This year, English wines have been awarded an impressive 128 medals at the 2018 International Wine Challenge (IWC), significantly increasing on last year’s medal count.
Demonstrating how far the industry has progressed in recent years, England once again ranks in the IWC’s top ten medal tally with 12 golds, 58 silvers and 58 bronzes being awarded.
In its 35th 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 12 different judges including Masters of Wine.
According to the IWC, Sussex-based Nyetimber continues to be one of England’s outstanding performers. Nyetimber received an impressive four gold medals in this year’s competition, the estate’s Classic Cuvée 2009 in magnum has been shortlisted for the IWC overall sparkling champion award and its winemaker Cherie Spriggs has been shortlisted for the IWC sparkling winemaker of the year 2018.
Lyme Bay Winery’s Chardonnay, 2016, was the only still wine to achieve gold medal success; interestingly the last still English wine to receive a gold was in 2011. Six still whites were awarded silver medals including two Chardonnays, Gusbourne Estate Guinevere Chardonnay, 2014, and Chapel Down Kit’s Coty Chardonnay, 2015, and two Bacchus from 2016, from Aldwick Court Farm and Woodchester Valley. The final still white to be awarded a silver was Halfpenny Green Long Acre, 2016. Denbies Wine Estate was awarded a silver for its sweet wine, Brokes Botrytis Ortega 2016.
There were three notable English reds this year, each receiving Bronze medals. From Norfolk, Flint Vineyard Pinot Noir Précoce, 2017 and from Kent Gusbourne Estate Pinot Noir, 2016 and Chartham Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2016.
“We are thrilled to see England’s continued success at IWC 2018,” said Oz Clarke co-chair at the International Wine Challenge. “Without doubt, it’s a hugely exciting time for the industry and thanks to a combination of climate change, increased knowledge and more investment, English wines really are now flourishing. It is quite clear that England is now producing some of the best sparkling wines in the world.”