Today, the International Wine Challenge 2014 announces the Champagnes and sparkling wines which have won Gold medals at this year’s competition. All fans of top fizz should take note.
Forty one Champagnes were awarded Gold medals, including four from UK supermarket own ranges. Premium retailer Waitrose has been awarded three Champagne Gold medals for its 2004 Brut Special Reserve Vintage (£30.99), its non-vintage Blanc de Blancs Brut (£19.99) and Blanc de Noirs Brut (£21.99). Marks & Spencer’s Champagne Charles Orban Blanc de Noirs Brut NV, retailing at £30, also struck Gold at the competition.
- Those looking to splurge on a big name should try and get their hands on prize winners from prestigious Champagne Houses Pommery, Henriot and Charles Heidsieck, with each received four Gold medals
- Pommery NV Brut Rosé Apanage (RRP £64.99), NV Brut Royal (RRP £38.99), 2005 ‘Grand Cru’ Vintage (RRP £54.99) and its 2002 Cuvée Louise (RRP £115) all picked up golds
- Champagne Henriot received Gold for its non-vintage Champagnes Bruts Blanc de Blancs (RRP £44), Brut Souverain (RRP £36), its 2005 Rosé Millésimé (RRP £59) and its 2005 Brut Souverain (RRP £55)
- Charles Heidsieck was awarded four Golds for its 1999 Rosé Millésimé (RRP £63), its 2000 Brut Millésimé (RRP £51) and its NV Rosé Réserve (RRP £43). The 1995 Blanc des Millénaires Millesimé, which retails at around £102, also picked up Gold and was the oldest Champagne to receive a Gold medal
- Fourteen sparkling wines were also awarded Gold medals, including a Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference 2013 Conegliano Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut which retails for only £10.00. A 2010 Rosé Cava, AA Privat Laietà Gran Reserva Brut Nature from Alta Alella in Spain also won a Gold medal
- Five sparkling wines from the southern counties of England were also awarded Gold medals. West Sussex vineyard Nyetimber received a Gold medal for its 2009 Classic Cuvée and Gusbourne Estate in Kent won Gold with its 2009 Brut Reserve. Both vineyards continued the success of 2013, each picking up a Gold medal for the second consecutive year
- Sussex vineyard Breaky Bottom was awarded a Gold medal for its 2010 Breaky Bottom Cuvée Réservé Brut
- Camel Valley in Bodmin, Cornwall received two Gold medals for its sparkling wines. Its 2012 Pinot Noir Rosé Brut and 2009 Chardonnay Brut wowed the judges. The vineyard also received a Silver medal for its 2012 Camel Valley Brut.
- This year the IWC hosted two separate tasting events for the first time, Tranche 1 in November 2013 and Tranche 2 in April 2014, to accommodate the different production and sales schedules across the industry, and give winemakers two different moments in the year to enter their wines
Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC, said: “The calibre of champagnes and sparkling wines has been outstanding at this year’s competition. These Gold medal winners are absolutely stunning, and whether you are looking for a bargain in the supermarket aisles or a big name to wow your friends for a special occasion, there is a wine for you. It is wonderful to see such quality across all styles of sparkling wine. Who doesn’t love to break open the bubbly now and then?
“The International Wine Challenge is committed to rigorous and fair tasting and has subsequently earned its reputation as the most well-respected wine competition in the world. By hosting two separate tasting events across the year, wines are given the best chance to perform well, wherever they’re from.
“If a shopper sees an IWC medal sticker on a bottle of wine, its quality can be trusted, as it has been selected by some of the world’s best tasters. Whether you are a wine novice or an experienced wine-drinker, our stickers can help you find a great wine every time.”
Visit the IWC website for the full list of winners: www.internationalwinechallenge.com