The International Wine Challenge has announced the 10 highest scoring wines from its 2021 competition, which the competition is now dubbing the “10 Best Wines In The World.” The winners came from eight different countries and each proved themselves over multiple stages of intensive blind-tastings by a panel of leading global experts from across the industry.
Five of the wines have been awarded the additional accolade of Champion, which is given to wines that are considered the “best in show,” beating all other National Trophy winners in the categories of red, white, sparkling, sweet and fortified.
10 Best Wines in the World as judged by the International Wine Challenge 2021:
|France||Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Cuvée Cyrot ChaudronHospices de Beaune 2019, Maison Albert Bichot||IWC Champion Red Wine 2021,International Pinot Noir Trophy, FrenchRed Trophy, Red Burgundy Trophy|
|France||Vintage 2008, Piper-Heidsieck||IWC Champion Sparkling Wine 2021,Champagne Trophy, Vintage ClassicBlend Champagne Trophy|
|Greece||Sigalas Santorini Barrel 2020, Domaine Sigalas||IWC Champion White Wine 2021,Greek White Trophy|
|Italy||Vinsanto di Carmignano Capezzana Riserva 2013, Tenuta Di Capezzana||IWC Champion Sweet Wine 2021,Italian Sweet Trophy|
|Spain||Lustau Palo Cortado V.O.R.S 30 Years, Emilio Lustau||IWC Champion Fortified Wine 2021,Sherry Trophy, Palo Cortado Trophy|
|Australia||Wolf Blass Grey Label McLaren Vale Shiraz 2019, Wolf Blass Wines||International Shiraz Trophy, McLarenVale Shiraz Trophy|
|Austria||Sauvignon Blanc Kitzeck-Sausal Südsteiermark2019, Weingut Schneeberger||International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy,Austrian Sauvignon Blanc Trophy|
|France||Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru Domaine du Pavillon 2019, Maison Albert Bichot||IWC Organic Trophy 2021, InternationalChardonnay Trophy, French WhiteTrophy, White Burgundy Trophy|
|Germany||Erbacher Siegelsberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs2015, Weingut Schloss Reinhartshausen||International Riesling Trophy, GermanWhite Trophy|
|New Zealand||Valli Pinot Noir Gibbston Vineyard 2019, Valli Vineyards||IWC Sustainable Trophy 2021, NewZealand Red Trophy, Central OtagoPinot Noir Trophy|
For the first time in the history of the International Wine Challenge, a Greek producer, Domaine Sigalas, was awarded the 2021 Champion White Wine for Sigalas Santorini Barrel 2020, its wine made from the indigenous grape variety Assyrtiko, with judges describing it as “supremely well balanced and characterful.”
A Shiraz from McLaren Vale has beaten examples from across Australia and Syrah from around the world to be awarded the International Shiraz Trophy. Wolf Blass Grey Label McLaren Vale Shiraz 2019 from Wolf Blass Wines impressed the judges with its “ripe, fleshy, generous and delicious fruit.” This year’s result represents the first time in almost a decade that Australia has won this trophy. The skill of the Wolf Blass team was left in no doubt in this year’s competition as winemakers Chris Hatcher & Steven Frost also won IWC Red Winemaker of the Year, the fourth time they have been recipients of this internationally acclaimed accolade.
This builds on the wider success of Australian winemakers in this year’s awards in which South Australia scooped multiple trophies including the Australian White Trophy for Penfolds Reserve Bin A Chardonnay 2019, the Australian Red Trophy for Kilikanoon Wines Baudinet 2019, as well as the Australian Riesling Trophy for Gatt High Eden Riesling 2016. Further cementing its reputation as a globally recognised producer of premium wines, Tasmania was awarded the Australian Sparkling Trophy in this year’s competition for Arras E.J Carr Late Disgorged Vintage 2005 from House of Arras.
Neighbouring New Zealand secured its place in the 10 best wines of the International Wine Challenge 2021 with the Valli Pinot Noir Gibbston Vineyard 2019 from Central Otago claiming the IWC Sustainable Trophy. Judged against all other red wines in New Zealand, it was also declared New Zealand Red Trophy winner for 2021, with the judges thrilled ‘to taste a Gibbston Pinot in full flow’.
New Zealand saw success in the wider competition with a Chardonnay from Hawke’s Bay, which beat white wines from across the country to be awarded the New Zealand White Trophy. Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2019 impressed the judges with its ‘really pure fruit flavours with sophisticated balance’ and was described as ‘a perfectly formed Chardonnay’.
Co-Chair Tim Atkin MW commented: ‘With wines from over 50 countries entered into the IWC and each wine judged purely on its merit, it’s impossible to predict which wines will come out on top in any given year, which is what makes the competition so exciting. It’s great to see lesser-known wines such as the Austrian Sauvignon Blanc and an Assyrtiko from Greece standing alongside more familiar names in this year’s top 10 scoring wines.’
The full list of Trophy and Champion award winners at the 2021 International Wine Challenge released on 30th June can be found here.