The International Wine Challenge (IWC) has unveiled its 2011 results at the London International Wine Fair (LIWF), with a record 48 countries entering this year's competition.
It was an outstanding year for English wines, with two Gold medals, including Denbies Wine Estate Chalk Ridge Rosé 2010 (£11.99 rrp) the only still Rosé in the world to win a 2011 Gold medal. Chapel Down was also awarded a Gold medal for its sparkling Rosé Vintage Reserve Brut NV (£24.99 rrp).
Chris Ashton, event director of the IWC, said: "Now in its 28th year, the IWC's reputation means that an award-winning wine receives a tremendous boost, and this year's competition sees an even wider variety of superb wines being entered – a 13% increase year on year."
Highlights of this year's results
- A record number of 48 countries entered
- Over 450 different grape varietals
- 5,117 total medals awarded: 406 Gold medals (a 19% increase year on year), 1,687 Silvers and 3,024 Bronzes.
- A further 3,655 Commended awarded wines.
- The top three Gold medal-winning nations for 2011 are reigning champions: France with 98, Australia 61 and Portugal 42.
- France tops the medal board overall with a total of 1,932 medals, while Australia is second (1,070) and Italy third (979).
- Wales celebrated its first Silver medal for its Parva Farm Vineyard, Tintern Parva Bacchus 2009 (£9.50 rrp).
- Brazil won its first Gold medal for Gran Legado Brut Champenoise NV.
- Japan (Sake & Wine) enjoyed an outstanding year with a record 31 Gold medals being awarded, an increase of 121% year on year.
- Celebrity medal successes include: Golfing legend Ernie Els scooped Silver for his Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, French actor Gerard Depardieu won Silver for Château Pérenne 2008, and former England Cricketer Ian Botham's Geoff Merrill Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre 2007 achieved a Commended.
Once again, the UK's supermarkets shone through with their own-label wines, particularly the sparkling ranges. Tesco led the way with 86 medals overall, including two Golds for their own-label wines, while Marks & Spencer received three Golds and 61 medals, Sainsbury's 57 and Asda 56 medals.
Supermarket sparkling and Champagne medals include:
- Waitrose Champagne Brut NV (£19.93 rrp) Gold
- Waitrose Champagne Blanc de Blancs NV (£22.99 rrp) Silver
- Tesco Finest Premier Cru Champagne NV (£19.99 rrp) Gold
- Tesco Finest Vintage Champagne 2004 (£25.99 rrp) Silver
- Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Vintage Champagne 2005 NV (£25.99 rrp) Silver
- Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Prosecco Conegliano 2010 (£10.49 rrp) Silver
- Marks & Spencer Herbert Beaufort NV (£30 rrp) Gold
- Marks & Spencer Champagne Oudinot Vintage 2004 (£28 rrp) Bronze
- Asda Extra Special Vintage Champagne 2002 (£20.17 rrp) Gold
- Asda Asti NV (£4.99 rrp) Silver.
The winning wines were each tasted by panels drawn from more than 400 experienced judges, including many Masters of Wine.
The IWC's trophy winners, selected from the Gold medal-winning wines, will be announced in June.
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