The International Wine Challenge, the world’s most influential and rigorously judged wine competition, has announced its 30 best wines from around the world.
Winners from 14 countries were named the top wines having proven themselves to be the absolute finest in their categories following an intensive blind-tasting. Six of these outstanding wines have been named Champions by the International Wine Challenge co-chairs, a group of six of the very best wine tasters in the world.
A Chardonnay from Tasmania, Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2018, has beaten wines from more than 50 countries to be awarded the Champion White Trophy in this year’s competition. Australia was one of the highest performing countries, with four wines included in the 30 best list.
For the first time in the history of the International Wine Challenge, a Georgian producer, Tbilvino, was awarded the 2020 Champion Red Wine for its wine made from the indigenous grape variety Saperavi, but Portugal was this year’s top performer, with four wines making the list including the overall winner Justino's Madeira Terrantez 1978 which was awarded the ultimate accolade of Champion of Champions.
A 2017 Vintage Port from Bulas Family Estates was named the Champion Fortified Trophy winner, the first time since 2012 that a Port has pipped Sherry to this title.
Champagne Taittinger was awarded the highest accolade for sparkling wine in the competition, winning the Champion Sparkling Trophy for its Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc des Blancs Brut 2008. Another top-scorer was Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2017 from Burgundy producer Edouard Delaunay which beat Pinot Noir from all over the world to collect the International Pinot Noir Trophy. The revitalised family business was the big winner at the International Wine Challenge 2020, gaining 15 gold, 30 silver and 7 bronze medals. Edouard Delaunay also picked up seven other trophies, including the Burgundy Trophy, and its young winemaker, Christophe Briotet, was named IWC Red Winemaker of the Year.
Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2017 from La Chablisienne was awarded the Chablis Grand Cru Trophy, White Burgundy Trophy, and French White Trophy.
Spain has proven its winemaking expertise with three wines from the world-famous regions of Ribera del Duero DO, Rías Baixas DO and Jerez included in the list. Raventós Codorníu was awarded the Spanish Red Trophy for Legaris Moradillo de Roa 2016, Agro de Bazán took home the Spanish White Trophy for Granbazan Limousin 2017 and Emilio Lustau was awarded the Sherry Trophy for Lustau Oloroso V.O.R.S 30 Years.
New Zealand cemented its reputation as a world-class red wine producing country with a Pinot Noir and a Syrah making it into the list. Coal Pit Tiwha Pinot Noir 2018 from Central Otago was awarded both the New Zealand Red Trophy and Sustainable Trophy, whilst Church Road 1 Syrah 2017 took the International Syrah Trophy. Church Road made the 30 best list twice with Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay from Hawke’s Bay taking home the New Zealand White Trophy.
South Africa’s entries in the list highlight the diversity of white wines currently being produced in the country with the Elgin Chardonnay 2018 from Boschendal Wines scooping the South African White Trophy. Groot Constantia Wine Estate’s Sauvignon Blanc 2019 won the International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy, the first time in ten years that the award hasn’t gone to either the Loire or New Zealand.
Co-chair Helen McGinn commented:
“What sets the International Wine Challenge apart from any other global wine competition is the overtly democratic way in which the wines are judged. We pride ourselves in having expert judges from all areas of the industry who taste the wines, giving each wine the very best chance to be judged as fairly as possible.”
The top wines at the International Wine Challenge 2020
Champion of Champions: Justino’s Madeira Terrantez 1978, Portugal
Champion White: Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2018, Australia
Champion Sparkling: Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc des Blancs Brut 2008, France
Champion Red: Tbilvino Saperavi 2018, Georgia
Champion Sweet: Royal Tokaji 6 Puttonyos Aszú 2016, Hungary
Champion Fortified: Bulas Vintage Port 2017, Portugal
The top wines in each country
Argentina: Apelación de Origen Paraje Altamira 2018, Terrazas de los Andes, Mendoza Red Blend Trophy, Argentinian Red Trophy
Australia: Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, St Hugo, Coonawarra Cabernet Trophy, Australian Red Trophy
Australia: Morris Old Rare Liqueur Premium Topaque, Morris Wines, Rutherglen Topaque Trophy, Australian Fortified Trophy
Australia: Lake Cooper Well Rhapsody Shiraz 2019, Lake Cooper Estate, Heathcote Shiraz Trophy, Australian Shiraz Trophy
Austria: Ried Gottschelle 1ÖTW Erste Lage Kremstal Reserve Grüner Veltliner 2018, Petra Unger, Kremstal Grüner Veltliner Trophy, Austrian White Trophy
Austria: Riesling Ried Zöbinger Heiligenstein 1ötw Kamptal 2019, Weingut Birgit Eichinger, Kamptal Riesling Trophy, International Riesling Trophy
China: Syrah 2017, Ningxia Helanshan Manor Wine China, Chinese Red Trophy
England: Classic Cuvée 2010, Nyetimber, Vintage Classic Blend English Sparkling Trophy, English Sparkling Trophy
France: Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2017, Edouard Delaunay, Clos de la Roche Trophy, Burgundy Trophy, French Red Trophy, International Pinot Noir Trophy
France: Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2017, La Chablisienne, Chablis Grand Cru Trophy, White Burgundy Trophy, French White Trophy
Germany: Kirchenstück Hochheim Riesling Trocken GG 2019, Domdechant Werner´sches Weingut Rheingau Riesling Trophy, German White Trophy
Italy: Balciana 2017, Sartarelli, Italian White Trophy
Italy: Vin Santo del Chianti Riserva Colmano 2000, Azienda Agricola Colmano di Piero Masi, Italian Sweet Trophy
Italy: Carminium 2016, Inama Azienda Agricola, Veneto Red Trophy, Italian Red Trophy
New Zealand: Coal Pit Tiwha Pinot Noir 2018, Coal Pit Wine, Gibbston Pinot Noir Trophy, New Zealand Pinot Noir Trophy, New Zealand Red Trophy, Sustainable Trophy
New Zealand: Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2018, Church Road, Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay Trophy, New Zealand Chardonnay Trophy, New Zealand White Trophy
New Zealand: Church Road 1 Syrah 2017, Church Road, Hawke’s Bay Syrah Trophy, International Syrah Trophy
Portugal: Fonte do Ouro Encruzado 2019, Sociedade Agrícola Boas Quintas, Dao White Trophy, Portuguese White Trophy
Portugal: Tyto Alba 2016, Companhia das Lezírias, Portuguese Red Trophy
South Africa: Boschendal Elgin Chardonnay 2018, Boschendal Wines, Elgin Chardonnay Trophy, South African White Trophy
South Africa: Groot Constantia Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Groot Constantia Wine Estate, Constantia Sauvignon Blanc Trophy, International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy
Spain: Legaris Moradillo de Roa 2016, Raventós Codorníu, Ribera del Duero Trophy, Spanish Red Trophy
Spain: Granbazan Limousin 2017, Agro de Bazán, Spanish White Trophy
Spain: Lustau Oloroso V.O.R.S 30 Years, Emilio Lustau, Oloroso Trophy, Sherry Trophy
The best winemakers
IWC Fortified Winemaker of the Year 2020: Sergio Martínez from Emilio Lustau
IWC Sparkling Winemaker of the Year 2020: Michel Parisot from Champagne Devaux
IWC White Winemaker of the Year 2020: Vincent Bartement from La Chablisienne
IWC Red Winemaker of the Year 2020: Christophe Briotet from Edouard Delaunay
IWC Sweet Winemaker of the Year 2020: Dr Klaus Peter Heigel from Weingut Hans Wirsching
Planet Earth Awards
IWC Organic Trophy 2020: Maison Albert Bichot Volnay 1er Cru Les Santenots Domaine du Pavillon 2018
IWC Sustainable Trophy 2020: Coal Pit Tiwha Pinot Noir 2018
IWC Fairtrade Award 2020: La Riojana Coop Tilimuqui Fairtrade Organic Malbec 2019
IWC Special Awards
For Consistency over 5 years - Len Evans Trophy 2020: Wolf Blass
IWC Best Wine in First Year of Production - James Rogers Trophy 2020: Balfour Hush Heath The Red Miller 2018
IWC Lifetime Achievement Award 2020: Aurelio Montes