Every year in September, our tastings at the Richmond and Teddington Wine Societies focus on the Medal Winners from the various competitions that take place in the UK in April.
The two main events are the International Wine Challenge (IWC) and Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA). There are similarities and differences in the judging process but as we focus on Trophy, Platinum and Gold Medal winners, you can be assured that these top wines have been re-tasted up to five times by some of the finest palates in the world.
The enduring theme of the top wines is balance and this year was no exception.
We kicked off with a Fiano 2021 from Sicily – a Best in Show under £15.00 at DWWA and it was a magnificent start. Beautifully aromatic with ripe stonefruit and a rich texture. A bargain at £13.00!
The Torrontes from Bodegas Colomé in Salta, Argentina was a benchmark example of this increasingly popular grape with crisp grapefruit and vibrant acidity.
A Chardonnay comparison ensued. The wild ferment Trinity Hill from Hawkes Bay triumphed (according to the majority vote) over the Dawson & James Tasmanian example despite being almost half the price. £25 and £48 respectively.
A silver medal winning Bordeaux Blend from Rustenberg in Stellenbosch delivered a well balanced wine without igniting our palates, and was an interesting comparison with the gold medal winning Chronic Cellars Paso Robles Chronic Cellars (blackcurrant in a bottle), but it was more interesting to return to Europe, and specifically Sardinia.
We don’t taste wines from this island too often so it is always good to see the progress and quality development. Cannonau (grenache) is the main red grape and the wine was made by Antonella Corda, granddaughter of one of Italy’s top oenologists.
Given that it won two trophies, expectations were high. I thought it was a superb example of ripe, well balanced Cannonau, with soft structured tannins, vibrant cherry fruits and an immense finish.
The final wine was a highlight – the Sandeman 30 Year old Tawny Port. Despite being a big name, Sandeman have developed a very high quality niche in top class Tawnies. This was a gloriously rich sweet mouthful of dried fruits – simply oozing the spirit of Christmas.
The IWC and DWWA have delivered again!
Full details are on the Wines we have tasted page.