The full list of medal and trophy winners can be viewed here, but here are the highlights…
French wines reign supreme once moreFrance, not surprisingly, was the most awarded country in each medal category, with 75 gold, 367 silver and 442 bronze medals. The Champagne region alone picked up 30 golds, with Rare Champagne claiming the prestigious Champagne Trophy for its Rare Millésime 2008.
Rhône producer Maison Delas Frères succeeded in reclaiming the International Syrah Trophy from New Zealand for the first time in almost a decade for its Les Bessards 2019 and France also retained the International Pinot Noir Trophy for a seventh year in a row. The winning wine, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Cuvée Cyrot Chaudron Hospices de Beaune 2020, from Burgundy producer Maison Albert Bichot, was also crowned with this trophy last year for its 2019 vintage.
International Wine Challenge co-chair Sam Caporn MW (main photo) commented: “Once again we have been reminded of the outstanding quality of the wines produced in the French regions of Burgundy, Champagne and the Rhône.”
New Zealand back on top with the grape that made it famousAfter being pipped to the International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy two years running, New Zealand reclaimed the honour this year with Yealands Estate Single Block S1 Sauvignon Blanc 2021. New Zealand also showed its strength in depth, winning three of the five gold medals awarded to wines made from this variety.
“In this year’s results, more than 20 countries were recognised for their Sauvignon Blanc wines and so competition for this trophy is becoming increasingly stiff. New Zealand winemakers will be particularly pleased with the results this year, having lost out to Austria last year and South Africa the year before,” explained IWC co-chair Tim Atkin MW.
New Zealand gained 17 gold medals in total with a wide range of grape varieties. Syrah and Pinot Noir as expected but there were also a couple of outstanding red blends from the Gimblett Gravels region: Villa Maria’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2020 (80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot) and Esk Valley’s Artisanal Series Malbec Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2019.
New Zealand also showed it is a serious Chardonnay producer, with gold medals for Hawke’s Bay producers Tony Bish and Trinity Hill Wines, Central Otago’s Te Kano, Marlborough’s Stoneleigh, and Nelson’s Kono NZ. Trinity Hill Wines’ Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay 2020 also scooped the International Chardonnay Trophy – the first time New Zealand has won this category, which has traditionally been dominated by wines from Chablis.
Although Australia gained the most golds with this grape in the still wines category – 12 – the variety showed it can thrive in a wide range of conditions. There were two gold medals for producers in England (for Chapel Down’s consistently good Kit’s Coty Chardonnay and newcomer Artelium’s Artefact #2 Barrel Aged Chardonnay 2020). Chile’s Viña Errazuriz ‘Aconcagua Costa’ Chardonnay 2019 and Portugal’s Quinta do Gradil Chardonnay 2020 were also awarded the highest medal in the competition.
South Africa shows its versatilitySouth Africa showed its versatility, picking up five gold medals with Chardonnays and further golds with a Sauvignon Blanc (Land’s End Cape Agulhas Sauvignon Blanc 2021), three red blends (Fryer’s Cove Grenache Cinsault 2021, Saronsberg Cellar’s Saronsberg Full Circle 2020 and Saronsberg Seismic 2020), a Cabernet Sauvignon (Neil Ellis Jonkershoek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018), a Shiraz (Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Shiraz 2018), and a Pinot Noir (Bouchard Finlayson Tete de Cuvee Pinot Noir 2020).
English wines go from strength to strengthEngland cemented its position as one of the world’s best producers of sparkling wines, coming second only to France for gold medals, with vineyards in Sussex, Kent and Oxfordshire all scoring 95 points or more.
Kent, in the far southeast, led the way with 30 medals, two of which were gold and the county also took home the Vintage English Sparkling Trophy for the Gusbourne Exclusive Release 2018. Other wins came for Oxfordshire’s Wyfold Vineyard Rose 2017, which was the only English sparkling rosé to gain a gold, as well as Sussex newcomer Highweald’s Brut Reserve NV, which received the coveted English Sparkling Trophy and the Non-Vintage English Sparkling Trophy too.
“Blending wine across several sites (in Sussex) enables us to create the very finest expressions of the renowned High Weald landscape,” states the company, which started in 2016, planting 120,000 vines across 27ha, and has since acquired the Lake Street vineyard previously owned by Fox & Fox.
As well as the golds for the two Chardonnay varietals mentioned above, there was also a gold medal for a still red wine (Lyme Bay Winery’s Pinot Noir 2020), prompting Oz Clarke, IWC co-chair and author of ‘English Wine’, to comment: “English sparkling wines have been very highly regarded for some time, but what we see now is that they have paved the way for still wines that excel too.”
Australian Grenache makes historyAustralia was awarded an impressive 54 gold medals in this year’s competition, coming second only to France. South Australian producer Pinnacle Drinks won the International Grenache Trophy for its The Ethereal One Fleurieu Grenache 2020 – the first time in IWC history that an Australian wine has won this accolade.
Meanwhile, Tasmania burnished its reputation as one of the nation’s leading wine-producing regions with the Australian Sparkling Trophy once again awarded to the House of Arras, for its EJ Carr Late Disgorged 2006. The region has now triumphed in this category for every one of the last ten years. The Australian White Trophy also went to a Tasmanian producer, with the Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2020 claiming both the Australian and Tasmanian Chardonnay Trophies.
IWC co-chair Jamie Goode (pictued below with the other co-chairs) said: “Globally, Grenache is one of the most widely planted red grape varieties but it has not always been popular in Australia. In recent years, it has experienced a resurgence thanks to winemakers switching their focus towards lighter styles which are becoming increasingly sought-after worldwide. It is great to see Australia take the trophy for the first time this year.”
Promising performances from tomorrow’s challengersThe results of this year’s Challenge displayed an ever-increasing diversity of styles. The orange wine category was a particular highlight with four wines winning gold medals, double last year’s tally. All four were from Georgia:
- Corporation Kindzmarauli’s Rkatsiteli Qvevri 2019 and Kisi Qvevri 2019;
- Teliani Valley’s Glekhuri Khikhvi Qvevri 2019 and 2020.
Meanwhile, Corporation Kindzmarauli showed another side of the variety – its potential as a great white wine, with its Khikhvi 2020 also collecting a gold.
JSC Tbilvino also proved that Georgia can make outstanding white wines, gaining a gold with its Kisi Special Reserve 2021.
More hidden gemsOther hidden gems uncovered by IWC 2022 include these gold-medal winners:
- North Macedonian producer Tikves’ Merak 2021 red blend;
- Switzerland producer Les Celliers de Vétroz’s Petite Arvine 2020;
- Canadian producer Flat Rock Cellars’ Riesling 2019;
- Uruguay producer Bodega Garzón’s Single Vineyard Tannat 2020.
The highest medal previously won by India was a silver in 2015.
Pictured below is the Sula winery in India.
Silver successIf we look at this year’s silver medals, we can see some potential star regions of the future: Brazil, China, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Moldova, Peru, and Wales.
Of the silver medal winners, the three biggest surprises were:
- A Cabernet Franc from Kazakhstan producer Arba Wine (Kyzyl Arba Cabernet Franc Reserve 2015) – Zeinulla Kakimzhanov’s winery also gained two bronze medals with Rieslings and two with red wines (a Pinot Noir/Saperavi blend and a Merlot);
- A Saperavi from Sweden – producer Vejby Vingård also scored a bronze with an orange Kisi;
- A red wine from Wales – producer White Castle Vineyard’s Pinot Noir Precoce Reserve 2019 gained one of two silvers for the family winery, which was also awarded a silver for its Sparkling White 2018 (a blend of Seyval Blanc and Phoenix).
The top wines at IWC 2022
White winesMargaret River Chardonnay Trophy: Capel Vale Wines, Black Label Chardonnay, 2021, Western Australia, Australia
South Australian Chardonnay Trophy: Accolade Wines, Petaluma Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay, 2021, Adelaide Hills - Piccadilly Valley, Australia
Tasmanian Chardonnay Trophy, Australian Chardonnay Trophy, Australian White Trophy: Tolpuddle Vineyard, Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay, 2020, Tasmania, Australia
Great Southern Chardonnay Trophy, Western Australian Chardonnay Trophy: Ferngrove Wines, Ferngrove Diamond Chardonnay, 2020, Western Australia, Australia
Austrian White Trophy: FJ Gritsch, Riesling Ried Kalkofen Smaragd, 2020, Wachau, Austria
Canadian White Trophy: Flat Rock Cellars, Flat Rock Cellars Riesling, 2019, Niagara Peninsula, Canada
English White Trophy: Artelium Wine Estate, Artefact #2 Barrel Aged Chardonnay, 2020, Sussex, England
Chablis Trophy: La Chablisienne, Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses, 2019, Burgundy, France
Meursault Trophy, White Burgundy Trophy, French White Trophy: Maison Albert Bichot, Meursault 1er Cru Les Charmes Cuvée Albert Grivault Hospices de Beaune, 2020, Burgundy, France
Languedoc White Trophy: Les Domaines Paul Mas, Paul Mas Réserve Languedoc Blanc, 2021, Languedoc Roussillon, France
Savoie White Trophy: Chateau de la Violette, Chignin Bergeron Sous les Cedres, 2020, Chignin Bergeron, France
Kisi Trophy: JSC Tbilvino, Kisi Special Reserve, 2021, Kakheti, Georgia
German White Trophy, International Riesling Trophy: Weingut Hans Wirsching, Iphöfer Kammer Riesling Großes Gewächs, 2019, Franken, Germany
Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay Trophy, New Zealand White Trophy, International Chardonnay Trophy: Trinity Hill Wines, Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay, 2020, Gimblett Gravels, New Zealand
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Trophy, International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy: Yealands Estate Wines, Yealands Estate Single Block S1 Sauvignon Blanc, 2021, Awatere Valley, New Zealand
South African Sauvignon Blanc Trophy: Du Toitskloof Wines, Land's End Wines, Land's End Cape Agulhas Sauvignon Blanc, 2021, Cape Agulhas, South Africa
South African Chardonnay Trophy, South African White Trophy: Neil Ellis Wines, Neil Ellis Whitehall Chardonnay, 2020, Elgin, South Africa
White Rioja Trophy: Bodegas Baigorri, Baigorri Blanco Fermentado en Barrica, 2017, Rioja, Spain
Rías Baixas Trophy, Spanish White Trophy: Hga Bodegas Y Viñedos De Altura Sl, Bodegas Altos De Torona, Altos de Torona Albariño, 2021, Galicia, Rías Baixas, Spain
Red winesArgentinian Red Trophy: Bodega Trivento Argentina, Trivento Bodegas y Viñedos, Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec, 2020, Mendoza, Argentina
Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir Trophy: Sidewood Estate, Sidewood Estate Pinot Noir, 2020, Adelaide Hills, Australia
Barossa Valley Shiraz Blend Trophy: Calabria Family Wines, Saint Petri Shiraz Carignan, 2020, Barossa Valley, Australia
Barossa Valley Shiraz Trophy: D2 International Pty Ltd, Golden Amrita, Golden Amrita Single Estate Shiraz, 2020, Barossa Valley, Australia
South Australian Grenache Trophy, Australian Red Trophy, International Grenache Trophy: Dorrien Estate Winery, Pinnacle Drinks, The Ethereal One Fleurieu Grenache, 2020, Fleurieu Peninsula, Australia
Eden Valley Shiraz Trophy, South Australian Shiraz Trophy: Cimicky Estate, Reserve Eden Valley Shiraz, 2019, Eden Valley, Australia
Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy: Les Grands Chais de France, Viña Del Nuevo Mundo, Las Ninas Ella Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua, 2021, Apalta, Chile
Carmenere Trophy, Chilean Red Trophy: VSPT Wine Group, Selected Vineyards Carmenere, 2020, Maule Valley, Chile
Beaujolais Trophy: Domaine du Mont Verrier, Mont Verrier Moulin à Vent, 2020, Moulin-à-Vent, France
Chambolle Musigny Trophy: Maison Albert Bichot, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses, 2020, Burgundy, France
Clos de la Roche Trophy, Red Burgundy Trophy, International Pinot Noir Trophy: Maison Albert Bichot, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Cuvée Cyrot Chaudron Hospices de Beaune, 2020, Burgundy, France
Corton Trophy: Domaine Du Chateau De Meursault , Corton Grand Cru Les Maréchaudes, 2020, Burgundy, France
Nuits St Georges Trophy: Edouard Delaunay, Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Saint Georges, 2019, Burgundy, France
Pommard Trophy: Edouard Delaunay, Pommard 1er Cru Chaponnières, 2019, Burgundy, France
Red Bordeaux Trophy: Scea Chateau Grand Ormeau, Maurin Liesel, Château Grand Ormeau, 2019, Bordeaux, France
Saint Chinian Trophy: Cave De Roquebrun, Col de la Ramière, 2020, Languedoc Roussillon, France
Terrasses du Larzac Trophy, Languedoc Red Trophy: Les Domaines Paul Mas, Château Crès Ricards Stécia, 2020, Languedoc Roussillon, France
Crozes Hermitage Trophy: Booker Cash & Carry, Les Grands Chais de France, Crozes-Hermitage Chemin des Papes, 2019, Rhône, France
Hermitage Trophy, Rhone Red Trophy, French Red Trophy, International Syrah Trophy: Champagne Deutz, Maison Delas Frères, Les Bessards, 2019, Rhône, France
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Trophy: Codice Citra, Tesco Finest Montepulciano D'Abruzzo, 2019, Abruzzo, Italy
Sardinian Red Trophy, Italian Red Trophy: Azienda Agricola Antonella Corda, Cannonau Di Sardegna, 2020, Sardinia, Italy
Marlborough Syrah Trophy: Giesen Group, Giesen Single Vineyard Clayvin Syrah, 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand
Otago Pinot Noir Trophy, New Zealand Red Trophy: Brandhouse, McArthur Ridge Wines, McArthur Ridge Southern Tor, 2020, Central Otago, New Zealand
North Macedonian Trophy: Tikves Winery, Tikves Merak, 2021, Vardar River Valley, North Macedonia
Douro Trophy: Quinta Vale d'Aldeia, Quinta Vale d'Aldeia Grande Reserva Tinto, 2019, Douro Superior, Portugal
Dao Trophy, Portuguese Red Trophy: Enoport - Produção de Bebidas, Catedral Dão Reserva Tinto, 2021, Dão, Portugal
South African Red Trophy: Seckford Agencies Ltd, Bouchard-Finlayson, Bouchard Finlayson Tete de Cuvee Pinot Noir, 2020, Walker Bay, South Africa
Rioja Alavesa Trophy: Bodegas Baigorri, Baigorri Belus, 2017, Alavesa, Spain
Ribera Del Duero Trophy, Spanish Red Trophy: Codorníu Raventós, Legaris, Legaris Alcubilla De Avellaneda, 2018, Ribera Del Duero, Spain
Graciano Trophy, Rioja Trophy: Bodegas Osborne, Bodegas Montecillo, Viña Monty Graciano Reserva, 2015, Rioja Reserva, Spain
Uruguay Red Trophy: Bodega Garzón, Garzón Single Vineyard Tannat, 2020, Maldonado, Uruguay
SparklingAustralian Sparkling Trophy: Accolade Wines, House of Arras, House of Arras EJ Carr Late Disgorged, 2006, Tasmania, Australia
Non-Vintage English Sparkling Trophy, English Sparkling Trophy: Highweald Wine Estate, Highweald Brut Reserve, Sussex, England
English Sparking Rosé Trophy: Wyfold Vineyard, Wyfold Vineyard Rose, 2017, Oxfordshire, England
Vintage Classic Blend Champagne Trophy, Champagne Trophy: Rare Champagne, Rare Millésime, 2008, Champagne, France
Non-Vintage Blanc de Blanc Champagne Trophy: Champagne Gh Martel, Champagne Charles De Cazanove Vieille France Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne, France
Non-Vintage Classic Blend Champagne Trophy: Piper-Heidsieck, Essentiel Magnum, Champagne, France
Rosé Champagne Trophy: Charles Heidsieck, Vintage Rosé, 2008, Champagne, France
Prosecco Trophy: Col Vetoraz Spumanti, Valdobbiadene Superiore Di Cartizze, 2021, Cartizze, Italy
Cava Trophy: Araex, Bodegas Villa Conchi, Villa Conchi Extra Brut Imperial Reserva, 2018, Cava, Spain
Vintage Blanc de Blancs Champagne Trophy: Charles Heidsieck, Blanc des Millénaires, 2007, Champagne, France
Vintage English Sparkling Trophy: Gusbourne Estate, Exclusive Release, 2018, Kent, England
Sweet winesCanadian Ice Wine Trophy: Reif Estate Winery, Grand Reserve Vidal Icewine, 2019, Niagara Peninsula, Canada
Italian Sweet Trophy: Tenuta Di Capezzana, Vinsanto di Carmignano Capezzana Riserva, 2014, Tuscany, Italy
New Zealand Sweet Trophy: Giesen Group, Giesen The Brothers Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand
Austrian Samling 88 Trophy, Austrian Sweet Trophy: Hans Tschida Angerhof, Sämling 88 Beerenauslese, 2010, Burgenland, Austria
Austrian Sweet Chardonnay Trophy: Hans Tschida Angerhof, Chardonnay Trockenbeerenauslese, 2010, Burgenland, Austria
German Sweet Trophy: Weingut Reiss, Würzburger Pfaffenberg Silvaner Auslese, 2020, Franken, Germany
Fortified winesAustralian Fortified Trophy: Vok Beverages, Galway Pipe Rare Tawny 25 Years, South Australia
Madeira Trophy: Justino's Madeira Wines, Justino's Madeira Verdelho, 1997, Madeira, Portugal
Moscatel de Setúbal Trophy: Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Casa Ermelinda Freitas Moscatel Roxo de Setúbal Superior, 2010, Península De Setúbal, Portugal
Colheita Port Trophy, Port Trophy: C Da Silva, Dalva Porto Colheita Tawny, 1985, Porto, Portugal
LBV Port Trophy: Sogrape Vinhos, Sandeman Porto Late Bottled Vintage 2017, Porto, Portugal
Tawny Port Trophy: Sogrape Vinhos, Sandeman Porto Tawny 40 Years Old, Porto, Portugal
Vintage Port Trophy: Sogrape Vinhos, Porto Ferreira Vintage Quinta do Porto, 2019, Porto, Portugal
Vermouth Trophy: Binomio Vinos, Cabecita Loca Slow Drinks, Cabecita Loca Vermouth, Aragón, Spain
Oloroso Trophy, Sherry Trophy: Bodegas Tradicion, Oloroso Tradicion VORS, Jerez-Sherry, Spain
Amontillado Trophy: Bodega Delgado Zuleta, Amontillado VOS Viejo Zuleta 20 YO, Jerez-Sherry, Spain
Manzanilla en Rama Trophy: Mentzendorff & Co Ltd, Bodegas Hidalgo-La Gitana, La Gitana Manzanilla En Rama, Jerez-Sherry, Spain
Manzanilla Pasada Trophy: Emilio Lustau, Manzanilla Pasada de Sanlucar Almacenista Cuevas Jurado, Jerez-Sherry, Spain
Medium Sherry Trophy: Bodegas Osborne, Solera India Rare, Jerez-Sherry, Spain
Pedro Ximenez Trophy: Emilio Lustau, Lustau Pedro Ximenez VORS, Jerez-Sherry, Spain
For the full list of IWC 2022 results, click here.