The medal-winning wines from The Global Rosé Masters 2022

Following judging in June, we are able to reveal the full list of medal-winning wines from this year’s Global Rosé Masters, featuring outstanding wines from Hampshire to Rioja, and Sicily to Santorini, as well as, of course, Provence.

IN KEEPING with our Global Masters series, our competition for rosé brought in wines from a broad range of locations. While it was, as one might expect, those from increasingly popular Côtes de Provence that dominated, both in terms of number of entries, and Gold medallists, we did see greatness elsewhere, often with a pleasingly distinctive character too. After all, there’s little point creating something that can be done just as well in Provence, unless your aim is simply to do the same, but cheaper

As for those sources of brilliance from beyond the borders of Côtes de Provence, our shining examples in 2022 hailed from Spain, Italy and Greece, as you can see among the highlighted bottles over the following pages. Nevertheless, the highest-scorers of the competition were barrel-influenced rosés from Provence, made using Grenache and Rolle, which now seem to sit atop the pink wine pyramid like Chardonnay-Pinot Noir prestige cuvée blends from Champagne.

But beneath such high points we found much variation in style and quality. Disappointments came primarily among the samples in the £15-20 price bracket, where the judges would have liked to have seen see more colour and fruit flavours, as well as less reduction – smoky, rubbery, burnt-match sulphidic aromas were present in some samples. In certain cases, dilution was an issue, but rarely did we see any overripeness in today’s rosés – the pendulum has well and truly swung away from jammy flavours towards the lean, and sometime green, when it comes to pink wine.

Commenting on the difference between the top end of the rosé category compared to the lower end, long-standing Global Wine Masters judge Patricia Stefanowicz MW suggested that maybe not enough time is being devoted to the entry-point offerings in this sector.

Noting that “oaked dry rosés fared well”, she said: “Maybe winemakers are more willing to spend a little more time and effort on these wines to obtain balance and interest rather than the ‘quick, cool, gentle’ attempts to get the wine in bottle and on the shelf as soon as harvested?”

Nevertheless, as the following results show, there were plenty of wines that managed to both look and taste good. And, not all of these were from the fashionable southern coast of France.

Please read on to find out more about The Global Rosé Masters, as well as to see all the medal-winning wines from this year’s competition, starting with sparkling rosés, and then onto still wines, which are arranged according to price band and style (dry, off-dry, oaked). 

Winery Name of Wine Region Country Vintage Medal
Dry Sparkling Rosé
Under £10
Privat Privat Brut Nature Reserva Rosé Cava Spain 2019 Bronze
£10-£15
La Marca Vini e Spumanti Millage Prosecco DOC Rosé Millesimato Brut Veneto Italy 2021 Gold
Domaine d’Aussières “A” d’Aussières Rosé Pays d’Oc France 2021 Silver
Viña Valdivieso Eclat Brut Rosé Cinsault Itata Valley Chile NV Silver
Valdo Spumanti Valdo Paradise Rosé Brut Veneto and Sicily Italy NV Silver
La Marca Vini e Spumanti La Marca Prosecco DOC Rosé Millesimato Extra Dry Veneto Italy 2021 Silver
Valdo Spumanti Valdo Marca Oro Prosecco DOC Rosé Brut Veneto Italy NV Silver
Codorníu Cuvée Original Rosé Catalan Spain NV Bronze
Sogrape Vinhos Mateus Sparkling Brut Rosé Douro Portugal NV Bronze
£15-£20
Bortoluzzi Wines Rosa di Gemina Friuli-Venezia Giulia Italy 2021 Gold
La Cantina Pizzolato “M-Use” Spumante Rosato Extra Dry Veneto Italy 2021 Gold
Maison Louis Bouillot Perle d’Aurore Burgundy France NV Silver
Cantina Montelliana “Meliora 210” Prosecco Rosé DOC Brut Millesimato Veneto Italy 2020 Bronze
Codorníu Ars Collecta Grand Rosé Reserva Catalan Spain 2019 Bronze
SIdewood Estate Sparkling Pinot Rosé Adelaide Hills Australia NV Bronze
£20-£30
Sidewood Estate Sidewood Isabella Rosé Sparkling Adelaide Hills Australia 2015 Gold
Champagne Haton Rosé Champagne France NV Gold
Colesel Spumanti Pavana Rosé Veneto Italy 2020 Silver
Matahiwi Vineyards Matahiwi Estate Brut Rosé Wairarapa New Zealand NV Silver
La Cantina Pizzolato Vino Frizzante IGT Veneto col Fondo PIWI “Hurrà” Veneto Italy 2020 Bronze
£30-£50
Comtes de Dampierre Cuvée des Ambassadeurs Brut Rosé Premier Cru Champagne France NV Master
Hattingley Valley Wines Hattingley Valley Sparkling Rosé Hampshire UK 2018 Gold
Champagne Haton Rosé Extra Grand Cru Champagne France NV Silver
Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Rosé Champagne France NV Silver
Hambledon Vineyard Hambledon Classic Cuvée Rosé Hampshire UK NV Silver
Champagne Ayala Ayala Brut Majeur Rosé Champagne France NV Silver
Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Cuvée Spéciale Rosé Champagne France NV Bronze
Champagne Gremillet Rosé Vrai France France NV Bronze
£100+
Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or Rosé Vintage Champagne France 2008 Gold

 

Winery Name of Wine Region Country Vintage Medal
Sweet Sparkling Rosé
Under £10
Casa Vinicola Abbazia di San Gaudenzio Abbazia Moscato Spuamnte Rosé “Fortuna” Piedmont Italy 2021 Bronze
EnoItalia Belvino Rosé Spumante Veneto Italy NV Bronze
£10-£15
De Bortoli Wines De Bortoli Petit Moscato Rutherglen Australia NV Silver
Perlage Afra Prosecco Treveso DOC Veneto Italy 2021 Bronze
Bosco Viticultori Prosecco Spumante Rosé DOC Extra Dry Veneto Italy 2021 Bronze
£15-£20
Val d’Oca Prosecco DOC Treviso Rosé Extra Dry Millesimato Veneto Italy 2020 Bronze
£20-£30
Foss Marai Della Vite Millesimato DOC Prosecco Rosé Treviso Italy 2021 Silver
3GP FIOL Prosecco DOC Rosé Treviso Italy 2021 Bronze

 

Winery Name of Wine Region Country Vintage Medal
Still Unoaked Dry Rosé
Under £10
Bodegas Marqués de Cáceres Rosado Rioja Spain 2021 Gold
Petricek Niederösterreich Rosé Zweigelt Primeur Niederösterreich Austria 2021 Gold
Baron Philippe de Rothschild Mouton Cadet Bordeaux France 2021 Gold
Bodega Inurrieta Inurrieta Mediodia Navarra Spain 2021 Silver
Les Vignobles Foncalieu Le Versant Limited Edition Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Silver
Barton & Guestier B&G Rosé Réserve Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Silver
Bodegas Gran Feudo Gran Feudo Rosado Navarra Spain 2021 Silver
Félix Solís Avantis Viña Albali Rosé Castilla-La Mancha Spain 2021 Silver
Distell Nederburg Winemasters Rosé Western Cape South Africa 2021 Silver
Distell Durbanville Hills Merlot Rosé Western Cape South Africa 2021 Silver
La Vieille Ferme Rosé Rhône France 2021 Silver
Laroche Rosé Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Silver
Bijou Le Bijou de Sophie Valrose Rosé Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Bronze
Gıdatay Prodom Rosé Aegean Turkey 2021 Bronze
Bodegas Alceño Alceño Rosado Jumilla Spain 2021 Bronze
Bodegas Ontalba Dominio de Ontur Syrah Rosado Jumilla Spain 2021 Bronze
Sogrape Vinhos Mateus Dry Rosé Alentejo Portugal 2021 Bronze
Steininger Niederösterreich Rosé Merlot Niederösterreich Austria 2020 Bronze
Pagos del Rey Arnegui Rosado Rioja Spain 2021 Bronze
Félix Solís Avantis Mucho Mas Rosé Spain Spain NV Bronze
Bodegas Luzón Luzón Colección Rosado Jumilla Spain 2021 Bronze
Bodegas Carchelo Carchelo Rosé Jumilla Spain 2021 Bronze
Bodegas BSI Genus Rosé Jumilla Spain 2021 Bronze
Jacob’s Creek LePetit Rosé Australia Australia 2021 Bronze
Hammeken Cellars Mirada Organic Rosé Castilla y León Spain 2021 Bronze
Cavit Terrazze Della Luna Pinot Grigio Rosato Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT Trentino Italy 2021 Bronze
Bijou Terre de Providence Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Bronze
£10-£15
Domaine Royal de Jarras Tête de Cuvée Gris de Gris Bio Camargue France 2021 Gold
Bodegas Izadi Izadi Larrosa Rosé Rioja Spain 2021 Gold
Invivo & Co Invivo X, SJP Rosé Provence France 2021 Gold
Domaine de l’Amaurigue Rosé Provence France 2021 Silver
Chateau des Demoiselles Charme des Demoiselles Provence France 2021 Silver
Maison Mirabeau Mirabeau X Provence France 2021 Silver
Domaine Skouras Cuvée Prestige Rosé Argolida Greece 2021 Silver
SeaGlass Wine Company SeaGlass Rosé Monterey County USA 2020 Silver
De Bortoli Wines De Bortoli Rosé Rosé King Valley Australia 2021 Silver
Les Vignobles Foncalieu Cardounettes Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Silver
Saint-Roux Friponne Provence France 2021 Silver
Planeta Rosé Sicily Italy 2021 Silver
Bodegas Marqués de Cáceres Excellens de Marqués de Cáceres Rosé Rioja Spain 2021 Silver
Bodegas Olivares Olivares Rosado Jumilla Spain 2021 Silver
Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rosé Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Silver
Bodegas Bilbaínas Viña Pomal Rosé Rioja Spain 2021 Silver
Portal del Montsant Brunus Rosé Catalan Spain 2021 Silver
Born Brands Born Rosé Barcelona Penedès Spain 2021 Silver
Maison Mirabeau Mirabeau Classic Provence France 2021 Silver
Susana Balbo Crios Uco Valley Argentina 2021 Silver
Bodegas Pío Del Ramo ‘Betola The Cat Wine’ Rosé Jumilla Spain 2021 Silver
Bieler Family Wines Charles & Charles Rosé Columbia Valley USA 2020 Silver
Conti di San Bonifacio Rosé IGT Toscana Tuscany Italy 2021 Silver
Wakefield/Taylors Wines Estate Pinot Noir Rosé Adelaide Hills Australia 2021 Bronze
Holden Manz Hiro Rosé Franschhoek South Africa 2021 Bronze
Marisco Vineyards The Ned Rosé Marlborough New Zealand 2021 Bronze
Beronia Beronia Rioja Rosé Rioja Spain 2021 Bronze
Veramonte Reserva Rosé Syrah Organic Casablanca Valley Chile 2020 Bronze
Bodegas Silvano García Silvano García Pink Jumilla Spain 2021 Bronze
Domaine Royal de Jarras Pink Flamingo Gris Tête De Cuvée Bio Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Bronze
Miraval Provence Studio by Miraval Rosé Provence France 2021 Bronze
Viña Casablanca Céfiro Rosé Casablanca Valley Chile 2021 Bronze
Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Chile Chile 2021 Bronze
Dievole Le Due Arbie Rosato Toscana IGT Tuscany Italy 2021 Bronze
Joel Gott Wines Joel Gott Rosé Central Coast USA 2020 Bronze
Bodega TorreCastillo TorreCastillo Rosado Jumilla Spain 2021 Bronze
Bodegas Bleda Castillo De Jumilla Rosado Jumilla Spain 2021 Bronze
Cielo e Terra Bericanto Rosato DOC Vicenza Veneto Italy 2021 Bronze
Moulin de Gassac Grande Réserve de Gassac Rosé Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Bronze
Marisco Vineyards Leefield Station Pinot Rosé Marlborough New Zealand 2021 Bronze
Maison Mirabeau Belle Année France France 2021 Bronze
Castillo de Ibiza Castillo de Ibiza Rosé Navarra Spain 2021 Bronze
Gérard Bertrand Gris Blanc Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Bronze
Les Vignobles Foncalieu Piquepoul Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Bronze
Pasqua Vigneti e Cantine Spa 11 Minutes Rosé Trevenezie IGT Veneto Italy 2021 Bronze
Barton & Guestier B&G Côtes de Provence Rosé Provence France 2021 Bronze
Buontalenti Gordon Ramsay Elegante Roasto Abruzzo Italy 2020 Bronze
£15-£20
Château la Gordonne Summertime BIO Provence France 2021 Master
Domaine Royal de Jarras Favet 9/10 Domaine Royal de Jarras Tête De Cuvée Bio Sable de Camargue France 2020 Gold
Famille Sumeire Château Coussin Provence France 2021 Gold
LGI Wines Kylie Minogue Collection Côtes de Provence Rosé Provence France 2021 Gold
Caves d’Esclans Whispering Angel Provence France 2021 Gold
J. Chivite Family Estates Chivite Las Fincas Rosado Ribera del Duero Spain 2021 Gold
Torre Mora Scalunera Etna Rosato Sicily Italy 2021 Gold
Les Vignobles André Lurton Diane by Jacques Lurton Rosé Bordeaux France 2021 Gold
Château Sainte Roseline Lampe de Meduse Cru Classé Provence France 2021 Silver
Domaine de l’Amaurigue Rosé Fleur de l’Amaurigue Provence France 2021 Silver
Maison Mirabeau Mirabeau Etoile Provence France 2021 Silver
Avantis Estate Lenga Pink Evia Greece 2021 Silver
Château des Demoiselles Château des Demoiselles Provence France 2021 Silver
Famille Sumeire Château Maupague Provence France 2021 Silver
Domaine St Jean de Villecroze Selladore En Provence Provence France 2021 Silver
Villa Bogdano 1880 Pinot Grigio Ramato DOC Venezia Veneto Italy 2020 Silver
Res Fortes Wines Res Fortes Rosé Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Silver
Famille Sumeire Château La Jouliane Provence France 2021 Silver
Domaine la Grande Bauquiere Moment Inattendu Provence France 2021 Silver
Feudi di San Gregorio VIsione Campania Italy 2021 Silver
Château de Berne Terres de Berne Provence France 2021 Silver
Vaglio Vaglio Uco Valley Argentina 2021 Silver
Maison Mirabeau Azure Provence France 2021 Silver
Masciarelli Villa Gemma Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC Abruzzo Italy 2021 Silver
Folc Folc English Rosé Kent UK 2020 Bronze
Justino’s Madeira Wines Colombo Rosé DOP Madeirense Madeira Portugal NV Bronze
Rioja Vega Rosado Colección Tempranillo Rioja Spain 2021 Bronze
Les Vignobles Foncalieu Château Haut Gléon Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Bronze
Matahiwi Vineyards Matahiwi Estate Pinot Rosé Wairarapa New Zealand 2021 Bronze
Santa Carolina Carolina Collection Series Maule Chile 2021 Bronze
Château la Gordonne Vérité du Terroir BIO Provence France 2021 Bronze
Château Léoube Rosé de Léoube Provence France 2021 Bronze
Léoube Love by Léoube Rosé Provence France 2021 Bronze
Maison Mirabeau Mirabeau Pure Provence France 2021 Bronze
£20-£30
Domaines Ott By.Ott Provence France 2021 Master
Ultimate Provence Ultimate Provence Provence France 2021 Master
Anhydrous Winery Grance Santorini Greece 2021 Gold
Maison Gutowski Grande Cuvée Provence France 2021 Gold
Attems Pinot Grigio Ramato Friuli Italy 2021 Gold
Miraval Provence Miraval St Victoire Provence France 2021 Silver
Miraval Provence Miraval Rosé Provence France 2021 Silver
Alpha Estate Rosé Single Vineyard Hedgehog Florina Greece 2021 Silver
Famille Sumeire César à Sumeire Coussin Provence France 2021 Silver
Hammeken Cellars Ecologica Girasol Rosé Organic Castile-León Spain 2021 Silver
Fantinel Sun Goddess Pinot Grigio Ramato DOC Friuli Friuli-Venezia Giulia Italy 2021 Silver
Château la Gordonne La Chapelle Gordonne Tête de Cuvée Bio Provence France 2021 Silver
Famille Sumeire Château l’Afrique Provence France 2021 Bronze
Dominio de Punctum 99 Rosas Rosé Organic Castile-León Spain 2021 Bronze
Domaine Beauvence L’Originelle Provence France 2021 Bronze
Susana Balbo Signature Uco Valley Argentina 2021 Bronze
Rumor Rosé Provence France 2021 Bronze
£30-£50
Château la Gordonne Le Cirque des Grives Provence France 2019 Gold
Château Léoube Secret de Léoube Provence France 2021 Gold
Domaine Beauvence Bellimontis Provence France 2021 Silver
Maison Gutowski Réserve Provence France 2021 Silver

 

Winery Name of Wine Region Country Vintage Medal
Unoaked Medium-Dry Rosé
Under £10
Piccini Costa Toscana Rosato Organic Tuscany Italy 2021 Gold
Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé Bío Bío Valley Chile 2021 Gold
Pasqua Vigneti e Cantine Chiaretto di Bardolino DOC Classico Veneto Italy 2021 Silver
Cramele Recas Sole Roze Recas Romania 2021 Silver
The Iconic Estate Byzantium Rose Dealu Mare Romania 2021 Silver
Cramele Recas Muse Night Roze Recas Romania 2021 Silver
Viña Concha y Toro Frontera Rosé Santiago Chile 2021 Bronze
The Iconic Estate Prahova Valley Merlot Rosé Dealu Mare Romania 2021 Bronze
Schenk Italia Masso Antico Primitivo del Salento IGT Rosato Puglia Italy 2021 Bronze
Schenk Italia Amicone Pinot Grigio delle Venezie Doc Rosé Veneto Italy 2021 Bronze
Enoitalia Spa VOGA Italia Veneto Italy 2021 Bronze
Cramele Recas Vara Rose Recas Romania 2021 Bronze
Cramele Recas Solara Roze Recas Romania 2021 Bronze
£10-£15
Cantine San Marzano Tramari Rosé di Primitivo Salento IGP Puglia Italy 2021 Bronze

 

Winery Name of Wine Region Country Vintage Medal
Unoaked Sweet Rosé
Under £10
Sula Vineyards Sula Zinfandel Rose Nashik India 2021 Bronze
Viña Concha y Toro Reservado Santiago Chile 2021 Bronze
Julià & Navinès Ecologica La Pluma Rosé Penedès Spain 2021 Bronze
Sogrape Vinhos Mateus Rosé Original Alentejo Portugal NV Bronze

 

Winery Name of Wine Region Country Vintage Medal
Oaked Dry Rosé
Under £10
Finca El Origen Rosé Uco Valley Argentina 2021 Bronze
£10-£15
Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Gold
Bijou Éminence de Bijou Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Bronze
£15-£20
Gérard Bertrand Hampton Water Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Gold
Gérard Bertrand Source of Joy Languedoc-Roussillon France 2021 Gold
Château de Berne La Grande Cuvée Provence France 2021 Silver
Bodegas Juan Gil Juan Gil Rosado Jumilla Spain 2021 Silver
Marisco Vineyards The Kings Desire Pinot Noir Rosé Marlborough New Zealand 2021 Silver
Domaine Skouras Peplo Rosé Argolida Greece 2021 Silver
Finca Albret Albret Rocío Navarra Spain 2021 Silver
De Bortoli Wines La Bohème Act Two Dry Rosé Yarra Valley Australia 2021 Bronze
£20-£30
Caves d’Esclans Rock Angel Provence France 2020 Gold
Domaine la Grande Bauquiere Moment Suspendu Provence France 2021 Gold
Domaine Thomson Surveyor Thomson Central Otago ‘Pinot Rosé’ Central Otago New Zealand 2021 Silver
Château Sainte Roseline La Chapelle de Sainte Roseline Cru Classé Provence France 2021 Silver
Global Wines Casa de Santar Dão Portugal 2020 Silver
£30-£50
Marchesi Frescobaldi Aurea Gran Rosé Tuscany Italy 2020 Silver
Château d’Esclans – Domaines Sacha Lichine Château d’Esclans Provence France 2020 Silver
Domaine la Grande Bauquiere Moment Singulier Provence France 2020 Silver
£50-£70
Château d’Esclans – Domaines Sacha Lichine Les Clans Provence France 2020 Master
£100+
Château d’Esclans – Domaines Sacha Lichine Garrus Provence France 2020 Master
Miraval Provence Muse de Miraval Provence France 2020 Gold

About the competition

With high-quality judges and a unique sampling process, The Global Rosé Masters provides a chance for your wines to star.

The 2022 competition was judged on 16 June at Aquavit, London, employing experienced judges, including Patrick Schmitt MW, Alex Canneti, Andrea Briccarello, Patricia Stefanowicz MW, Conal R Gregory MW, Siobhan Turner MW and Jonathan Pedley MW.

The top wines were awarded Gold, Silver, or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stood out as being outstanding in their field received the ultimate accolade – the title of Rosé Master. This report features the medal winners only.

Please visit the Global Masters website for more information, or, to enter future competitions – giving you the chance to feature online and in print – please call: +44 (0) 20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at: sophie@thedrinksbusiness.com

The best wines from The Global Riesling Masters 2020

One of the favourite grapes of the true wine connoisseur, Riesling comes in many types, from sparkling to dry, from medium to sweet. But our annual blind-tasting test showed that there are delights in all categories. Read on for an analysis of the results and a list of all the medallists from the 2020 competition.

If you want proof of Riesling’s versatility, then look at the spread of top medals in this year’s competition. Held for pure Riesling only, we had fantastic entries for sparkling wine, dry still wines, medium dry and sweet ones, including an outstanding Icewine at the end of the tasting. It shows that not only can Riesling be used to make a wide array of wine styles, but in each case, it can achieve excellence. This is rare in the wine world, where noble grapes tend to create something exceptional in one or two styles, with only Chenin Blanc, and perhaps Furmint, being other grape varieties that can I can think of that are capable of yielding excellent sparkling, dry and sweet results.

So, starting with the sparkling Riesling, with had a small taste of Sekt, with two delicious examples from Kessler in Württemberg, with the second notable for its fresh chalky edge, and intense, lime-like fruit. Then we came across another sparkling, which was a touch pricier, but with a more powerful flavour combination of peach, citrus and biscuit, and then the bright, firm, hallmark Riesling acidity. We awarded this a Gold, and later learnt that it was from Thirty Bench in Canada, and not Germany, as had been presumed.

Among the still wines in the tasting, starting with the driest Rieslings, the quality was high, and while a few of the wines seemed a touch dilute, there seemed to be fewer incidences of fiercely acidic samples, the sort that finished firm, as opposed to fresh.

Notable among the dry samples were two wines in particular. The first of these was the Riesling Les Princes Abbés from Domaines Schlumberger in Alsace, which impressed the judges with its combination of tangerine, lime and beeswax in a textured, slightly evolved and dry style.

The other Golds in the dry category were pricier, and both came from Australia’s Clare Valley. The cheaper of these, from Wakefield/Taylors, was a brilliant example of its type, with masses of juicy lime, and a dry, stone-like finish – it was bright, but not sharp.

The other, from Kilikanoon Wines, was similarly dry and fresh, and also loaded with lime, but being an older vintage – it was from 2011 – it had the lovely flavours of aged Riesling, from toast to a touch of kerosene. But running both these wines close were a sweep of excellent Rieslings, as you can see from the high number of Silvers, even under £15.

In other words, if you opt for dry Riesling, particularly from Australia’s Clare and Eden Valley, then you can be assured a high standard of wine, with clean citrus fruit, and Riesling’s wonderful crisp character.

When it came to those Rieslings with just a touch of residual sugar, the medium-dry style, again the standard was high, with any sweetness more than offset by the high natural acidy of this grape variety.

Within the ‘medium-dry’ flight we tasted some lovely floral peachy samples from Chile (Cono Sur) and a good value wine from New Zealand (Hunter’s). Among the Golds was a ripe and bright Riesling mixing peach and pear with fresh lime zest, which hailed from Casablanca in Chile (Casas del Bosque) and soft, pure, persistent sample from the Pflaz in Germany (Ruppertsberger Weinkeller Hoheburg).

CRISP FINISH

At higher prices, there were two brilliant Rieslings from Domaines Schlumberger, representing a pair of Alsace grands crus: Saering and Kessler, with the former showing a touch more ripe peachy fruit, honey and tangerine, and the latter more pear and apple, along with chalk and salt characters on its crisp finish.

Germany was the source nation of the final Gold in this sweetness category, with the powerful Rheingau Grosses Gewachs Riesling from Weingut August Eser, loaded with apricot richness, a touch of sweetness, and a stony, dry, lime-fresh finish.

The rest of our outstanding wines came at higher sweetness levels, notably the Riesling Rotschiefer from the Mosel’s Weingut Sorentburg, with peach and strawberry, a whiff of kerosine, and a persistent clean citrus note.

Then came our first Riesling Master, which was from the same winery, but this was its old vine expression from the 2017 vintage, which was a highly impressive wine, with apricot, marmalade and beeswax, a touch of sweetness, and then a long, apple-like bright finish.

Finally, we had some very sweet Rieslings, including a delicious Auslese from Weingut August Eser. Although the wine had more than 100g/l of residual sugar, it was still a beautifully clean and fresh expression.

Our final wine of the tasting turned out to be another Master. It was layered with fruit flavours from mango to apricot, along with dried apple and raisins. It was unctuous too, with almost 190g/l of sugar, but offset by a tangy freshness. It had the characters of great Icewine, which we later learnt it was, and from Canada’s Andrew Peller Estates.

Please see the tables below, which feature all the medallists from this year’s competition.

Sparkling

Winery Name Region Country Vintage Medal
£10-£15
Kessler Sekt Kessler Jägergrün Riesling Brut Württemberg Germany NV Silver
£15-£20
Kessler Sekt Kessler Riesling Reserve Vintage Württemberg Germany 2016 Silver
£20-£30
Thirty Bench Wine Makers Thirty Bench Sparkling Riesling Beamsville Bench Canada NV Gold

Dry (0-4 g/l)

Winery Name Region Country Vintage Medal
£10-£15
Charles Smith Wines Kung Fu Girl Riesling Washington State USA 2019 Silver
RockBare Rockbare Clare Valley Riesling Clare Valley Australia 2019 Silver
Reillys Wines Reillys Watervale Riesling Clare Valley Australia 2019 Silver
McGuigan McGuigan Cellar Select Riesling Hilltops Australia 2018 Silver
Wakefield/Taylors Wines Aldi Exquisite Collection Riesling Clare Valley Australia 2019 Silver
£15-£20
Domaines Schlumberger Riesling Les Princes Abbés Alsace France 2016 Gold
Gatt Wines High Eden Single Vineyard Riesling Clare Valley Australia 2017 Silver
McGuigan McGuigan Shortlist Riesling Clare Valley Australia 2019 Silver
Kilikanoon Wines Mort’s Block Riesling Clare Valley Australia 2019 Silver
Kilikanoon Wines Mort’s Block Riesling Clare Valley Australia 2018 Bronze
£20-£30
Wakefield/Taylors Wines Reserve Parcel Riesling Clare Valley Australia 2019 Gold
Tempus Two Tempus Two Pewter Riesling Clare Valley Australia 2019 Silver
Wakefield/Taylors Wines McGuigan Shortlist Riesling Clare Valley Australia 2020 Silver
Wakefield/Taylors Wines St Andrews Riesling Clare Valley Australia 2020 Silver
£30-£50
Kilikanoon Wines Mort’s Reserve Riesling Clare Valley Australia 2011 Gold
Domaines Schlumberger Riesling Grand Cru Kitterle Alsace France 2017 Silver
Kilikanoon Wines Mort’s Reserve Riesling Clare Valley Australia 2017 Silver
Weingut Baron Knyphausen Erbacher Hohenrain VDP Grosse Lage GG Rheingau Germany 2019 Silver

Medium-dry (5-12 g/l)

Winery Name Region Country Vintage Medal
Under £10
Hunter’s Wines Hunter’s Riesling Marlborough New Zealand 2019 Silver
Ruppertsberger Weinkeller
Hoheburg
Imperial Riesling Palatinate Germany 2019 Silver
Ruppertsberger Weinkeller
Hoheburg
Riesling Pfalz Organic Palatinate Germany 2019 Silver
Schmitt Söhne Thomas Schmitt Private Collection
Riesling QbA Dry
Mosel Germany 2019 Silver
£10-£15
Cono Sur Cono Sur Single Vineyard Bío Bío Valley Chile 2019 Silver
Cono Sur Reserva Especial Riesling Bío Bío Valley Chile 2019 Silver
Weingut Baron Knyphausen Riesling Charta Rheingau Germany 2018 Silver
Charles & Charles Charles & Charles Rieling Washington State USA 2018 Bronze
£15-£20
Ruppertsberger Weinkeller
Hoheburg
Imperial Riesling Organic Palatinate Germany 2019 Gold
Viña Casas del Bosque Riesling Casablanca Valley Chile 2019 Gold
Gatt Wines Eden Springs Eden Valley Australia 2017 Silver
£20-£30
Domaines Schlumberger Riesling Grand Cru Saering Alsace France 2017 Gold
Domaines Schlumberger Riesling Grand Cru Kessler Alsace France 2017 Gold
Cembra Cantina di Montagna Vigna Cancor Trentino Italy 2017 Silver
£30-£50
Weingut August Eser Hattenheim Nussbrunnen Riesling GG
Trocken VDP Grosse Lage
Rheingau Germany 2019 Gold

Medium (13-45 g/l)

Winery Name Region Country Vintage Medal
Under £10
Ruppertsberger Weinkeller
Hoheburg
Ruppertsberger Hofstück Riesling Palatinate Germany 2019 Bronze
£15-£20
Thirty Bench Wine Makers Thirty Bench Small Lot Riesling
Triangle Vineyard
Beamsville Bench Canada 2017 Silver
Thirty Bench Wine Makers Thirty Bench Small Lot Riesling
Wild Cask
Beamsville Bench Canada 2017 Silver
Viña y Bodega Estampa Inspiración Riesling Colchagua Valley Chile 2018 Silver
Weingut August Eser Oestrich Lenchen Riesling
Kabinett VDP Grosse Lage
Rheingau Germany 2019 Silver
£20-£30
Weingut Sorentberg/
Castelfeder Winery
Sorentberg Riesling Rotschiefer Mosel Germany 2018 Gold
£50+
Weingut Sorentberg/
Castelfeder Winery
Sorentberg Riesling Von 1000
Alten Reben
Mosel Germany 2017 Master

Sweet (+46 g/l)

Winery Name Region Country Vintage Medal
£10-£15
Schmitt Söhne Thomas Schmitt Private Collection
Riesling Kabinett
Mosel Germany 2019 Silver
Schmitt Söhne Thomas Schmitt Private Collection
Riesling Auslese
Mosel Germany 2018 Silver
£30-£50
Weingut August Eser Oestrich Doosberg Riesling Auslese
VDP Grosse Lage
Rheingau Germany 2019 Gold
£50+
Peller Estates Winery Signature Series Riesling Icewine Niagara Peninsula Canada 2018 Master

About The Global Riesling Masters

With high-quality judges and a unique sampling process, the Global Riesling Masters provides a chance for your wines to star, whether they hail from the great vineyards of Europe or lesser-known winemaking areas of the world.

The 2020 competition was judged by David Round MW, Patrick Schmitt MW and Patricia Stefanowicz MW in December at London’s 28°-50° Wine Workshop & Kitchen. The top wines were awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stood out as being outstanding in their field received the ultimate accolade – the title of Riesling Master. This report features the medal winners only.

Please visit The Global Masters website for more information, or, to enter future competitions – giving you the chance to feature online and in print – please call: +44 (0) 20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at: sophie@thedrinksbusiness.com

Judge’s comment: Patricia Stefanowicz MW

“After a glorious day of judging the Riesling Masters in 2020, it is difficult to understand what is not to love about the Riesling grape variety. This great grape shows its range of styles beautifully, far beyond its ‘homeland’ of Germany, Alsace and Austria. Dry Rieslings can sometimes appear ‘acidic’ or ‘stretched’. Not this category here. With just a tiny bit of residual sugar and ripe fruit, these wines have purity of citrus flavours, ranging from lemon-lime in the Clare Valley (Australia) through tangerine to orange zest (Eden Valley, Australia). Apple, pear, honey and minerality are more apparent in the wines from Germany or Alsace. Many of them have a lovely accent of lemon or orange blossom adding interest.”

The best wines from The Tuscan Masters 2020

It may be one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, but Tuscany boasts some of the most forward-thinking winemakers out there, as our annual taste test of this Italian region proved. We bring you the medallists from 2020’s Tuscan Masters.

Old dog, new tricks: Tuscany

In the heart of the Old World there’s an ancient area of wine production that has the sheen of something modern. It’s been home to vineyards for centuries, and it’s the source of a famous, fine, and demanding grape, but it’s a region displaying a new-found dynamism, and as a result, drawing in a fresh set of drinkers. What am I referring to? Tuscany.

This part of Italy, encompassing the historic DOCGs of Chianti Classico, Montalcino and Montepulciano, and bastion of the brilliant-but-troublesome Sangiovese, is on trend. It’s cool, exciting, and developing, with a contemporary image that somehow seems at odds with the venerable regions found within its boundaries. Yes, Toscana – to use the correct Italian description of the area – is sexier than the long-established DOCGs it houses. Why is that? After all, the IGT Toscana classification came into being almost 30 years ago, although the Maremma Toscana DOC was formed in 2011 for the coastal part of the region. The reason relates to the freedom IGT Toscana offers producers, and the fact that we are seeing now the high-quality results of past experimentation. The finest wines of such trials, the so-called Super Tuscans of the 1970s and ’80s, now fit within legal regulations, while we are witnessing a wave of brilliant white wines under the Toscana label, along with excellent pale rosés, similar to the pinks that are so popular from Provence.

But the classics offer thrills too. Be they Brunello or Chianti Classico, the standards are higher than ever, with the former retaining its position as one of the world’s great fine wines, and the latter re-establishing its reputation with a new top tier for the greatest expressions, called Gran Selezione.

Toscana may have a trendy ring to it, and encompass a wide range of wine styles, but its sub-regions are reliable go-tos for delicious, ageworthy drops, including the DOC Bolgheri, created in 1994.

With such a variety of DOCs and DOCGs, and a range of grapes, as well as wine styles, some quality guidance is important. This is why we launched the Tuscan Masters, to blind taste the full gamut of wines hailing from this administrative Italian region.

Before we consider the stars of 2020, it is worth nothing that the wines of this part of Italy have a distinctive stamp. Whatever the grape, and notable in the reds especially, is an appealing brightness, as fine dry tannins mix with fresh acidity, even when the wine showcases ripe, fleshy, dark berry fruit flavours.

Rising stars

One of the rising stars of this region are the white wines. Often based on Vermentino, they mix a touch of peach with notes of pink grapefruit and bitter almond to yield something gently oily and palate-cleansing. In keeping with Toscana winemakers’ tendency to play with well-known French grapes, this area can craft wonderful barrel-fermented Chardonnays, like Banfi’s Fontanelle.

Regarding the reds, it would be wrong to single out one variety or source area as being better than another, as the quality levels are high from the classic and modern, although the expressions differ. Proving the value inherent in the Sangioveses of Chianti Classico, the sole Gold medal in the £15-£20 price band this year went to this region – the producer was Contessa di Radda. Not far behind this, however, in the same price category, was a Sangiovese from the Maremma, called Pactio, and a lovely one from Montalcino made by Ciacci Piccolomini.

Between £20 and £30, it was clear that the newer blends incorporating international grapes yielded wines with different tastes but similar high standards as the classics using Sangiovese. It’s why you see Arceno’s Il Fauno gaining a Gold with a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon, and Lucente also picking up the same hard-to-achieve medal with a mix of Sangiovese and Merlot, while the third Gold in this price band, for Lunadoro’s Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, showed the brilliance of Sangiovese in this classic area of Tuscany.

Moving up to the finest wines of the day, ones at over £30, many of the top-scorers were made with the native grape of Tuscany. Be it Arceno’s brilliant, pure Sangiovese Strada al Sasso or Banfi’s always delicious Poggio alla Mura Brunello, which showed better than the same’s producer’s Summus. While the latter is a remarkable wine, because it uses Cabernet and Syrah blended with Sangiovese, despite sourcing all the grapes from Castello Banfi’s estate in Montalcino, it is a Toscana IGT – Brunello must be 100% Sangiovese.

We were also impressed by a pair of top Montepulcianos from Lunadoro, which enticed with their aromas of mandarin, cherry and cedar, and delivered so much appeal on the palate with flavours of stewed red berries, plums, and leather, along with a bright, zesty character, and fine dry tannins.

It was not until the retail price of wines surpassed the £50 barrier that we awarded our first Master. This went to Le Bolle, a Chianti Classico Gran Selezione from Castello Vicchiomaggio, which, once more, showed the wonderful combination of Sangiovese and the top sites of Tuscany, impressing the judges with its ripe cherry and cedar characters, and bright plummy finish.

Powerful but balanced

But, for all the excellent wines created using the native grapes of Tuscany, we had some stars with French imports, in particular Excelsus from Banfi – an expressive, creamy, powerful but balanced red using Cabernet and Merlot grown in Brunello country, even though it cannot state that on the label.

Similarly delicious was a Merlot-dominant Bordeaux blend called Arcanum, by Arceno, using grapes from the great southerly sites of Chianti Classico, to yield a wine with cassis, vanilla and notes of sweet balsamic and cigar box.

Therein lies the excitement of Tuscany. Just when you thought the star wines used Sangiovese from the classic areas, one comes across something remarkable using a set of grapes alien to Italy. But whether the variety is native to the region, or from outside the nation, there’s a Tuscan taste to all the wines.

That is based on something powerfully flavoured but bright, where the fruit is sweet and the tannins dry, the texture is fleshy and final impression taut. Such combinations are rare in the wine world, but prevalent in Toscana.

Please see the tables below, which feature all the medallists from this year’s competition.

White Unoaked Tuscan

Company Name Vintage Medal
£15-£20
Banfi La Pettegola 2019 Silver

White Oaked Tuscan

Company Name Vintage Medal
£20-£30
Banfi Fontanelle 2018 Silver

Red Unoaked Tuscan

Company Name Vintage Medal
£15-£20
Querciabella Mongrana 2017 Silver

Red Oaked Tuscan

Company Name Vintage Medal
£10-£15
Tenute Piccini Collezione Oro Chianti Riserva 2017 Silver
£15-£20
Agricoltori del Chianti Geografico Contessa di Radda Chianti Classico 2016 Gold
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Rosso di Montalcino 2015 Silver
Fertuna Pactio 2016 Silver
Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico 2018 Silver
Rocca delle Macìe Famiglia Zingarelli 2017 Silver
Lunadoro Rosso di Montepulciano DOC Prugnanello 2018 Silver
Banfi Aska 2017 Bronze
Banfi Fonte alla Selva 2018 Bronze
Winemakers Club Italia at Monterinaldi RBW Chianti Classico Reserva 2016 Bronze
£20-£30
Tenuta di Arceno Il Fauno 2017 Gold
Tenuta Luce Lucente 2017 Gold
Lunadoro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG Pagliareto 2017 Gold
Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico Riserva 2017 Silver
Rocca delle Macìe Ser Gioveto 2016 Silver
£30-£50
Tenuta di Arceno Strada al Sasso 2017 Gold
Banfi Poggio alle Mura 2015 Gold
Lunadoro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG Gran Pagliareto 2016 Gold
Lunadoro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG Riserva Quercione 2016 Gold
Querciabella Querciabella Chianti Classico Riserva 2016 Silver
Campo alla Sughera Arnione 2015 Silver
Banfi Summus 2016 Silver
Rocca delle Macie Sergio Zingarelli 2016 Silver
Tenuta Licinia Lucinda Riserva 2016 Silver
£50+
Castello Vicchiomaggio Le Bolle 2016 Master
Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum 2015 Gold
Banfi Excelsus 2016 Gold
Querciabella Camartina 2015 Gold
Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum Valadorna 2015 Silver

About the competition

With high-quality judges and a unique sampling process, The Tuscan Wine Masters provides a chance for your wines to star, whether they hail from the great vineyards of Europe or lesser-known winemaking areas of the world.

The 2020 competition was judged over two days in November at the Novotel London Bridge Hotel, and was judged by David Round MW, Simon Field MW and Patrick Schmitt MW. The top wines were awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stood out as being outstanding in their field received the ultimate accolade – the title of Tuscan Wine Master. This report features the medal winners only.

Please visit The Global Masters website for more information, or, to enter future competitions – giving you the chance to feature online and in print – please call: +44 (0) 20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at: sophie@thedrinksbusiness.com

The best Malbecs from the Global Masters 2020

While the South American powerhouse was rewarded in our competition, the Global Malbec Masters showed that other countries can hold their own when it comes to making exciting wines from this grape, writes Patrick Schmitt MW.

If you were in doubt as to the power of brand Malbec, then look at the range of medallists in this year’s competition. Not surprisingly Argentina dominates – this is, after all, the country that made Malbec famous. It elevated a sidelined French grape into an international superstar, but witness where it’s now grown, and the styles of wine it produces. We even tasted a ‘white Malbec’, then, as the sampling continued, tried reds from Turkey, Spain, and South Africa, all made with Malbec, despite those countries having no history of handling the grape.

This is because this variety is such a draw for wine drinkers, who love its deep colour, its fleshy dark fruit, spice, and firm tannins. It’s also one of those grapes that makes one hungry, so closely associated is Malbec with marbled red meat. Or maybe it’s the prevalence of steak that makes consumers so thirsty for Malbec? Either way, the grape is a global force, and, as a result, its supply base is expanding.

This should be good for Malbec, as new sources and techniques, as well as better examples, will retain consumer interest in this grape.

This is true too for Malbec from Argentina, where the diversity of wines from this single grape has expanded, from the rich to bright, and now from the white to the rosé and of course, near-black wines it’s famous for. Argentine Malbec has also moved with the times stylistically, as winemakers gradually show more restraint in their approaches, reducing the proportion of new oak, or picking a touch earlier for greater freshness, even though they are still crafting generous, juicy reds.

So what wowed the judges in 2020? Well, the sole white Malbec in the competition made for a novel, refreshing, inexpensive and well-made addition to the category. It was a fairly simple wine with flavours of apple and pear.

Among the reds, but sticking with the cheaper end of the tasting, it was a Malbec from South Africa that was the only sample to pick up a Gold medal for a wine under £10. Hailing from Linton Park Wine Estate in Wellington, it was loaded with black cherry and prune-like fruit, and creamy vanilla-tasting oak, impressing the judges for its quality and depth at this price level.

Further surprises came in the £10-£15 category. One of these was the quality of Malbec from Bodegas Norton that had been produced without any oak influence. Using grapes from Argentina’s Lujan de Cuyo, it was an intense red with layers of flavour from blackcurrant to plums, with fine tannins and a pleasing touch of dried herbs, and more than enough juicy fruit to make up for the lack of barrel-derived sweetness.

In the same price band, but within the oaked Malbec category, the judges were amazed to find that the sole Gold awarded was from Izmir in Turkey. Made by Yedi Bilgeler Winery, it was an intense style, with blackberry and wild cherry aromas, milk chocolate, and a fresh, plum-like finish, making for an opulent but bright style of Malbec.

Over £15, but staying below £20, and we had our first Master-winning Malbec. Given to Finca El Origen’s Gran Reserva from Uco Valley’s sought-after sub-region of Los Chacayes, it gained high scores from all the judges for its mix of creamy oak and ripe, fleshy, black fruit, and dry, cleansing tannins, all for a higher-than-average but still affordable price.

Moving beyond the £20 barrier, the Malbecs became more intense, and specialist, with a pair of outstanding single vineyard expressions from high up in the Uco Valley. Both from Trapiche, and forming part of its Terroir Series, they were equally good, with a lovely balance between fruit and oak, ripeness and freshness, while containing an appealing herbal, peppery note. However, the flavours and structure did vary, with the Orellana using grapes from the La Consulta sub-region, while the Ambrosia was made with bunches from Gualtallary. Attracting just a point score below these two was a third single vineyard expression from Trapiche, using fruit from a site called El Parel, which yielded a notably spicy style of smooth, fresh Malbec.

As for the other Gold in this price category, that hailed from Norton, and formed part of its Altura range, which, like the Trapiche wines, uses grapes from high up in the Uco Valley.

It was notable how good the blends performed this year, especially when they included Cabernet Franc, which seemed to give a fresh red-fruit character to the wines, not unlike summer pudding. Wonderful and relatively affordable Malbec blends containing this grape included Argento’s Aresano Organic sample and Aleanna’s El Enemigo – which gained a Master. Other successful complements to Malbec based on this year’s results included Tannat and Petit Verdot (Amalaya) and Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah (Domaine Bousquet).

Turning back to the issue of varietal Malbecs, we had some outstanding wines from Catena and Terrazas de los Andes in particular, with the latter picking up a Master for its Lican Parcel, which uses grapes from the Uco’s Los Chacayes, giving another endorsement for this high altitude sub-region.

But we also had a Master at this top end for a delicious Malbec from Doña Paula, capturing the quality of grapes from its Alluvia parcel of vines at 1,350m above sea level in Gualtallary in the Uco Valley.

Made in one of the coolest climates for Malbec in Argentina, this is a wine with masses of concentration, loaded with pure, intense black fruit, some bright red berries, notes of cigar box, and a tight dry tannin texture. It is an impressive, powerful red without the alcohol heat and sweetness that can beset such a wine style.

And it is another example of why Argentina is still the benchmark for varietal Malbec – it manages to pack so much colour, flavour and energy into its wines.

See the tables below for all the medallists from this year’s competition.

White Malbec

Company Wine Name Region Country Vintage Medal
Under £10
Bodega Trivento Argentina Trivento Reserve White Malbec Uco Valley &
Luján de Cuyo
Argentina 2020 Bronze

Unoaked 100% Malbec

Company Wine Name Region Country Vintage Medal
Under £10
Bodega Norton Barrel Select Malbec Luján de Cuyo Argentina 2020 Silver
Beefsteak Club Beefsteak Club Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2020 Silver
Fecovita Botham Signature Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2019 Bronze
Rigal Original Malbec South West France 2019 Bronze
Aldi Ireland Grapevine Malbec Uco Valley Argentina NV Bronze
£10-£15
Bodega Norton Colección Malbec Luján de Cuyo Argentina 2020 Gold
Bodega El Esteco Old Vines Malbec Calchaquí Valleys Argentina 2019 Silver
Bodega Malma Chacra La Papay Malbec Patagonia Argentina 2019 Silver
£30-£50
Bodega Krontiras Krontiras Natural Luján de Cuyo Argentina 2019 Bronze

Oaked 100% Malbec

Company Wine Name Region Country Vintage Medal
Under £10
Linton Park Wine Estate Linton Park Estate Malbec Wellington South Africa 2018 Gold
Finca La Celia Graffigna Malbec San Juan Argentina 2019 Silver
Indómita Irresistible Bío Bío Valley Chile 2019 Silver
Bodega El Esteco Don David Malbec Calchaquí Valleys Argentina 2019 Silver
Bodega El Esteco Blend de Extremos Malbec Calchaquí Valleys Argentina 2019 Silver
Tapihue Wines Clava Reserva Valparaíso Chile 2018 Silver
Viña Santa Ema Gran Reserva Malbec Maipo Valley Chile 2018 Silver
Zorzal Vineyards & Winery Zorzal Terroir Único Uco Valley Argentina 2019 Silver
Indómita Zarper Bío Bío Valley Chile 2019 Bronze
Bodega Estancia Mendoza Malbec Reserve Uco Valley Argentina 2019 Bronze
£10-£15
Yedi Bilgeler Winery Solon Atica Malbec İzmir Turkey 2019 Gold
Tapihue Wines Q Gran Reserva Valparaíso Chile 2018 Silver
Finca La Celia Graffigna Glorious Selection San Juan Argentina 2018 Silver
Bodega Trivento Argentina Private Reserve Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2019 Silver
Trapiche Perfiles Textura Fina Malbec Luján de Cuyo Argentina 2019 Silver
Bodega Norton Winemakers Reserve Malbec Luján de Cuyo Argentina 2019 Silver
Bodega Argento Artesano de Argento Organic Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2019 Silver
Finca Ferrer Finca Ferrer Uco Valley Argentina 2017 Silver
Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Malbec Colchagua Valley Chile 2018 Silver
Finca El Origen Reserva Malbec Uco Valley Argentina 2019 Silver
Terrazas de los Andes Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Luján de Cuyo
and Uco Valley
Argentina 2018 Silver
Zorzal Vineyards & Winery Zorzal Gran Terrior Uco Valley Argentina 2018 Silver
Bodega Estancia Mendoza Uco Valley Estate Malbec Uco Valley Argentina 2019 Silver
Doña Paula Winery Doña Paula Estate Malbec Uco Valley Argentina 2019 Silver
Trapiche Perfiles Calcareo Malbec Uco Valley Argentina 2019 Bronze
Trapiche Medalla Malbec Luján de Cuyo
and Maipu
Argentina 2017 Bronze
Mascota Vineyards Unánime Malbec Uco Valley Argentina 2017 Bronze
Fecovita Botham 79 Series Malbec Uco Valley Argentina 2019 Bronze
Bodegas y Viñedos Pascual Toso Estate Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2019 Bronze
£15-£20
Finca El Origen Gran Reserva Malbec Los Chacayes Argentina 2018 Master
Viña Aresti Trisquel Series – Curicó Costero Curicó Valley Chile 2018 Gold
Bodega Estancia Mendoza Single Vineyard Malbec Uco Valley Argentina 2019 Gold
Finca Ferrer Colección 1310 Uco Valley Argentina 2017 Gold
Finca La Celia La Celia Elite Uco Valley Argentina 2018 Silver
Bodega Malma Family Reserve Malbec Patagonia Argentina 2018 Silver
Trapiche Gran Medalla Malbec Uco Valley Argentina 2017 Silver
Finca La Anita Finca La Anita Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2018 Silver
Bodegas y Viñedos Pascual Toso Selected Vines Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2018 Silver
Château Lagrézette Cuvée Marguerite Occitanie France 2016 Silver
Algodon Wine Estates Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2017 Silver
Mendoza Vineyards R&B Uco Valley Argentina 2017 Bronze
Mendoza Vineyards MV Gran Reserve Mendoza Argentina 2018 Bronze
Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Malbec Maule Valley Chile 2018 Bronze
£20-£30
Trapiche Terroir Series Malbec Finca Orellana Uco Valley Argentina 2017 Gold
Trapiche Terroir Series Malbec Finca Ambrosia Uco Valley Argentina 2017 Gold
Bodega Norton Altura Malbec Uco Valley Argentina 2019 Gold
Grupo Colomé Colomé Lote Especial Malbec El Arenal Salta Argentina 2018 Silver
Millaman Paya de Millaman Curicó Valley Chile 2017 Silver
Trapiche Terroir Series Malbec Finca Coletto Uco Valley Argentina 2017 Silver
Bodega Norton Privada Malbec Luján de Cuyo Argentina 2018 Silver
Bodega Argento Single Vineyard Altamira Organic Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2018 Silver
Bodegas y Viñedos Pascual Toso Alta Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2018 Silver
Bodegas Clunia Clunia Malbec Castilla y Léon Spain 2018 Silver
Bodega Los Helechos Los Helechos Malbec Uco Valley Argentina 2017 Silver
Bodega Argento Single Block Black Mendoza Argentina 2017 Silver
Viu Manent Single Vineyard San Carlos Colchagua Valley Chile 2018 Bronze
Wakefield/Taylors Wines Taylor Made Malbec Clare Valley Australia 2019 Bronze
£30-£50
Bodega y Viñedos Catena Catena Alta Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2016 Gold
Fincas Patagónicas–
Bodegas Tapiz
Black Tears Uco Valley Argentina 2015 Silver
Château Lagrézette Le Pigeonnier Occitanie France 2016 Silver
Doña Paula Winery Selección de Bodega Uco Valley Argentina 2017 Silver
£50+
Terrazas de los Andes Parcel Nº 12 Licán Malbec Uco Valley Argentina 2017 Master
Doña Paula Winery Doña Paula Parcel Alluvia Uco Valley Argentina 2017 Master
Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2015 Gold
Terrazas de los Andes Grand Malbec Luján de Cuyo
and Uco Valley
Argentina 2017 Gold
Terrazas de los Andes Parcel Nº 2 Los Castaños Malbec Uco Valley Argentina 2017 Gold
Finca La Anita Magna Finca Luján de Cuyo Argentina 2017 Bronze

Unoaked Malbec Blend

Company Wine Name Region Country Vintage Medal
Under £10
Aldi Ireland Vignobles Roussellet French Malbec Syrah Loire Valley France NV Bronze

Oaked Malbec Blend

Company Wine Name Region Country Vintage Medal
Under £10
Viña Morandé Estate Reserve Malbec Maule Valley Chile 2018 Silver
Cono Sur Organic Malbec Colchagua Valley Chile 2018 Silver
The Show The Show Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2019 Silver
Vistamar Vistamar Reserva Maule Valley Chile 2019 Silver
£10-£15
Bodega Argento Artesano de Argento Organic Malbec Cabernet Franc Mendoza Argentina 2019 Gold
Domaine Bousquet Reserve Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2018 Silver
£15-£20
Aleanna El Enemigo Malbec Uco Valley Argentina 2017 Master
Domaine Bousquet Gaia Mendoza Argentina 2017 Bronze
£20-£30
Bodega Norton Lote Negro Uco Valley Argentina 2018 Gold
Domaine Bousquet Grand Reserve Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2017 Gold
Algodon Wine Estates Gran Cuvee Mendoza Argentina 2012 Gold
Bodega Amalaya Amalaya Malbec Cafayate Argentina 2019 Gold
Algodon Wine Estates Malbec Bonarda Mendoza Argentina 2014 Silver
£30-£50
Trapiche Iscay Malbec – Cabernet Franc Uco Valley Argentina 2017 Silver

About the competition

With high-quality judges and a unique sampling process, the Global Malbec Masters provides a chance for your wines to star, whether they hail from the great vineyards of Europe or lesser-known winemaking areas of the world.

The 2020 competition was judged over two days in November at the Novotel London Bridge Hotel, and judged by Patrick Schmitt MW, David Round MW and Simon Field MW.

The top wines were awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stood out as being outstanding in their field received the ultimate accolade – the title of Malbec Master.

Please visit the Global Masters website for more information, or, to enter future competitions – giving you the chance to feature online and in print – please call: +44 (0) 20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at: sophie@thedrinksbusiness.com

The best Riojas from the Wine Masters on sale in 2020

With the judging now finished for this year’s Rioja Masters we can bring you the results in full, listing all the medallists, and drawing attention to the best Riojas on sale in 2020, whatever the style and category.

There’s a place in the wine world that’s proving particularly resilient in its popularity. Unlike the rise and fall of many a mainstream vinous source, from Chianti to claret, California rosé to German Riesling, the demand for Rioja, particularly in its reserva form, just won’t die down, despite its near ubiquitous state. Rather, it’s still a growing category, spearheaded by many strong brands, from Campo Viejo and Marqués de Cáceres to Faustino and Riscal. After years of chairing our annual Rioja Masters, and confirmed in particular this year, I think I know the reason for such enduring appeal. It’s primarily a question of style and value.

You see, Rioja has this appealing character of being juicy, oaky, and fresh. It has ripe cherry fruit from the Tempranillo and Garnacha that dominate its blends, vanilla and chocolate from the oak barrels used in its maturation, and a bright acidity from the cool nights in this relatively high-altitude continental region – vineyards are generally between 300m and 500m above sea level, but they can reach up to 800m or more. Then there’s the price charged for a taste of this likeable mix. Rioja is relatively affordable. You don’t have to stray much over £20 for brilliance. There’s also plenty of good quality, juicy quaffing reds below £10 too. And between these two price points, Rioja consistently delivers something that has a draw.

Such widespread adoration for the region’s produce does create one problem for Rioja, albeit a minor one, and that concerns its image among fine wine collectors – the people who happily regularly spend sums in excess of £100 on Bordeaux or Burgundy don’t seem to snap up Rioja. In my view, they are missing out. The greatest expressions from this region are delicious, ageworthy, and unique. Plus, unlike most great wines, Rioja’s finest bottles are often released when they are ready to drink.

Among the classifications, which are increasingly numerous, it is the reserva age statement, with its minimum of 12 months in oak, that offers the biggest bang per buck. It seems this period of time delivers the right amount of barrel-sourced vanillin and tannin to suit the fleshy red berry fruit of Rioja. It’s a bit like adding a desirable amount of cream to your strawberries – of course tastes differ, but you want something that improves the base ingredient, not smothers it. Having said that, there are plenty of lightly-oaked crianzas that are delicious, as well as joven wines from Rioja that give one a chance to indulge in the fresh berry flavours of this region, undiluted, and in a wonderful youthful state.

At the opposite end of the age spectrum, gran reserva Riojas should be celebrated for offering the drinker something rare and historic in the wine world – a drop that’s fully mature on its release, and sometimes pleasingly light and fresh, despite having powerful flavours.

Finally, we have, among the reds, the eclectic wonders of the ‘vinos de autor’ category, a place for experimental and ambitious winemaking. If you love reds with weight, oak influence, and elegance, then look out for this classification, where you generally have a wine style that’s a bit bigger in all areas, be it texture, wood flavours, or fruit ripeness. These can be great wines, and should be judged according to how well they compare relative to the world of powerful wines, rather than Rioja. So often they do admirably on this front, but can fail if you were expecting something with the light, spicy lift of a traditional Rioja.

Rioja is a rare place in the world of wine. Not just because it offers fully ripe wines with a fresh acidity, but because it boasts a broad sweep of wine styles. Such complexity adds interest. Meanwhile, strong brands take away the risk that comes with drinkers experimenting.

In any case, the quality standard that comes with the Rioja tag is high. Of all our tastings, the Rioja Masters generally sees us award the highest number of Golds relative to the quantity of entries, and, I should add, the fewest Bronzes or lower. There’s a reason why Rioja’s appeal endures. As noted above, it relates to style and quality. But as the diversity of Rioja character seen in our Masters shows too, it’s also an issue of choice. This Spanish region now makes a wine to sate all tastes – even those of the aforementioned fine wine collectors, who should have no trouble finding what they want, whether it’s among the concentrated wines of Rioja’s vinos de autor, or the aged elegance of the gran reservas. And it’s high time they started their search.

For now, see the tables below, which illustrate the range on offer in Rioja today, and the highlights from the two days of judging the competition.

White Rioja Joven

Company Wine Name Vintage Medal
Under £10
Bodegas Campo Viejo Viura-Tempranillo Blanco 2019 Bronze
£10-£15
Bodegas Bilbaínas Viña Pomal Viura Malvasía 2019 Silver
Fincas de Azabache Tempranillo Blanco 2019 Bronze

White Rioja Reserva

Company Wine Name Vintage Medal
£15-£20
Eguren Ugarte Reserva 2017 Bronze
£30-£50
Rioja Vega Tempranillo Blanco Reserva 2017 Gold

White Rioja Vinos de Autor

Company Wine Name Vintage Medal
£10-£15
Rioja Vega Blanco Colección Tempranillo 2019 Silver
£15-£20
Bodegas Ortega Ezquerro Don Quintín Ortega White BF 2018 Bronze
£20-£30
Remírez de Ganuza Remírez de Ganuza 2016 Silver

Red Joven

Company Wine Name Vintage Medal
Under £10
Bodegas Campo Viejo Campo Viejo Garnacha 2019 Silver
Fincas de Azabache Tunante 2019 Silver
Rioja Vega Rioja Vega 2019 Silver
Bodegas Campo Viejo Campo Viejo Tempranillo 2018 Bronze
Bodegas Ugalde Ugalde Tempranillo 2019 Bronze
Bodegas Solar Viejo Solar Viejo Tempranillo 2019 Bronze

Red Crianza

Company Wine Name Vintage Medal
Under £10
Bodegas Faustino Faustino Crianzo ITNOW 2017 Silver
Zinio Bodegas Sancho Garcés Crianza 2017 Bronze
£10-£15
Fincas de Azabache Azabache Crianza Vendimia Seleccionada 2017 Silver
Bodegas Riojanas Viña Albina Crianza 2018 Silver
Rioja Vega Edición Limitada 2017 Silver
Bodegas Solar Viejo Solar Viejo Crianza 2017 Silver
Bodegas Valoria Viña Valoria Crianza 2016 Silver
Compañia de Vinos Heraclio Heraclio Alfaro 2017 Silver
Bodegas Ugalde Ugalde Crianza 2016 Bronze
£15-£20
Bodegas Solar Viejo Orube Crianza 2017 Gold
Fincas de Azabache Crianza Garnacha 2018 Gold
Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Cuvée 2017 Gold
Hermanos Frias del Val Crianza 2016 Silver
Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Crianza 2018 Bronze
Zinio Bodegas Zinio Crianza Vendimia Seleccionada 2016 Bronze
£20-£30
Fincas de Azabache Culto 2017 Silver

Red Reserva

Company Wine Name Vintage Medal
Under £10
Muriel Wines Baron Amarillo Rioja Reserva 2016 Gold
Bodegas la Eralta Señorío de La Eralta 2016 Silver
£10-£15
Bodegas Solar Viejo Solar Viejo Reserva 2014 Gold
Bodegas Valoria Viña Valoria Reserva 2014 Gold
Bodegas Campo Viejo Campo Viejo Reserva 2015 Silver
Bodegas Ugalde Ugalde Reserva 2015 Silver
Bodegas Faustino Reserva ITNOW 2015 Silver
Bodegas Faustino Art Collection Reserva 2015 Silver
Bodegas Faustino V Reserva 2015 Bronze
Bodegas y Viñedos Leza Leza García Reserva 2016 Bronze
£15-£20
Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Reserva de Familia 2017 Gold
Rioja Vega Rioja Vega Reserva 2015 Gold
Bodegas Bilbaínas Viña Pomal Reserva 2015 Silver
Bodegas Marqués de Cáceres Reserva 2015 Silver
Bodegas Riojanas Viña Albina Reserva Vendimia Seleccionada 2017 Silver
Bodegas Riojanas Borisa 125 Reserva 2017 Silver
Eguren Ugarte Reserva 2014 Silver
Bodegas Ortega Ezquerro Ortega Ezquerro Reserva 2014 Silver
Zinio Bodegas Sancho Garcés Reserva 2015 Bronze
£20-£30
Zinio Bodegas Zinio Reserva 2016 Gold
£30-£50
Remírez de Ganuza Viña Coqueta 2009 Gold
Remírez de Ganuza Fincas de Ganuza 2014 Gold
Bodegas Faustino Icon Edition Especial Selección 2015 Gold
£50+
Remírez de Ganuza Remírez de Ganuza 2006 Master

Red Gran Reserva

Company Wine Name Vintage Medal
Under £10-£15
Bodegas la Eralta Señorío de La Eralta 2014 Gold
£15-£20
Bodegas Campo Viejo Gran Reserva 2013 Silver
Bodegas Ugalde Gran Reserva 2013 Silver
Bodegas Faustino Faustino I Gran Reserva 2010 Bronze
Bodegas Faustino Faustino I Gran Reserva ITNOW 2010 Bronze
£20-£30
Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Gran Reserva 2013 Gold
Bodegas Riojanas Viña Albina Gran Reserva 2013 Gold
Rioja Vega Gran Reserva 2013 Gold
Bodegas Bilbaínas Viña Pomal Gran Reserva 2012 Silver
£30-£50
Bodegas Campillo Campillo 57 Gran Reserva 2012 Master
£50+
Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Gran Reserva 1978 Gold

Red Vinos de Autor

Company Wine Name Vintage Medal
£10-£15
Rioja Vega Tinto Colección Tempranillo 2018 Gold
£15-£20
Viñas Leizaola Caminos de Sacramento 2018 Gold
Bodegas Solar Viejo Orube Garnacha 2018 Silver
Bodegas Ortega Ezquerro OE Garnacha 2018 Silver
£20-£30
Bodegas Solar Viejo Orube Selección de Familia 2017 Master
Bodegas Marqués de Cáceres Generación MC 2018 Gold
Hermanos Frías del Val Selección Personal Premium 2016 Gold
Bodegas Campo Viejo Dominio de Campo Viejo 2016 Silver
£30-£50
Viñas Leizaola El Sacramento 2016 Gold
Rioja Vega Rioja Vega Venta Jalón 2014 Gold
Bodegas Ysios Ysios 2015 Silver

Red Organic

Company Wine Name Vintage Medal
£50+
MacRobert & Canals Barranco Del San Ginés 2016 Gold

Judges’ comments

Andrea Briccarello: “Rioja is still a strong brand in the UK, and I could see why during the tasting; the region offers great value for money, particularly the joven and crianza wines. I have a soft spot for white Rioja, so I really enjoyed the vinos de autor part of the tasting. “The crianzas and reservas were stunning, especially in the £10-1£5 range, with plenty of fresh, vibrant juicy red-fruit notes and spicy undertones, offering a lot of value. “There is much to like when it comes to Rioja; it all comes to style, more traditional or more modern, young and juicy (joven or crianza) or leather and tobacco (reserva or gran reserva). “The biggest surprise was the quality of these wines; which had hardly any faults. There were plenty of great wines that delivered in every glass.”

Patricia Stefanowicz MW: “The 2020 Rioja Masters was exemplary, and the wines demonstrate yet again why Rioja is well respected for quality, reliability and value. There are excellent wines in every category, from joven through crianza to reserva and gran reserva. The white wines showed well, and the vinos de autor expressed experimentation and excitement with a masterful touch. The judges awarded every wine in the tasting with a medal, perhaps a first? “The reds showed bright acidity and judiciously managed tannins throughout the different categories. The white Riojas exhibited lovely orchard fruits, purity of flavour and racy acidity in balance. “One or two reservas were serious wines with balanced acidity and lovely oak integration.”

About the competition

The Rioja Masters is a competition created and run by the drinks business, and is an extension of its successful Masters series for grape varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as other regions such as Tuscany and Champagne, along with styles from rosé to sparkling. The competition is exclusively for Rioja wine, and the entries were judged using Schott Zwiesel Cru Classic glasses supplied by Wine Sorted.

The top wines were awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stood out as being outstanding received the ultimate accolade – the title of Rioja Master. The entries were judged on 9 and 10 November at the Novotel, London Bridge.

The judges in The Rioja Masters 2020 were Andrea Briccarello, David Round MW, Patricia Stefanowicz MW and Patrick Schmitt MW

This report features the medal-winners only. Please visit The Global Masters website for more information, or, to enter future competitions – giving you the chance to feature online and in print – please call +44 (0) 20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at: sophie@thedrinksbusiness.com

The Global Rosé Masters 2020: results and highlights

We bring you all the medal winners and our top picks from this year’s Global Rosé Masters, which is the biggest single blind tasting of pink wines in the UK so far this year.

All the following recommendations hail from 2020’s Global Rosé Masters, a competition that sees all sources of pink wine judged side by side with only the most basic knowledge of style and cost.
While Champagne excelled in the pink sparkling category, and Provence was the dominant force in the still dry rosé and oaked rosé categories, there were plenty of other sources that featured.
Indeed, among the sparklings, it was a Crémant de Bourgogne that wowed for its quality and relative value, while among the still wines, we had an ultimate barrel-fermented rosé that was not from Provence.
Furthermore, among the Golds were stunning salmon-coloured drops from a broad array of locations, from Greece, to Priorat, and within Italy, both Sicily and the Tuscan coast.
As for the base standard of wines this year, it was undoubtedly better than ever before – and we’ve been running The Global Rosé Masters for almost a decade.
So, look below for a listing of all the medallists from this year’s competition, and read on to see our highlights, and to find out more about the tasting.

Dry sparkling rosé (12 g/l or lower)

Company Wine Name Region Country Vintage Medal
Under  £10 
Bortoluzzi Rosa di Gemina Friuli-Venezia Giulia Italy 2019 Silver
Valdo Spumanti Valdo Marca Oro Rosé Brut Veneto and Sicily Italy NV Silver
Vigna Dogarina Spumante Rosé Brut Veneto Italy NV Bronze
Bosco del Merlo Spumante Rosé Brut Veneto Italy NV Bronze
 £10-£15
Matahiwi Estate Matahiwi Estate Brut Rosé Wairarapa New Zealand NV Silver
Valdo Spumanti Valdo Floral Rosé Brut Veneto and Sicily Italy NV Silver
Colesel Spumanti Pavana Rosé Spumante Veneto Italy 2018 Bronze
 £15-£20
Maison Louis Bouillot Perle d’Aurore Bourgogne France NV Silver
Fantinel Fantinel “One & Only” Rosé Brut Friuli-Venezia Giulia Italy 2019 Silver
 £20-£30
Maison Louis Bouillot Perle d’Or Rosé Bourgogne France 2015 Gold
Tenuta Montemagno TM Brut 24 Mesi – Metodo Classico Piedmont Italy NV Bronze
 £30-£50
Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Cuvée Spéciale Rosé Champagne France NV Gold
Gusbourne Estate Rosé Kent UK 2016 Gold
Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Reserve Exclusive Rosé Champagne France NV Silver
 £50+
Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or Rosé Intense Champagne France 2008 Master

Sweet sparkling rosé (+12 g/l)

Company Wine Name Region Country Vintage Medal
Under  £10 
Bosco Viticoltor Rosato Spumante Bosco dei Cirmioli Veneto Italy NV Bronze
£15-£20
Andreola Bollé Vino Spumante Rosé Extra Dry Veneto Italy NV Silver
Tenuta Montemagno TM Roses – Malvasia di Casorzo DOC Spumante Piedmont Italy NV Silver
Banfi Rosa Regale Piedmont Italy 2019 Silver

Still unoaked dry rosé (4 g/l or lower)

Company Wine Name Region Country Vintage Medal
Under  £10 
Mirabeau en Provence Belle Année Provence France 2019 Gold
Les Vignobles Foncalieu Le Versant Grenache Languedoc-Roussillon France 2019 Silver
Biecher Le Chef Rosé Languedoc-Roussillon France 2019 Silver
Bodegas Luzón Luzón Rosado Colección Jumilla Spain 2019 Silver
Cielo e Terra Bericanto Rosato Vicenza DOC Veneto Italy 2019 Silver
Casa Girelli Canaletto Pinot Grigio delle Venezie DOC Veneto Italy 2019 Silver
Les Vignobles Foncalieu Piquepoul Languedoc-Roussillon France 2019 Bronze
Les Vignobles Foncalieu Ensedune Cabernet Franc Languedoc-Roussillon France 2019 Bronze
Les Vignobles Foncalieu Griset Sauvignon gris Languedoc-Roussillon France 2019 Bronze
Les Vignobles Foncalieu Les Amours d’Haut Gléon Languedoc-Roussillon France 2019 Bronze
Dievole Le Due Arbie Rosato Tuscany Italy 2019 Bronze
Bodegas Alceño Alceño Rosado Jumilla Spain 2019 Bronze
£10-£15
Gérard Bertrand Hampton Water Languedoc-Roussillon France 2019 Gold
Chivite Las Fincas Rosado Navarra Spain 2018 Gold
Mirabeau en Provence Mirabeau Classic Provence France 2019 Gold
Lawson’s Dry Hills Pink Pinot Marlborough New Zealand 2019 Gold
Maison Gutowski M–G Grande Cuvée Provence France 2019 Gold
Born Rosé Barcelona Born Rosé Penedès Spain 2019 Gold
Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Languedoc Languedoc-Roussillon France 2019 Gold
Holden Manz Hiro Franschhoek Valley South Africa 2019 Silver
Barton & Guestier Rosé d’Anjou Loire Valley France 2019 Silver
Bodegas Izadi Izadi Larrosa Rioja Spain 2019 Silver
Vignerons de Tutiac Lion & The Lily Bordeaux France 2019 Silver
Marisco Vineyards The Ned Rosé Marlborough New Zealand 2019 Silver
Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Rosé Languedoc-Roussillon France 2019 Silver
Marisco Vineyards Leefield Station Pinot Rosé Marlborough New Zealand 2019 Silver
Les Vignobles Foncalieu Paradis Secret Languedoc-Roussillon France 2019 Silver
Mission Hill Estate Winery Reserve Rosé Okanagan Valley Canada 2019 Silver
Frescobaldi Alìe Tuscany Italy 2019 Silver
Rioja Vega Rosado Colección Tempranillo Rioja Spain 2019 Silver
Mirabeau en Provence Mirabeau Pure Provence France 2019 Silver
Viña Leyda Leyda Rosé Leyda Valley Chile 2019 Silver
Bodegas Príncipe de Viana Príncipe de Viana Edición Rosa Navarra Spain 2019 Silver
Bodegas Olivares Olivares Rosado Jumilla Spain 2019 Silver
Piera 1899 Pietra di Pinot Grigio Blush DOC delle Venezie Friuli-Venezia Giulia Italy 2019 Silver
Bodegas Bilbainas Viña Pomal Rosado Rioja Spain 2019 Silver
Raimat Raimat Rosada Catalonia Spain 2019 Silver
Santa Tresa Rosa di Santa Tresa Sicily Italy 2019 Silver
Château de Sannes 1603 Provence France 2019 Bronze
Wakefield/Taylors Wines Pinot Noir Rosé Adelaide Hills Australia 2019 Bronze
Australian Vintage Nepenthe Altitude Pinot Noir Rosé Adelaide Hills Australia 2019 Bronze
£15-£20
Château Saint Jacques d’Albas La Chapelle en Rose Languedoc-Roussillon France 2019 Gold
Mission Hill Estate Winery Terroir Rosé Okanagan Valley Canada 2019 Gold
Minuty Minuty Prestige Provence France 2019 Gold
Château Léoube Rosé de Léoube Provence France 2019 Gold
Château Léoube LOVE by Léoube Provence France 2019 Gold
Mirabeau en Provence Mirabeau Etoile Provence France 2019 Gold
Chamlija Rosé de Strandja Strandja Mountain Turkey 2019 Silver
Château de Sannes Aciana Provence France 2019 Silver
Maison Saint Aix AIX Rosé Provence France 2019 Silver
Les Vignobles Foncalieu Domaine Haut Gléon Languedoc-Roussillon France 2019 Silver
Banfi Srl Cost’è Tuscany Italy 2019 Silver
Torre Mora Scalunera Etna Rosato DOC Sicily Italy 2019 Silver
Tenuta Moraia Rosato Maremma Toscana DOC Tuscany Italy 2019 Silver
Alpha Estate Rosé Single Vineyard Hedgehog Amyndeon Greece 2019 Silver
Poggio al Tesoro Cassiopea Tuscany Italy 2019 Silver
Château Des Demoiselles Charme des Demoiselles Provence France 2019 Silver
Roseline Diffusion Roseline Prestige Provence France 2019 Silver
Australian Vintage Winemakers Select Tempranillo Rose Adelaide Hills Australia 2018 Bronze
£20-£30
Domaines Ott By Ott Provence France 2018 Master
Minuty Château Minuty Rose et Or Provence France 2019 Gold
Scala De Scala Dei Pla dels Angels Catalonia Spain 2019 Gold
Château Léoube Rosé Secret de Léoube Provence France 2019 Gold
Château des Demoiselles Château des Demoiselles Provence France 2019 Gold
Caves d’Esclans Whispering Angel Provence France 2019 Gold
Gusbourne Estate Cherry Garden Rosé Kent UK 2019 Silver
Château Sainte-Roseline Cru Classé Lampe de Méduse Cru Classé Provence France 2019 Silver
£30-£50
Domaines Ott Clos Mireille Rosé Provence France 2018 Master
Château Léoube Rosé La Londe Léoube Provence France 2019 Gold
Château Sainte Roseline Cru Classé La Chapelle de Sainte Roseline Cru Classé Provence France 2019 Silver
£50+
Minuty Château Minuty 281 Provence France 2019 Master

Unoaked medium-dry rosé (4 g/l to 12 g/l)

Company Wine Name Region Country Vintage Medal
Under  £10 
Bosco del Merlo Pinot Grigio Rosé DOC Veneto Italy 2018 Silver
Cantine di Ora Masso Antico Primitivo Rosé Puglia Italy 2019 Silver
Botter Vivolo di Sasso Veneto Italy 2019 Silver
Mission Hill Estate Winery Estate Rosé Okanagan Valley Canada 2019 Silver
Casa Vinicola Sartori Vero d’Oro Rosato Veneto Italy 2019 Silver
Pasqua Vigneti e Cantine Pasqua Mater Anna Pinot Grigio
Rosé delle Venezie DOC
Veneto Italy 2019 Bronze
Siegel Wines Siegel Rosé Cinsault Colchagua Valley Chile 2019 Bronze
Bodegas San Dionisio SF Rosado Jumilla Spain 2019 Bronze
Botter Pinot Grigio Rosato delle Venezie DOC Veneto Italy 2019 Bronze
£10-£15 
Bird in Hand Bird in Hand Rosé Adelaide Hills Australia 2019 Silver
Pasqua Vigneti e Cantine Cecilia Beretta Freeda Rosé Trevenezie Veneto Italy 2019 Silver
Cantine San Marzano Tramari Rosé di Primitivo Salento IGP Puglia Italy 2019 Bronze
Bodegas Carchelo Carchelo Rosé Jumilla Spain 2019 Bronze
Cantine di Ora Amicone Corvina Rosato Verona IGT Veneto Italy 2018 Bronze
Cantine di Ora Il Casato – Schiava Valdadige DOC Trentino-Alto Adige Italy 2019 Bronze
Cantina di Bertiolo Villa San Martino Pinot Grigio Blush Friuli-Venezia Giulia Italy 2019 Bronze
Pasqua Vigneti e Cantine Pasqua 11 Minutes Rosé Trevenezie IGT Veneto Italy 2019 Bronze
£15-£20
Bird in Hand Bird in Hand Pinot Nero Rosé Adelaide Hills Australia 2019 Silver
£20-£30
Fantinel Sun Goddess Pinot Grigio Ramato Friuli-Venezia Giulia Italy 2019 Gold

Oaked dry rosé (4 g/l or lower)

Company Wine Name Region Country Vintage Medal
£10-£15
Gérard Bertrand Joy’s Languedoc-Roussillon France 2019 Gold
Chivite Las Fincas Rosado Fermentado en Barrica Navarra Spain 2018 Gold
Marisco Vineyards The King’s Desire Pinot Rosé Marlborough New Zealand 2019 Bronze
Finca Albret Albret Rocío Navarra Spain 2019 Bronze
£15-£20
Bodegas Juan Gil Juan Gil Rosado Jumilla Spain 2019 Silver
Australian Vintage Tempus Two Copper Rosé Hunter Valley Australia 2019 Silver
Quinta Nova de Nossa
Senhora do Carmo
Quinta Nova de Nossa
Senhora do Carmo Rosé
Douro Portugal 2019 Bronze
£20-£30
Gérard Bertrand Château la Sauvageonne La Villa Languedoc-Roussillon France 2019 Master
Terra Sancta Wine Terra Sancta Special Release First Vines Rosé Central Otago New Zealand 2019 Silver
£30-£50
Domaines Ott Château Romassan Provence France 2018 Gold
Caves d’Esclans Rock Angel Provence France 2019 Gold
Château d’Esclans Château d’Esclans Provence France 2018 Gold
Poggio al Tesoro Cassiopea Pagus Cerbaia Tuscany Italy 2017 Silver
£50+
Gérard Bertrand Clos du Temple Languedoc-Roussillon France 2019 Master
Château d’Esclans Les Clans Provence France 2018 Master
Château d’Esclans Garrus Provence France 2018 Master

Global Organic Masters 2020: the results in full

While organic expressions only account for five per cent of the world’s wine output, there are incredible – and often affordable – bottles to be had in all categories, as Patrick Schmitt MW discovers. Read on for our analysis of the organic wine category and the results from this years’s competition in full.

There’s a perception among some consumers that going for organic may be limiting one’s options in the wine category. To some extent that’s true – organic wine represents less than 5% of global wine production, even though the agricultural method is in the ascendance. But as the 2020 Organic Wine Masters showed clearly, you can now find an organic version of every style of wine, including the mainstream categories. Indeed, we had organic Prosecco, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Australian Chardonnay, Provençal rosé and Rioja – to name just some of the world’s best-selling wine styles.

There’s another preconceived notion regarding organics, however, although it’s diminishing. This concerns an idea that the organic alternatives of best-selling wine styles are lesser versions. Again, this is something that this year’s Organic Wine Masters proved to be unfounded. The certified organic samples in the famous categories mentioned above were all outstanding, benchmark wines. Finally, there’s a belief that organic wines may be as good as equivalents made using conventional farming techniques, but are much less good value. Once more, this was shown not to be the case. Although we were tasting only organic wine, and therefore not comparing the category with equivalents made by conventional winemaking methods, because we assess so much wine through our Global Masters programme, we have a good sense of the quality-to-price ratio in all the key styles. And, to our surprise, organic wines are able to deliver a lot of wine for the cash. We had class-leading samples in this tasting at entry-point prices. Why should this be a surprise? Quite simply because organic farming techniques generally produce lower yields and require more labour, making an organic wine around 20% more expensive to produce, on average.

So, with that general assessment of the category as its stands today, let’s look at the highlights that led us to form the conclusions above.

Extraordinary value
Initially, the sparkling flights proved home to some of the most exciting wines of the blind tasting. If there were one type of fizz that stood out for extraordinary value it was Cava.

Somehow, this traditional method sparking wine, even when made according to organic strictures, managed to yield creamy, bready, fruity-tasting results at bargain prices.

So, where you see Golds for sub-£10 fizz, it’s because these wines were the best of their category, and therefore awarded the top medal relative to their peers. Whether it was the inexpensive wines from Cava Pata Negra, Cava Jaume Serra or Cava Contevedo, there was so much character for the cash, and it was organic. Such wines served as a reminder to us all not to forget Cava when asked to find inexpensive fizz for parties or celebrations.

Moving up the pricing scale, Cava again performed brilliantly over £15 with Vilaurnau’s organic limited edition version, although here too we had a deliciously fruity fizz, albeit in a more aromatic and gently sweet style, with Maschio’s Prosecco DOCG.

Over £20, and we had some interesting stars. One was a lovely baked apple-and pastry-scented sparkling from England’s Davenport Estate, while another was a top DOCG Prosecco from Masottina, and a third was a pink fizz, again from England, this time from the first-rate Oxney Organic Estate.

Going up further in price, we had remarkable organic Champagnes from Drappier, above all its Quattuor Blanc de Quatre Blancs, which employs the full four white grapes of Champagne, including Arbane, Chardonnay, Petit Meslier and Pinot Blanc. This makes this fizz particularly special, as it provides a home for the historic, near-forgotten grapes of Champagne, while supporting organic farming, which is a relative rarity in the region. It also helps that this high-quality output hails from the region’s most sustainable producer – Drappier is carbon neutral.

Among the still wines, starting with the cheapest whites, there was plenty to prove that you don’t need to turn your back on organic wines when you’re on a tight budget. While we did not quite reach the Gold standard under £10, we had plenty of delicious drops that we can recommend. Italy and Spain were notably strong sources of good-value organic whites, including those from the former’s Masso Antico, Corvezzo and Rallo, and the latter’s Bodegas Luzón. But we also had a powerfully scented and pristine Torrontés from Argentina’s Santa Julia.

Moving over £10, there were some outstanding whites, including a typically pungent Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough’s Darling Wines, a peachy drop from Sicily’s Santa Tresa, along with a waxy white from the same Italian island, this time from Azienda Agricola Cortese, then a nutty, peachy classic Chardonnay from Australia’s Angove Family Winemakers.

Then, at the very top of the organic white wine quality pyramid in this year’s competition was an oily, barrel-fermented blockbuster from brilliant biodynamic stalwart Château Maris in Minervois. We’ve given top ratings to this producer’s Syrah and Grenache red blends in the past, but this year, it was the white wine that we sampled, and wow, it’s good.

Sticking with the more refreshing end of the tasting, following the fizz and white wines, we had a few organic rosés to try, with two proving notable, including a lovely fresh, pale, strawberry-scented sample from England’s Albury Vineyard, then a moreish and delicate white cherry-tasting pink from Provence’s notable organic-only estate, Château Léoube – a benchmark rosé that’s also organically produced.

Similar to the first part of this tasting, there was great diversity in the reds, and, also like the organic whites, at entry-point prices it was Italy and Spain that dominated among the medal-winners. Among these was a delicious cherry-loaded Negroamaro from Masso Antico and a range of first rate, powerfully tannic reds from Jumilla employing the hardy Monastrell grape, while among

the oak influenced bargain reds was a barrel-fermented Tempranillo from Spain’s Finca Constancia – a remarkable find for anyone wanting a red rich in red fruit and vanillin, but with little money to spend.

More great wines featured from Château Maris, complete with layers of red fruit and spice, while we also saw a pair of stars from Chile, both from two of the country’s top organic and biodynamic estates, Vermonte and Emiliana. Although quite pricy, I particularly recommend the latter’s underrated icon red called Coyam, which, unusually for Chilean fine wines, is dominated by Syrah, rather than Cabernet Sauvignon.

While the highest-priced reds also saw some great Monastrell-based wines from the aforementioned Jumilla – producers Alceno and Parajes del Valle – it was Australia that dominated the top scorers.

As you can see from the Masters, which are awarded for the very best examples of the category, it was Gemtree, Angove and Kalleske that wowed, representing the McLaren Vale and Barossa regions. Making such wines remarkable were very old vines, primarily Shiraz, that yielded concentrated black fruit flavours, with a peppery interest, and a cool minty edge. Not only that, but such characters had been complemented by the cream and cocoa flavours of maturation in barriques, to create something complex, indulgent, and, while delicious as a young wine, something with great ageing potential too. It was pleasing to think that such producers were doing great work capturing the essence of historic vineyards while managing them without the use of synthetic inputs. At the same time, these wines highlight the quality available from Australia’s old vine

Shiraz – while also representing relative good value compared with the prices of fine wines from famous European wine regions, along with those from certain parts of the United States.

While this tasting is only a snapshot of the global organic wine category, it does serve to highlight the range of bottles on offer in this sector, as well as draw attention to the greats championing this worthy approach to vineyard management and wine production.

White Organic Sparkling

Company Wine Name Region Country Vintage Medal
Under £10
Jaume Serra Cava Pata Negra Brut Organic Penedès Spain NV Gold
Jaume Serra Heretat El Padruell Brut Organic Cava Penedès Spain NV Gold
Jaume Serra Cava Jaume Serra Brut Organic Penedès Spain NV Gold
Jaume Serra Cava Contevedo Organic Brut Penedès Spain NV Gold
Cantine Riunite & CIV Righi Pignoletto DOC Vino Frizzante Secco Biologico Emilia-Romagna Italy NV Silver
Anna Spinato Winery Prosecco Organic DOC Brut Veneto Italy NV Silver
Corvezzo Prosecco DOC Extra Dry Organic & Vegan Veneto Italy 2019 Silver
Aldi Stores UK Organic Prosecco Veneto Italy NV Silver
£10-£15
Cantine Maschio Maschio Prosecco DOC Biologico Extra Dry Veneto Italy NV Gold
Vilarnau Vilarnau Limited Edition Penedès Spain NV Gold
Piera 1899 Pura Terra Prosecco DOC Friuli-Venezia Giulia Italy 2018 Silver
Azienda Agricola Giol Prosecco Spumante Extra Dry DOC Treviso Veneto Italy 2018 Silver
Azienda Agricola Giol Prosecco Spumante Brut DOC Treviso Veneto Italy 2018 Bronze
£15-£20
Masottina Prosecco Brut Organic DOC Veneto Italy NV Silver
Ma SPA Vallate Prosecco Brut Organic DOC Veneto Italy NV Bronze
£20-£30
Davenport Vineyards Limney Estate Kent & Sussex UK 2014 Gold
Masottina Costabella Brut Biologico Conegliano
Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco Superiore
Veneto Italy NV Gold
Jasmine Monet Organic Black Mendoza Argentina 2019 Silver
£30-£50
Champagne Drappier Clarevallis Champagne France NV Silver
£50+
Champagne Drappier Quattuor – Blanc de Quatre Blancs Champagne France NV Gold

Rosé Organic Sparkling

Company Wine Name Region Country Vintage Medal
Under £10
Jaume Serra Cava Contevedo Rosado Brut Organico Penedès Spain NV Silver
£30-£50
Oxney Organic Estate Classic Rosé East Sussex UK 2016 Gold

Red Organic Sparkling

Company Wine Name Region Country Vintage Medal
Under £10
Righi Lambrusco di Modena DOC Frizzante Semisecco Biologico Emilia-Romagna Italy NV Bronze

White Organic Still Wine

Company Wine Name Region Country Vintage Medal
Under £10
Azienda Agricola Giol Pinot Grigio Veneto Italy 2018 Silver
Schenk Italian Wineries Masso Antico Passerina Terre di Chieti IGT Bio Abruzzo Italy 2018 Silver
Corvezzo Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie DOC Organic & Vegan Veneto Italy 2019 Silver
Bodega Santa Julia Santa Julia Organic Torrontes Mendoza Argentina 2019 Silver
Aldi Stores UK Unfiltered Sicilian Cattaratto Sicily Italy 2019 Silver
Bodegas Luzón Luzón Verde Organic Blanco Jumilla Spain 2019 Silver
Schenk Italian Wineries Gergenti Grillo Siciliana DOC Bio Sicily Italy 2019 Bronze
Aldi Stores UK Organic Pinot Grigio Veneto Italy NV Bronze
Bodegas Corral Don Jacobo Tempranillo Blanco Ecológico Rioja Spain 2019 Bronze
Perlage Pinot Grigio delle Venezie DOC Veneto Italy 2019 Bronze
Vinicola Tombacco 47 Anno Domini – Pinot Grigio DOC
Delle Venezie, Bio Vegan
Veneto Italy 2019 Bronze
Botter Pinot Grigio delle Venezie DOC Bio – Uccellini Veneto Italy 2019 Bronze
£10-£15
Angove Family Winemakers Angove Organic Chardonnay South Australia Australia 2019 Gold
Santa Tresa Rina Ianca Grillo Viognier Sicilia DOC Sicily Italy 2019 Gold
Viñedos Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley Chile 2019 Silver
Piera 1899 Pura Terra Pinot Grigio DOC Friuli-Venezia Giulia Italy 2018 Silver
Bodegas Corral Vine Roots Garnacha Blanca Rioja Spain 2019 Silver
Ontalba Ontalba Sauvignon Blanc Jumilla Spain 2019 Bronze
£15-£20
The Darling Wines The Darling Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand 2019 Gold
Angove Family Winemakers Wild Olive Organic McLaren Vale Chardonnay McLaren Vale Australia 2019 Gold
Azienda Agricola Cortese Vanedda Bianco Terre Siciliane IGP Sicily Italy 2017 Gold
Davenport Vineyards Horsmonden Dry White Kent UK 2018 Silver
£30-£50
Château Maris Brama Occitanie France 2016 Master

Rosé Organic Still Wine

Company Wine Name Region Country Vintage Medal
£10-£15
Bodegas Carchelo Carchelo Rosé Jumilla Spain 2019 Bronze
£15-£20
Albury Vineyard Silent Pool Rosé Surrey UK 2019 Silver
£20-£30
Château Léoube Rosé Château Léoube Provence France 2019 Gold

Red Organic Still Wine

Company Wine Name Region Country Vintage Medal
Under £10
Schenk Italian Wineries Masso Antico Negroamaro del Salento IGT Bio Puglia Italy 2019 Silver
Bodegas Viña Elena Pacheco Monastrell Organic Jumilla Spain 2019 Silver
Juan Gil Honoro Vera Organic Jumilla Spain 2019 Silver
Bodegas Luzón Luzon Verde Organic Jumilla Spain 2019 Silver
Bodegas Luzón Verdecillo No Added Suphites Jumilla Spain 2019 Silver
Bodegas Luzón Verdecillo Organic & Vegan Jumilla Spain 2019 Silver
Bodegas Carchelo EYA Jumilla Spain 2019 Silver
Finca Constancia Entre Lunas Organic Moon Wine Castilla-La Mancha Spain 2018 Silver
Les Vignerons de Tutiac Tutiac ZRP Bordeaux France 2019 Bronze
Viniberia Carta Roja Pura Organic NSA Monastrell Jumilla Spain 2019 Bronze
Bodega Santa Julia Santa Julia Organic Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2019 Bronze
Aldi Stores UK Exquisite Collection Organic Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2018 Bronze
Aldi Irl Toro Loco Organic Red Utiel-Requena Spain 2018 Bronze
VSPT Wine Group Alpaca Organic Red Central Valley Chile 2018 Bronze
Bodegas 1890 Pata Negra Apasionado Organic Jumilla Spain 2018 Bronze
£10-£15
Angove Family Winemakers Organic Shiraz Cabernet South Australia Australia 2019 Gold
Bodegas Corral Don Jacobo Crianza Ecológico Rioja Spain 2017 Gold
Bodegas Corral Honoro Vera Organic Rioja Spain 2017 Gold
Bodega Santa Julia El Burro Santa Julia Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2019 Silver
Ego Bodegas Finca Bacara – 3015 Jumilla Spain 2019 Silver
Ego Bodegas Goru Organic Jumilla Spain 2019 Silver
Ontalba Ontalba Monastrell Syrah Jumilla Spain 2018 Silver
Ego Bodegas Talento Eco by Ego Jumilla Spain 2019 Silver
Bodegas Corral Don Jacobo Tempranillo Ecológico Rioja Spain 2019 Silver
Viñedos Emiliana Novas Gran Reserva Carmenère/Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley Chile 2018 Silver
Viñedos Veramonte Veramonte Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley Chile 2018 Silver
Angove Family Winemakers Organic Cabernet Sauvignon South Australia Australia 2018 Silver
Angove Family Winemakers Organic Shiraz South Australia Australia 2018 Silver
Cono Sur Organic Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley Chile 2018 Silver
Santa Tresa Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG Sicily Italy 2018 Silver
Viñedos Emiliana Adobe Cabernet Sauvignon Central Valley Chile 2018 Bronze
£15-£20
Château Maris Savoir Vieillir Occitanie France 2019 Gold
Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso DOC Sicily Italy 2018 Gold
Bodegas Alceño Alceño Organic Jumilla Spain 2018 Gold
Viñedos Emiliana Salvaje Casablanca Valley Chile 2018 Silver
Gemtree Wines Uncut Shiraz McLaren Vale Australia 2018 Silver
Angove Family Winemakers Wild Olive Organic McLaren Vale Shiraz McLaren Vale Australia 2018 Silver
Azienda Agricola Cortese Sabuci Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico DOCG Sicily Italy 2017 Silver
Chateau Maris Les Planels Occitanie France 2017 Bronze
Viña Tarapacá Tarapacá Gran Reserva Organic Wine (GROW) Maipo Valley Chile 2017 Bronze
£20-£30
Angove Family Winemakers Warboys Vineyard McLaren Vale Grenache McLaren Vale Australia 2018 Master
Château Maris Las Combes Occitanie France 2017 Gold
Viñedos Emiliana Coyam Colchagua Valley Chile 2017 Gold
Angove Family Winemakers Warboys Vineyard McLaren Vale Shiraz Grenache McLaren Vale Australia 2018 Gold
Parajes del Valle

Bodegas y Viñedos

Terraje Monastrell Jumilla Spain 2018 Gold
Angove Family Winemakers Warboys Vineyard McLaren Vale Shiraz McLaren Vale Australia 2018 Silver
£30-£50
Kalleske Wines Kalleske Greenock Barossa Valley Australia 2018 Master
Gemtree Wines Ernest Allan Shiraz McLaren Vale Australia 2018 Master
Gemtree Wines Obsidian McLaren Vale Australia 2018 Master
£50+
Kalleske Wines Kalleske Eduard Barossa Valley Australia 2017 Master

About the competition

The Global Organic Masters is a competition created and run by the drinks business, and forms part of its successful Masters series for noble grape varieties, such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; major wine styles, from sparkling to fortified; and famous regions including Rioja, Champagne and Tuscany. The competition is exclusively for organic wines. The top wines were awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stood out as being outstanding in their field received the ultimate accolade – the title of Organic Master. This report features the medal winners only.

Please visit the Global Masters website for more information, or, to enter future competitions – giving you the chance to feature online and in print – please call: +44 (0) 20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at: sophie@thedrinksbusiness.com

Read more

TOP 10 AWARD-WINNING ECO-FRIENDLY WINES FROM THE ORGANIC MASTERS 2020

Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters: the results in full

We reveal the full list of medallists from our latest Global Masters tasting for Sauvignon Blanc, including some star wines from Marlborough, Napa, Alto Adige, Pfalz and England.

Point blanc: Forget Sauvignon Blanc fatigue, the wines at this year’s Global Masters scored highly, impressing the judges with their complexity, balance and value for money

In the same way it was once common for consumers to claim they didn’t like Chardonnay, it’s now becoming a bit more normal to hear people say they don’t want Sauvignon Blanc. It’s not so much that they have a complete aversion to the characters of the wine – and by that I mean the archetypal Marlborough green pea and gooseberry style of Sauvignon – but more that they are suffering a certain fatigue from repeated sampling. Similar to music, food, or anything in fact, experiencing it over and over again eventually sees one yearn for something different.

Of course with Sauvignon Blanc, such exposure for wine lovers is due to the grape’s success. As the staple house white in so many pubs, bars and restaurants, and the usual pour at weddings and drinks parties, Sauvignon Blanc is everywhere. It has become the default white wine; virtually synonymous with alcoholic refreshment. But, today, more than ever before, it would be wrong to say you don’t care for Sauvignon Blanc, because the grape is the source of such a broad range of wines.

This is true even within one place, such as the famous Marlborough. As we found out at this year’s Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters, the grape can be used to create something crunchy and acidic, like biting on a bell pepper, or juicy and ripe, like an exotic fruit salad, and, when fermented in new oak barriques, rich and layered, like pineapple chunks and cream.

In other words, saying you don’t like Sauvignon Blanc would mean eschewing the great barrel-influenced whites of Bordeaux and Napa, as well as the taught grapefruit-scented creations from the Loire, or coastal Chile and the Western Cape, along with the full suite of styles now emanating from New Zealand, and some exciting finds from places yet to find fame with the grape – including England.

Nevertheless, one can still make generalisations. If there is a single aspect to Sauvignon Blanc that has, to some extent, damaged its reputation for reliably refreshing whites, it is examples that are too thin, too green, and essentially, too mean.

But in this edition of our Global Masters tasting, it was pleasing to note that we didn’t see such wines – and this included a large swathe of samples that would retail for under £10. It seems an era of picking early from over-cropped vineyards – often the cause of skinny, tart Sauvignons – has come to an end.

This ensured that even our cheapest wines had a pleasing balance between fruit ripeness and acidity, palate weight and refreshment – and that was true even where some residual sugar was evident. Also, at no point did any of the judges comment on apparent high alcohol levels. Not only was harmony evident, but so too was a high level of complexity. It is assumed by some that Sauvignon Blanc is one-dimensional, but writing notes on this year’s entries was easy, as there was so much to say. It seems that the winemaking, as well as viticulture, has improved with this grape.

As for a further general point on the wines, it was notable that we saw very few wine faults, with no cork taint or unpleasant levels of reduction. The latter finding suggested to the judges that winemakers are becoming more adapt at preparing Sauvignon Blanc for sealing with a screwcap, a closure that can provoke post-bottling sulphur-like odours.

So what about the highlights? Well, taking the results by style and price band, staring with the sub £10 category, although we saw no Golds awarded among the cheapest wines, we did observe a high and consistent standard, in line with the comments above on the increasingly balanced nature of Sauvignon Blanc being made today.

As one might suspect, the majority of less expensive samples were from Chile and New Zealand, and both countries did well. Having said that, it was the Sauvignons from Marisco and Yealands, both in Marlborough, which were the benchmarks at this price level. Well done. Both producers would also achieve Golds for their pricier expressions later on in the competition, including Yealands for its brand The Crossings in the £10-15 category. Also gaining a Gold in this flight was te Pã Family Vineyards from Marlborough, and, we were later surprised to find, a Sauvignon from Gloucester in the UK – made by Woodchester Valley – which was floral like an elderflower cordial.

Further up the ladder in terms of cost, we were excited to find a delicious sample with masses of pink grapefruit refreshment from Italy’s Alto Adige, made by the St. Michael-Eppan Winery, and a couple of delicious, peachier styles of Sauvignon, which were creamy in texture too, hailing from California’s Napa Valley. Indeed, one of them, the Ziata Sauvignon Blanc, took home a Master – our ultimate accolade, and in this year’s tasting awarded to just two wines.

So what was the other? That was a simply brilliant example of great barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc from Germany. Hailing from this country’s relatively warm Pfalz, a region better known for cherry-scented Pinot Noir, it was a wonderful wine with a broad array of fruit characters, from peach to citrus peel, and a touch of toasty oak.

In short, it was round, rich, expressive, and refreshing – and somewhat apt that it came from a winery called Winning.

But others should also be mentioned, particularly when it comes to the challenge of allying oak to Sauvignon Blanc. As I’ve said after past tastings with this grape, Sauvignon can complement the sweet flavours from barriques, but only if the base wine is rich and ripe. Light, green-tasting Sauvignons fight with creamy oak, but oily peachy samples absorb wood-sourced vanillin to great effect – as shown especially well by the wines this year from Pahlmeyer and Marisco, as well as Domaine du Grand Mayne – the latter in the blended category, and a really great Graves from not far beyond the borders of the famous white Bordeaux appellation.

In conclusion, the grape is being used to create wonderful wines today, and becoming the base of an increasingly broad category of whites, from those offering delicate citrus refreshment to something textured and complex, with a wealth of food-pairing possibilities. It’s also a grape of little-recognised versatility – shown in our Global Masters tastings by the great range of places where it can be successfully grown, its ability to handle a range of vineyard management approaches and cellar techniques, and its suitability for blending with other varieties. Taking all this into account, and the high base standard of wine being made today from this grape, in short, you’d be wrong to turn your back on Sauvignon Blanc.

Over the following pages you can see all the medallists from this year’s competition, as well as comments from the judges (who are pictured below), and more information about the Global Sparkling Masters, including how to enter.

The judges (left to right): David Round MW, Jonathan Pedley MW, Patricia Stefanowicz MW, Patrick Schmitt MW, Erik Simonics, Tobias Gorn. The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters took place on 6 November at the Opera Tavern in London’s Covent Garden.

Chardonnay Masters 2019: the results in full

We bring you a full report on the Chardonnay Masters 2019, including all the medallists, the names to watch, and the go-to regions for great barrel-fermented whites – Burgundy included, but Australia-dominated. Co-chair of the judges, Patrick Schmitt MW, reports

There are several benefits to the blind tasting format employed by our Global Wine Masters, which sees us sample entries by style and grape variety, rather than origin. One of these is to assess the overall quality and character of a category, be that a noble grape such as Chardonnay, or trending sector, from sparkling to rosé. Another is to isolate the great names and domains in the sector, including the best value producers along with those star, if sometimes pricy, performers. A further highly important element to our approach is to find out the hot spots for the type of wine being tasted. And, over the years, the Global Masters has drawn attention to a number of such areas, such as the excellence of pink wines from the Tuscan coast, the brilliance of Sauvignon from Styria, or Pinot Gris from Slovenia, while highlighting the rising quality of sparkling wines from Kent and Sussex, as well as the outstanding value of traditional method fizz from the Loire. There are many more that could be mentioned, such as the reliability of Clare Valley as the source of deliciously intense bone dry Riesling that doesn’t break the bank, or the brilliance of Cabernet Sauvignons from Sonoma, which tend to be a touch fresher, and a whole lot cheaper than the equivalents from neighbouring Napa.

Some of the greatest revelations have come from our Chardonnay tastings, which we’ve held annually since 2013. While such a competition has yielded so much discussion around winemaking techniques, such as the direct influence on style of picking dates, lees management, barrel regimes etc, we have devoted fewer words to the connection between place and quality, and so it’s this aspect to our results that I’m choosing to focus on this year, with a nod to past medallists from this major tasting.

And… if I am to pick out one overwhelming positive origin-based conclusion from these tastings, it is the excellence of Chardonnay from Australia, particularly Hunter and Yarra Valleys, along with Clare/Barossa, and Margaret River in the west of the country. The standout, however, has been the Adelaide Hills. I note this with a pang of sadness, aware that as much as one third of this area’s vineyards have been destroyed by the savage bushfires that swept through this beautiful area just before Christmas.

Over the years, we’ve seen Adelaide Hills deliver not just Australia’s top Chardonnays, but, relative to the global competition in the same price category, the best examples on the planet. As proof of the area’s excellence, in this year’s tasting, three of our six ‘Chardonnay Masters’ were from the Adelaide Hills (with a fourth also hailing from Australia). Examples from Penfolds using Adelaide Hills fruit have wowed in the past, but the most consistent wonders have hailed from Australian Vintage with Nepenthe, Tapanappa, with its Tiers vineyard in particular, and Bird in Hand with its Chardonnays at all levels. Indeed, after years of blind-tasting Chardonnay from around the world, I can say with confidence that a go-to place for fine, barrel-influenced Chardonnay is the Adelaide Hills, and bearing in mind the recent devastation of the region, I urge you to secure some stock from the great names mentioned above, both to benefit the region, but also yourself – prices are likely to go up.

I should also mention the other Australian Master in the 2019 tasting, which went to Clare Valley’s Taylor/Wakefield Wines. This producer, named after the Taylor family in Australia, but called Wakefield Wines abroad (due to trademark laws on the ‘Taylor’s’ brand from the Port producer by the same name), has been a big hitter with its Chardonnays in many of our tastings, but also with its Rieslings, Shirazes and Cabernets in our competitions for each one of these varieties. In short, I have been repeatedly impressed by the quality of their output.

Global Malbec Masters 2019: the results in full

All the medallists and extensive analysis from the latest Malbec-only tasting from the Global Masters, featuring the best samples from Argentina and Chile, and a surprising discovery from Spain.

The entries were judged on 7 November in The London Marriott Hotel, County Hall

The Malbec revival may be a recent phenomenon, but this single grape has already been through several phases. In fact, during the course of this century alone, it has swung to stylistic extremes, before settling into a happy medium, meaning that the development of Malbec has many similarities to Chardonnay’s changing character over the same period.

What’s the basis for such a statement? It’s an opinion formed from many years of Global Masters tastings for both grapes – and you can read more about Chardonnay’s style today on pages 68-73. As for Malbec, there was a point in the past decade when it seemed that being bigger was definitely better. This applied to fruit sugars, new oak percentages, alcohol levels and, it should be noted, bottle weights too. The result was something heavy in every sense, as well as deeply red, powerfully flavoured, tannic, sometimes slightly raisined, and definitely sweet to taste, mainly due to the amount of vanillin extracted from the brand new barrels. Like it or not, one couldn’t fail to remember it, and Malbec on a label became a shorthand for juicy, rich red wine. Ally that style to marbled steak, and you had a highly successful partnership that catapulted Malbec on to the global stage, but particularly in major wine-importing markets where red meat is consumed widely – so the UK and US.

As for the source of such a memorable wine style, that was Argentina, specifically Mendoza, and its sub-region Luján de Cuyo. This warm region on the outskirts of the city of Mendoza, home to the country’s oldest plantings of Malbec, was ideally suited to producing concentrated reds.

However, with time, the style and sourcing of Malbec changed. Indeed, a few years ago, our Global Malbec Masters was seeing a new type of Argentine red. This was a lighter style, sometimes with peppery flavours similar to Syrah from the Northern Rhône, or a hint of celery and spicy salad leaves, like rocket, suggestive of fruit that hadn’t reached full ripeness. This was partly a result of cooler Argentine climes, primarily a widespread move into the high-altitude Uco Valley, and partly due to the winemaker, who was intent on finding a fresher, tighter, sharper style of Malbec by picking earlier. A less structured red was also evident, achieved by reducing the influence of barriques and handling the grapes in a gentler manner during fermentations – less pumping and pushing of the must will lower the tannin extraction.

The shift in our tastings notes was marked. While common descriptors had included ripe, fleshy black fruit, creamy coconut, dense tannins, warming alcohols, and glass-staining colours only a few years ago, a scan over the judges’ tasting notes more recently would see words appearing regularly such as red cherry and plum, medium-weight, green pepper, and celery leaf. In a fairly short period of time the Argentine Malbec style had shifted from forceful red to restrained wine, and division among the judges was evident as some welcomed the brighter style, others saw the more herbaceous elements as a weakness.

So what about now? Following a day spent tasting mostly Argentine Malbecs from a range of sources within this country, and across all price bands, it appears that this grape has found a middle-ground. Yes extremes in style are still evident, but for the most part, the Malbec making its way on to the market today has ripe, juicy red fruit, firm tannins, a touch of toasty oak, and a pleasant hint of spice. It is neither too sweet, nor too lean. And it is identifiably Malbec, with its deep colour, and firm structure.

From my own perspective, I’m pleased to see Malbec has found a sweet-spot. Although I could understand the urge to experiment with a light, even slightly green style of wine, there are plenty of reds that deliver such delicacy, particularly with the fast-development of cooler-climate Syrahs from the New World. In my view, Malbec’s strength, particularly when sourced from Argentina, is its ability to create a concentrated, structured red, and one that can happily carry high-toast new oak. It is also this type of wine that made Malbec identifiable, and successful. In the same way that most consumers won’t choose a Chardonnay when they want a delicate white, few would opt for a Malbec when they desire a light red.

As for backing away from extremes in ripeness and oak-influence, that is a healthy evolution for the top end examples, where it would be a shame to lose the fresh fruit flavours from high quality grapes, either by leaving the bunches on the vine so long that the inherent berry characters get baked, or through burying their appeal beneath a wave of barrel-sourced scents and tannins.

With such an extended stylistic analysis concluded, what were the sources of Malbec greatness in our 2019 tasting? While this tasting was primarily a health-check on the state of the grape in Argentina, there were some other countries that surprised the tasters for the quality of their Malbec. With the grape’s popularity assured, more places have been trying their hand with Malbec, while its native home, Cahors in South West France, has seen producers work to create a richer style of red from the grape – one that’s more in line with the character achieved with ease in Argentina. By way of example, last year’s Malbec Master was from Château Lagrezette – a historic Cahors property with Michel Rolland as consultant. But this year, although not a Master, the judges were amazed to find a Malbec from Spain rubbing shoulders with respected Argentine names from Norton to Colomé and Salentein. Gaining a Gold in the £20-£30 price band was Bodegas Clunia in Castilla y León, which had crafted a ripe, dense, toasty, juicy and structured red to rival the finest in South America. It was also the highest scoring sample from outside Argentina.

As for those that weren’t from this Latin nation, there were some good Malbecs from Chile – with medals awarded to Viñedos Puertas, Via Wines, Viña Indomita, Concha y Toro, Viña Cremashi, Viu Manent, Viña San Esteban and Morandé. There was also a delicious example from Wakefield Estate in Australia’s Clare Valley, which picked up a Silver, as did, much to the surprise of the judges, an example from Burgenland in Austria, made by Kraft aus Rust, and loaded with plum and cherry fruit, along with a peppery spice, not unlike the wines from this nation’s flagship red grape, Blaufränkisch.

Within Argentina, it was notable to see the breadth of Malbec styles, with this year, the competition’s first ever white Malbec – a fascinating arrival to the category with an oily texture, and peachy fruit.

Among the Malbec Masters for 2019, it was impressive to see Bodega Aleanna pick up this ultimate accolade for its El Enemigo Malbec sub £20, with the rest of this year’s Masters all awarded to wines over this price point, and mostly over £30.

The tasting proved a particular endorsement for the quality of Malbecs being made by Bodega Norton, but also Colomé, Atamisque and Salentein, along with Trapiche and Doña Paula. Interestingly, the latter two producers, who specialise in isolating special sites and bottling single vineyard Malbecs, gained strong Golds for their expressive wines. However, the Masters went to Malbecs that blended grapes from across a broader area, lending the wines a touch more complexity perhaps?

Having said that, among such stars of the day, was the single vineyard biodynamic Alpamanta Estate, which wowed for its fleshy cherry and blackberry frut, as well as tobacco and chocolate notes.

Another Master was awarded to Fincas Patagonicas, whose Black Tears Malbec is soft, dense and just plain delicious. While for me, the ultimate expression of the day turned out to be the famous Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino. The wine, which hailed from the 2017 vintage, was very much in its youth, with masses of taught tannins, but also intense pure blue, red and black berry fruit, and lingering characters of roasted coffee, pepper and plums. Certainly a great Malbec, but also a fine wine that’s capable of standing alongside the most celebrated reds of the world.

Over the following pages you can see all the medallists from this year’s competition, as well as comments from the judges (who are pictured below), and more information about the Global Sparkling Masters, including how to enter.

The judges (left to right): Patrick Schmitt MW, Patricia Stefanowicz MW, Andrea Bricarello, Jonathan Pedley MW, Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW, David Round MW

Logo