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IWC 2021: The trophy winners

Which are the top wines and who are the winemakers vying for the coveted IWC Winemaker of the Year awards?


Winemaker Javier Martinez de Salinas had a clean sweep of the Rioja trophies – winning for two bodegas

IWC 2021: The trophy winners
  • Chris Boiling
  • 2021-05-18
For the first time in almost a decade, an Australian wine has won the International Shiraz Trophy at the International Wine Challenge. After a five-year reign by Syrahs from New Zealand, Wolf Blass regained the honour for Australia with its Grey Label McLaren Vale Shiraz 2019.
Sam Caporn MW, one of the IWC’s six co-chairs, commented: “It’s great to see Australia, who arguably put Shiraz on the world stage, taking the trophy this year.”
However, Australia’s top red in the competition – and winner of the Australian Red Trophy – was a GSM, Kilikanoon Wines’ Baudinet 2019.
The International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy – won last year by South Africa’s Groot Constantia Wine Estate – has gone to Austria for the first time! Südsteiermark producer Weingut Schneeberger won the trophy with its Sauvignon Blanc Kitzeck-Sausal Südsteiermark 2019. 

Les Celliers de Vetroz vyds
Another notable European success was Les Celliers de Vétroz (above) – awarded the Swiss White Trophy for its dry Petite Arvine 2019. Owner of Les Celliers de Vétroz and Origin Vineyards, Bernard Fontannaz, also makes wines in Stellenbosch and Mendoza.
One of the biggest surprises at this year’s competition, which attracted thousands of wines from more than 40 countries, was the awarding of a Maturana Trophy to Bodegas Baigorri for its Baigorri Maturana 2018. It’s the first time in the history of the International Wine Challenge that a Maturana Trophy has been awarded, celebrating the rise in quality of one of Rioja’s lesser-known varieties.

Maturana bottle
It’s an artisanal wine made in just four 225L barrels with grapes from experimental vines planted in 2009 removed from the stems by hand and macerated for five days. The other key winemaking steps are:

  • Fermentation at 22-24ºC so that it can be extended for 20-25 days.
  • During the alcoholic fermentation there is no pumping over, only stirring and punching down to moisten the cap and totally submerge it.
  • The wine is then transferred to new French oak barrels for MLF with temperature controlled at 21ºC.
It was a more traditional Spanish wine – the Montecastro Reserva 2016, a Tempranillo from Bodegas Montecastro in Castilla Y Leon – that took the Spanish Red Trophy. Granbazán Etiqueta Ámbar 2019, an Albariño from Galicia’s Agro de Bazán, received the Spanish White Trophy. Acclaimed Sherry producer Emilio Lustau scooped the Sherry Trophy for its Lustau Palo Cortado V.O.R.S 30 Years and the Pedro Ximenez Trophy for Pedro Ximenez San Emilio.
Winemaker Javier Martinez de Salinas had a clean sweep of the Rioja trophies – winning for two bodegas. The Rioja Trophy and Rioja Gran Reserva Trophy went to Olarra’s Clásico Gran Reserva 2015, and the Rioja Reserva Trophy went to Bodegas Ondarre’s Mayor De Ondarre Reserva 2016.
Spanish expert and IWC co-chair Tim Atkin MW commented: “Spain has an incredibly diverse viticultural landscape, reflected in the variety of winning styles in this year’s competition. It also benefits from a wealth of indigenous varietals and it’s encouraging to see the single variety Maturana emerge triumphant this year.”

Other highlights 

  • Burgundy producer Maison Albert Bichot showed its class by winning both the International Pinot Noir Trophy and the International Chardonnay Trophy. It was the Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Cuvée Cyrot Chaudron Hospices de Beaune 2019 that topped the Pinot Noirs and the Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru Domaine du Pavillon 2019 that was crowned king of the Chardonnays.
  • After three successive years of victory, Austria’s reign as Riesling supremo has ended. This year’s International Riesling Trophy is heading back to Germany – Weingut Schloss Reinhartshausen’s Erbacher Siegelsberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2015 is the winning wine.
  • For the second year running, a 2008 vintage Champagne has taken the Champagne Trophy. Piper-Heidsieck was the successful producer.
  • The Squerryes Partnership was awarded the English Sparkling Trophy for its Blanc de Blancs 2014, which also won the English Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Trophy. The English Sparkling Classic Blend Trophy was awarded to Squerryes Brut 2011.
  • Santorini’s Domaine Sigalas was awarded the Greek White Trophy for its Santorini Barrel 2020, an organic Assyrtiko made and aged for 6 months in French oak barrels.
The full list of trophy winners can be seen here
The IWC 2021 Champions, which are selected following a retasting of all trophy-winning wines by the IWC co-chairs, will be revealed at the IWC 2021 Awards celebration in London on June 30.

The top wines from each country

Argentina: Mendoza-based Bodegas Fabre won the Argentinian Red Trophy with its Cabernet Franc-dominated blend, Alta Yari Grand Corte 2019. 
Australia: Tasmania’s House of Arras EJ Carr Late Disgorged Vintage 2005 won the Australian Sparkling Trophy; Penfolds Reserve Bin A Chardonnay 2019 won the Australian White Trophy; Kilikanoon Wines’ Baudinet 2019 – a GSM – won the Australian Red Trophy.
Austria: Winzer Krems’ Kremstal Reserve Grüner Veltliner 2019 won the Austrian White Trophy; Hans Tschida’s Gelber Muskateller Schilfwein 2008 won the Austrian Sweet Trophy.
Canada: Peller Estates’ Andrew Peller Signature Series Riesling Icewine 2019 won the Canadian Icewine Trophy.
Chile: Viña Undurraga’s Vigno 2019 – 90% Carignan – won the Chilean Red Trophy.
England: Squerryes Blanc de Blancs 2014 won the English Sparkling Trophy.
France: Piper-Heidsieck Vintage 2008 won the Champagne Trophy; Maison Albert Bichot’s Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru Domaine du Pavillon 2019 won the French White Trophy, while its Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Cuvée Cyrot Chaudron Hospices de Beaune 2019 won the French Red Trophy.
Georgia: An orange wine, Kindzmarauli Marani Kakhuri 2013, won the Georgian White Trophy.
Germany: Weingut Schloss Reinhartshausen’s Erbacher Siegelsberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2015 won the German White Trophy.
Greece: Domaine Sigalas’ Santorini Barrel 2020 won the Greek White Trophy.
Hungary: Juliet Victor’s Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2017 took the Tokaji Trophy.
Italy: Tenuta Aquilaia’s Vermentino Maremma Toscana Tenuta Aquilaia 2020 won the Italian White Trophy; Santa Sofia’s Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico Riserva 2012 won the Italian Red Trophy; and Tenuta Di Capezzana’s Vinsanto di Carmignano Capezzana Riserva 2013 won the Italian Sweet Trophy.
New Zealand: Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2019 won the New Zealand White Trophy; Valli Vineyards’ Pinot Noir Gibbston Vineyard 2019 won the New Zealand Red Trophy.
Portugal: Justino’s Madeira Sercial 1997 won the Madeira Trophy; Sogevinus Fine Wines’ Kopke Porto Colheita 1978 won the Port Trophy; Freire Lobo’s Vigno 2018 – an Encruzado – won the Portuguese White Trophy; and Adega Cooperativa de Silgueiros’ Morgado de Silgueiros Touriga Nacional 2017 – a Touriga Nacional – won the Portuguese Red Trophy.
South Africa: Stellenrust Wine Estate’s Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc (Stellenbosch Manor) 2020 won the South African White Trophy; Lothian Vineyards’ Lothian of Elgin Pinot Noir Vineyard Selection 2020 won the South African Red Trophy.
Spain: Emilio Lustau’s Lustau Palo Cortado V.O.R.S 30 Years NV won the Sherry Trophy; Agro de Bazán’s Granbazán Etiqueta Ámbar 2019 – an Albariño – won the Spanish White Trophy; and Bodegas Montecastro’s Reserva 2016 – a Tempranillo – won the Spanish Red Trophy.
Switzerland: Les Celliers de Vétroz’s Petite Arvine 2019 won the Swiss White Trophy.

The top winemakers

Shortlist for the IWC Red Winemaker of the Year 2021
  • Bodegas Fabre’s Hervé J. Fabre
  • Wolf Blass’ Chris Hatcher and Steven Frost
  • Bodegas Olarra’s Javier Martinez de Salinas

Shortlist for the IWC White Winemaker of the Year 2021
  • La Chablisienne’s Vincent Bartement
  • Maison Albert Bichot’s Alain Serveau
  • Penfolds Wines’ Kym Schroeter
  • Edouard Delaunay’s Christophe Briotet

Shortlist for the IWC Fortified Winemaker of the Year 2021
  • Emilio Lustau’s Sergio Martínez
  • Kopke’s Carlos Alves
  • González Byass’ Antonio Flores

Shortlist for the IWC Sparkling Winemaker of the Year 2021
  • Champagne Castelnau’s Elisabeth Sarcelet & Carine Bailleul
  • Rare Champagne’s Régis Camus
  • Piper-Heidsieck’s Emilien Boutillat

Shortlist for the IWC Sweet Winemaker of the Year 2021
  • Peller Estates’ Katie Dickieson
  • Hans Tschida’s Hans Tschida
  • Hermann Fink’s Hermann and Anna Fink
The IWC 2021 winemakers of the year will be revealed at the IWC 2021 Awards celebration in London on June 30.

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