Brits sparkle at the 2012 International Wine Challenge

Results: 11.00am, Tuesday 22 May, London International Wine Fair, Stand V50, ExCel London

In the Jubilee year, English wines are celebrating their success at the 2012 International Wine Challenge (IWC), with a record sweep of 49 medals, an increase of 36% on last year.

The best of British sparkled, led by Ridgeview Marksman and Camel Valley Brut 2010 - fresh from her Majesty's Jubilee lunch- who were both awarded highly contested Gold medals. Another two Britons were behind medal winning wines. Katie Jones picked up her first Gold medal for Domaine Jones Fitou 2010 and Howard Bilton won a Silver alongside Australian wine maker David Baverstock for Howard's Folly Alvarinho 2010.

The 29th IWC saw 425 Gold medals awarded (The highest Gold medal tally in the history of the IWC) with winning wines selected from a record 50 countries. For the first time, entries were received from Colombia and Bosnia and Herzegovina with the latter awarded one Silver and two Bronze, establishing them as emerging contenders for quality wine production.

Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC, says: "The IWC is the most prestigious and influential wine contest in the world. Its global reputation means that winning an award is a tremendous achievement, and brings the award-winning wine to the attention of an international audience. The quality of the entries from established and emerging wine producing nations is testament to the unrivalled credibility and standing of the IWC."

UK supermarkets distinguished themselves in the arena of own label champagne, sparkling wine and wine with Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Waitrose and the The Co-operative Group all winning Gold medals. In the own label category, Marks & Spencer dominated with 233 medals (a 253% increase on last year), 12 of which were Gold.

Tesco came second with 78 medals (6 Gold) followed by, ASDA (45 medals), Sainsbury's (26 medals) and Waitrose (15 medals). Also deserving a mention is The Co-operative that saw a YOY increase of 160% with 13 medal wins, Aldi with 11 medals and finally Morrison's with 6 medals.

Supermarket sparkling, champagne and wine Gold medals include:

  • Tesco Finest Albariño Pazo Serantellos 2010 (RRP £7.79)
  • Tesco Finest Premier Cru Champagne (RRP £19.99)
  • Tesco Finest Viña Mara Gran Reserva 2004 (RRP £13.79)
  • Tesco Finest Vintage Champagne 2004 (RRP £25.99)
  • Tesco Finest Sauternes 2009 (RRP £12.99)
  • Tesco Finest Dessert Semillon 2008 (£6.79)
  • Marks & Spencer Chambolle-Musigny 2009 (RRP £38.00)
  • Marks & Spencer Chianti Classico Riserva Castello della Paneretta 2008 (RRP £12.99)
  • Ridgeview Marksman (exclusive to Marks & Spencer) Brut (RRP £22.00)
  • Marks & Spencer Crozes Hermitage 2010 (RRP £10.99)
  • Marks & Spencer Dry Old Oloroso (RRP £7.49)
  • Marks & Spencer Mattiske Road Barossa Valley Shiraz 2010 (RRP £16.99)
  • Marks & Spencer Meursault 1er Cru Les Charmes 2009 (RRP £40.00)
  • Marks & Spencer Orpale Grand Cru Champagne 1998 (RRP £55.00)
  • Marks & Spencer Single Block Series S1 Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (RRP £12.99)
  • Marks & Spencer Tokaji Aszu 2001 (RRP £16.99)
  • Marks & Spencer Villa Magna Primitivo di Manduria 2010 (RRP £9.99)
  • Marks & Spencer Vintage Port 2007 (RRP 25.00)
  • Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Oloroso Sherry (RRP £7.99)
  • Waitrose Brut Special Reserve Vintage 2004 (RRP £29.99)
  • The Co-operative Les Pionniers, Champagne 2004 (RRP £24.99)

Here are some of the highlights from this year's results:

  • Record number of 50 countries entered the competition
  • Over 376 different grape varietals
  • 4,777 (total) medals awarded
    • 425 Gold medals
    • 1,637 Silver medals
    • 2,715 Bronze medals
  • Plus a further 3,488 Commended wines
  • The top three Gold medal-winning nations for 2012 are reigning champions France with 120, Australia (69) and Portugal (55)
  • France topped the medal board overall with a total of 1,136 medals, while Australia came second with 673 and Portugal third with 444
  • Wales celebrated 3 Commended awards for Ancre Hill Estates Sparkling Rosé, Ancre Hill Estates Sparkling White and Tintern Parva Bacchus
  • Celebrity medal successes include:
    • Straight from Her Majesty the Queen's Jubilee lunch and the Prime Ministers reception at 10 Downing Street, is British, Gold medal Camel Valley 'Cornwall' Brut 2010
    • American film director, producer and screenwriter, Francis Ford Coppola, scooped 3 Bronze awards for Rubicon
    • French rugby star Gerard Bertrand scored high with 2 Gold medals for his Domaine De Villemajou 2010 and Grand Terrior Pic Saint Loup 2010
    • Professional golfer Ernie Els got a hole in one when he picked up 3 Silver medals for his Ernie Els Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Ernie Els Proprietor's Blend 2010, Ernie Els Proprietor's Syrah 2010

Charles Metcalfe adds: "Medal winning wines have the guarantee of being tasted by some of the world's best, most impartial tasters. So the consumer can be guided and reassured by the IWC logo when it comes to selecting wines of quality and character."

Over 400 experienced judges, including many Masters of Wine, meticulously tasted the IWC's medal-winning wines, with each wine being tested at least three, and sometimes up to six, times, with marks for faithfulness to variety, country, region and vintage. Wine lovers can be confident when choosing a wine featuring the IWC logo that it has been rigorously judged.

The renowned and respected panel of Co-Chairmen - Tim Atkin MW, Sam Harrop MW, Charles Metcalfe, Derek Smedley MW, along with global wine expert and TV personality Oz Clarke, were joined by Peter McCombie MW who takes his place on the panel for the first time this year.

Details of all the winning wines are available at the IWC's website where you can use the search tool to find your perfect wine by grape, style and price at an outlet near you. Many medal winning wines will display the IWC logo on the bottle for easy identification.


For further press information, high res images and samples, please contact:

Jackie Kough at touch pr on 020 8544 6900 email

Notes to Editors:

The International Wine Challenge (IWC):

  • This is the 29th year of the International Wine Challenge (IWC)
  • The IWC is accepted as the world's finest and most meticulously judged wine competition
  • The IWC assesses every wine blind and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage
  • Throughout the rigorous judging processes, each medal winning wine is tasted on three separate occasions by at least 10 different judges
  • *Awards include medals (Gold, Silver, Bronze) and Commended awards
  • Visit the IWC website for the full list of winners