Decanter Wine Magazine has announced the results of the 2008 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) at the London International Wine Trade Fair.
Decanter is the worldâ€™s most influential wine competition and the results thereof undoubtedly lay the foundation for overnight success for producers. Immediate recognition of Decanter winners on store shelves leads to increased sales and brand recognition and this carries welcome financial reward.
South African wine entries are up on last yearâ€™s competition and accounted for the following in terms of wine style and number of wines tasted: Red = 354, Rose = 4, Sparkling = 4, White =179, Sweet =7 and Fortified =1. Total number of wines received for the entire competition was 36 000 bottles covering over 9000 categories and these were methodically checked and dispatched into varietal, style and price point categories. After seven days of coding and bagging these wines were presented for judging week.
Top judges invited to this yearâ€™s competition, many of whom were appointed Regional Chair for their area of expertise, included Tom Stevenson,
The judging panel for SA wines included Cape Wine Master Vashti Galpin, John Avery, Greg Sherwood MW, Maria Gallup, wine buyer for the Co-Operative and Lynne Sheriff, MW and Regional Chair. Lynne Sheriffâ€™s viewpoint regarding last yearâ€™s competition was summed up as follows: â€œThe Decanter World Wine Awards is one of the most efficiently run global competitions. It brings together a selection of world-wide judges with a wealth of experience in wine judging. Winemakers benefit immensely from having retail buyers and journalists judging their wines. These are all judged blind, but the judges receive the results, once these have been computed. Decanter then provides a platform for international marketing of the resultsâ€.
The SA results show marked improvement in terms of winemaking skill, with a continued move away from over-extracted and over-oaked red wines and Chardonnays. Canopy management focus continues to yield improvement in terms of physiological ripeness, thus controlling alcohol levels, an area that
The competition is based on different price point categories: (A)Â£4.99, (B)Â£5-6.99,(C) Â£7-9.99, (D)Â£10-14.99, (E)Â£15-19.99, (F)Â£20-29.99, (G)Â£30-39.99,and (H)Â£40+. Within each category wines are scored as follows: Commended, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. The next step involves judging Gold medal winners within a particular varietal or style category, based on a price point category of under Â£10 and over Â£10 to award the overall Regional Trophy. The final day of judging involves the awarding of International Trophies again based on category and price point as for Regional awards. There were more South African wines entered in the Under Â£10 category. There were noticeable absentees from the competition, which begs the question: how do we grow our industry and build individual wine careers if wines are not entered into a competition aimed at the consumer representing various economic backgrounds? Decanter Wine Magazine is only sold in Waitrose and Marks & Spencer, thus giving the consumer direct access to DWWA winners. Promotions Manager for Waitrose, Kate Prall MW: â€œWe use in branch barkers to advertise winning a trophy and we know there is a significant uplift in sales. We also highlight the win in the Wine List and on Waitrose Wine Direct. It is a particularly good way to encourage customers to buy non-price promoted lines. It also gives them the confidence to try something new and trade up to higher priced and often better quality wines”.SOUTH AFRICAN GOLD MEDAL WINNERS
Chenin Blanc: Cederberg Sustainable Chenin Blanc 2007 and KWV
White Blends: Cape Point Isleidh 2005 and Tokara White 2006
Chardonnay: Rustenberg Five Soldiers 2006, Paul Cluver 2007 and Glen Carlou 2007
Sauvignon Blanc: Eikendal Vineyards 2007, Lomond Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Pincushion 2007Â and
Pinotage: Southern Right 2006 and Kanonkop 2004
Merlot: Morgenster 2004
Shiraz: Cederberg 2006, Elgin Vintners 2006, Spier Private Collection 2005, Spier Vintage Collection 2005, The Spice Route Flagship Syrah 2005, Escapade Winery Escapade Shiraz 2006
Red Blends: Buitenverwachting Christine 2003, Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2004, Amani Vineyards Cabernet Merlot 2006Â and Englebrecht Els Proprietors Blend 2005
Dessert Wines: Delheim Edelspatz NLH 2007 and Vin de Constance 2002.
Decanter will be attending the Cape Wine 2008 in September where they will be pouring the winning SA wines and handing out copies of Decanter Wine Magazine.
Download all the results, Gold medal and Regional trophy winners from the Decanter website – www.decanter.com