima Chianti Classico Gran Selezione from Castello Vicchiomaggio
Best in Show for the US: Alexander Valley Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.
Sid Patel, chief executive of the London Wine Competition said of this year’s awards: “I am delighted with the level of quality which has gone up another two notches from last year. The high standard of judges has helped us achieve even more notable awards than in 2018. It has been interesting to hear so many judges comment on how the packaging has an effect on their scores.”
The awards are broken down like this:
Quality score: marked out of 50
Value score: marked out of 25
Packaging score: marked out of 25
To win a Gold you need to score 90 points or more. For a Silver it is 76-89 and Bronze it is 65-75.
The judges for this year’s competition included 11 Masters of Wine, a Master Sommelier, and buyers from key retail operators, wine distributors as well as senior sommeliers from London’s fine premium on-trade. During interviews with the judges, many confessed that the packaging added a level of dimension that they hadn’t expected. Some even declared that it changed their mark of the final product and affected how they saw the taste of the wines.
For example, Robin Kick MW, said of the packaging: “Absolutely. As a buyer it’s vital. Before I knew about wine, I would choose wine by the label, and I still do, to some degree. Obviously I know a lot more, so I’m able to look at the region, look at the vintage, look at other indicators on the label to maybe sense what the wine might be like, but even I, someone whose studied wine and worked in the wine business now for over 20 years and being a Master of Wine, I still will look at labels and choose wine in an area that I’m not aware of or familiar with based on the label.”
The awards also demonstrated the real scope of global production and competition with award winners being selected from a number of lesser known wine producing countries Uruguay, Russian Federation, Jordan, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Ukraine.
- Click here to see all the medal winners.
- To find out more about the London Wine Competition and how it is organised and the details for next year’s competition then go its website here. The competition is part of a series of “London” awards run by the Beverage Trade Network, including Spirits and Beers.
- The results from the Spirits competition can be seen here.