The Co-operative’s own brand Champagne has scooped Gold medals at the International Wine Challenge 2013, beating top class Champagnes from leading brands and rival retailers.
The community-based retailer’s own brand Les Pionniers Vintage 2004 Champagne collected Gold for the third year running, while The Co-operative’s Les Pionniers NV Champagne also picked up Gold.
Both Champagnes, named after The Co-operative’s founders, the Rochdale Pioneers, were carefully made by Régis Camus at Piper Heidsieck. The Co-operative Les Pionniers NV is now on offer at £16.99 from £19.99 (from 15 May to 4 June 2013, inclusive).
Judges, which included co-chairman Charles Metcalfe, said the “fruit-driven” Vintage Champagne, £26.99, was ”immediately appealing” and was “youthful but rich with sensational acidity”.
The “powerfully effervescent” Non-Vintage Champagne, has ”a lovely complex nose of butter and toast, followed by intense palate of melon and citrus flavours”, according to the judges
Another own-brand IWC medal winner is The Co-operative Explorer’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012, which picked up Bronze and is also on offer at £7.99 from £8.99 (from 15 May to 4 June 2013, inclusive).
Meanwhile three other wines exclusive to The Co-operative were also among the medal winners, making it a total of six gongs for the convenience retailer.
Ben Cahill, The Co-operative Champagne buyer, said: “Our Champagnes have knocked spots off the competition, reflecting our commitment to providing Co-operative shoppers with great-value, exceptional wines from around the world.
“We work hard to ensure the high quality of our wine range, and to have our Champagnes recognised in this way is a fantastic seal of approval.”
In its 30th year, the International Wine Challenge is regarded as the world’s finest and most meticulously judged competition, attracting thousands of entries every year. The IWC assesses every wine “blind” and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage. Each medal winning wine is tasted on at least three separate occasions by a minimum of 10 different judges.