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The world’s best wine magazine WORLD WINE AWARDS 2018 THE WINNERS






Contents 4 DWWA: quest for the best Co-Chair Andrew Jefford explains the ethos and scoring


4 DWWA: quest for the best

Co-Chair Andrew Jefford explains the ethos and scoring system that lie behind the DWWA

6 The judging process

Find out how our judging panels carry out the

tastings and choose the medal-winning wines

8 How the winners are rated

A simple guide to the different levels of award,

from Commended up to Best in Show

10 Judges by region

Check the credentials of our Chairman Emeritus, three co-Chairs, 36 Regional Chairs and 239 judges

22 DWWA judges’ party

With the hard work done, the judges and DWWA team relaxed and celebrated the 15th anniversary

25 The Best in Show: wine profiles

Full tasting notes and background information

on the 50 wines that triumphed over 16,853 others that entered this year’s competition

52 The Platinum winners: wine profiles

Find out more about the 149 wines deemed by our judging panels to be the best in their region

90 The Gold medal-winning wines

We celebrate this year’s 439 Golds, set out

alphabetically by region

119 The Silver & Bronze medal-winning wines

The 10,533 wines listed by region (Commended

wines can be found on Decanter.com/dwwa)

243 UK shopper’s guide

A selection of the medal-winning wines at the

UK’s supermarkets and high-street merchants

We would like to thank our sponsors for their kind support


The results, by country and region


90, 119


90, 120






92, 127


94, 137


94, 138


95, 143


95, 144




94, 138




94, 138


96, 148


97, 150

Caucasus & Eurasia

97, 153

Central Italy

98, 155


99, 159


99, 163


91, 125


94, 139


101, 171

Czech Republic

104, 185






100, 168


101, 169


104, 186




103, 179


92, 126






101, 172




102, 177





Middle East

103, 179




105, 186





New Zealand

103, 181

Northern & Eastern Europe

104, 185

Northern Italy

105, 187




106, 191

Port & Madeira

107, 195


108, 196


108, 199


109, 202


105, 187




95, 141


110, 205


95, 141



South Africa

110, 206

Southern Italy

113, 212

Southwest & rest of France

112, 216


113, 218


115, 230








103, 180


116, 232



United Kingdom

116, 235




117, 237


118, 239

Photograph: Nina Assam (www.ninaassam.com)

DWWA 2018: quest for the best

W hat shall we call it? A festival of winemaking endeavour? The greatest benchmarking exercise in the wine world? A treasure hunt for winemaking talent?

A general assembly of global viticultural terroirs? It’s all of these things, and more – and it’s now 15 years old. We celebrated this milestone with an ever-widening pool of expert judges, with new refinements to our judging system, and with wines from more countries than ever before (this year’s 16,972 entries included wines from Bolivia, Colombia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Malta, Poland, Sweden and Taiwan). During the first week of judging at London’s Royal Victoria Dock, all of the wines are tasted and discussed by specialist panels. Judges fly in from every continent to take part. The bottles may leave empty-handed (that was the fate of almost 2,500 wines this year). Some 3,399 received a Commended in 2018 – which describes a wine that our judges would take simple pleasure in drinking a glass of, come the end of the day. Bronze, Silver and Gold medals clearly mark the ladder of attainment – and Gold medals go only to wines considered genuinely outstanding by the expert panels in lengthy discussion with their Regional Chairs. There were just 439 such medals this year: a mere 2.5% of entries. Then, though, comes this year’s key innovation. All of those Golds were re-tasted the following week by the co-Chairs and selected Regional Chairs, not only to guarantee their quality but also to come up with our stratospheric class of Platinum. Finally, on the last day of judging, the co-Chairs re-tasted all of the Platinum wines to select the Top 50 Best in Show. In contrast to previous years, these tastings are not regionally streamed: we’re not looking for the best wines from a producing zone, but for absolute quality (though it’s also worth noting that our under £15 ‘Value’ category goes right through to Best in Show, too). That’s why you’ll find, in this year’s Top 50 wines, three Burgundy grands crus, three Riojas, three Rhônes and three fine sherries. But we’ve been alert to the quietest, most subtle forms of

But we’ve been alert to the quietest, most subtle forms of wine beauty, too, and our

wine beauty, too, and our Best in Show list also includes outstanding Canadian Cabernet Franc, Gemischter Satz from Vienna, Valtellina Superiore Inferno, Alto Adige Pinot Grigio, Savennières, Cava and rosé from Bandol. A word, finally, on scoring. Our scores are calibrated, by our expert tasters, according to the descriptions you will find on p8 (a rubric all judges have in front of them throughout the judging process) in relation to the spectrum of wines tasted in the competition. Yes, there will be even better wines in the world – but we cannot judge what we don’t taste. As has often been discussed in the pages of Decanter, it is debatable whether any ‘universal’ scoring system for wine might exist. Readers should use our scores to gauge the level of enthusiasm our expert judges felt for our award-winning wines, all the way from Bronze up to Best in Show. We believe that we have an outstanding set of results in 2018 – but that is for you, the readers, to pass final judgement on. Do let us have your thoughts: our minds are never closed to further refinements.

Above: Andrew Jefford confers with judges

Andrew Jefford is a Decanter contributing editor and columnist. He is co-Chair of the DWWA

How to read the results

Profiles and tasting notes for all 50 Best in Show winners (the best of the Platinum winners) are listed from p25, with profiles and tasting notes for the Platinum winners (the best of the Golds) listed from p52. For an explanation of how the judging process works, please see p8. From p90, we list Gold medal winners by region. Wines are grouped into colour and/or type, in the order one might drink them over a meal: Sparkling, White, Rosé, Red, Sweet and

Fortified. Wines are identified by these colours: green (white wines), pink (rosés), red (reds), orange (sweet and fortified wines). Within the Sparkling sections of each region, wines are further divided into colour:

Sparkling white, Sparkling rosé, Sparkling red. Within all of these categories, wines are listed by score, then alphabetically, by producer name. Stockist and price details for Best in Show, Platinum and Gold medal-winning wines have

been supplied by the producer or UK importer responsible for entering the wine. We have checked these, but cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information provided. Tasting note, price and stockist information for wines winning a Silver or Bronze medal, plus the Commended wines, can be found at http://awards.decanter.com/


Wines which failed to win a medal have not been published.

4 | DWWA 2018 • Decanter


Domaine Serene

PROMOTIONAL FEATURE Domaine Serene Iconic Producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay *b race and Ken Evenstad,

Iconic Producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

*b race and Ken Evenstad, seeking the best site in the world for growing and producing world-class Pinot

Noir, settled in the Dundee Hills of Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 1989. The Evenstads had faith in Oregon before there was an international market for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the region. They invested in a 42-acre hilltop

estate property that had just been logged in the Dundee Hills. That property, the Evenstad Estate, is now recognized as one of the finest vineyards in the world and produces highly rated Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that is globally recognized as iconic by collectors and critics alike. In 2001, the Evenstads built a state-of-the-art, five-level gravity flow Pinot Noir winery. In 2017, always innovating, they completed a new White Winery dedicated to the production of Chardonnay and Sparkling wine - the first of its kind in Oregon. The wineries, located on the prestigious Winery Hill Estate, were built as a statement to the quality of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that can be produced from the unparalleled Dundee Hills AVA. In 2015, Ken and Grace acquired Château de la Crée, the respected wine estate located in the birthplace of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay: the renowned Côte d’Or. This made them the first Oregon based vintners to own land and produce wines in Burgundy. In 2017, the Evenstad’s debuted Maison Evenstad, a rare and exclusive barrel selection from their finest vineyard properties located throughout the Côte de Beaune. Their 2015 Maison Evenstad Santenay Premier Cru Beauregard Chardonnay was most

Grace and

Ken Evenstad

recently awarded 94 points by Jane Anson of Decanter Magazine. The high rating is a testament to the quality of wines achievable in the region of Santenay. In less than three decades of operation, Domaine Serene has consistently been recognized for producing world-class wines by various major wine publications. In 2013, their 2010 Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir was named the #1 Pinot Noir in the World by Wine Spectator in their Top 100. Three years later, in 2016, their 2014 Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay was named #1 White Wine in the World by the same publication. This made the Evenstads the first producers ever to be recognized with two Top Three wines in the Top 100 for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Further, in the Decanter World Wine Awards, their 2012 Winery Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir and 2013 Jerusalem Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir both took home Platinum ‘Best in Show’ designations. Today, Domaine Serene produces wines from six individual vineyard estates, planted exclusively to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Each estate offers a


95 points


Gold medal


Domaine Serene

Winery Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir,

Dundee Hills

95 points

2017 Platinum Best USA Pinot Noir 2013 Domaine Serene Jerusalem Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir




Gold medal


Domaine Serene

Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay

95 points 2016 Platinum Best in Show 2012 Domaine Serene Winery Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

diversity of soils, clones, rootstocks, microclimates, slopes and elevations that add distinguishing complexity and elegance to the wines. In total, Domaine Serene owns 950 acres of land in the hills of Yamhill County, with 287 acres planted to vine, and 25 acres, with significant Premier Cru vineyard holdings, in the Côte de Beaune region of Burgundy. For the past 25 years, the Evenstads have been focused on excellence in a never-ending quest to produce iconic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Domaine Serene Vineyards & Winery 6555 NE Hilltop Lane, Dayton, OR 97114 Office: 503.864.4600 www.domaineserene.com

DWWA: the judging process

T he Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) are rooted in regionality. Wines are judged first and foremost within their region, by a panel of experts in that region. The judges look for typicity above all, rewarding wines that are true to their terroir.

Turn to p10 to find out more about the credentials of our DWWA co-Chairs and Regional Chairs, as well as a list of judges for each region. Flights of wines are organised to ensure judges do not jump between contrasting styles in short time-frames, or risk palate fatigue by tasting very tannic wines over a long period. Judges taste between 75 to 80 wines per day, in optimum conditions – seated, in a plain, white room, under natural light. They taste from Riedel glasses, in an environment free

They taste from Riedel glasses, in an environment free of distractions such as music or external

of distractions such as music or external communication (phone calls, emails and tweeting are permitted only during breaks between flights). Wines are judged in flights of 12, grouped together by region, colour, grape, style, vintage and price bracket, giving similar wines an equal chance to shine. Judges taste wines within the context of their style and price bracket (hence a wine that wins Gold in the £8-£14.99 bracket may not necessarily win Gold if judged in the £30-£59.99 bracket). Judges taste individually and then compare notes to reach a consensus. The Platinum and Best in Show wines are judged the second week by a panel consisting of selected Regional Chairs and led by our Co-Chairs:

Sarah Jane Evans MW, Michael Hill Smith MW and Andrew Jefford.

Step-by-step guide to the competition:

1 Once the competition opens for entries, producers submit their wines and provide us with wine details, price and retail availability. Four bottles of each wine

arrive at the Decanter warehouse and are logged, categorised and coded according to

their country and region.

4 Gold medal-winning wines go forward to compete for Platinum. All of the Gold wines are judged according to their origin and style, with judges

aware of the factors in step 2. There are no limits

to the number of Gold winners which can be promoted to Platinum. Within each grape variety or style, more than one wine from a specific country, region or style can be promoted to Platinum. The winners are awarded Platinum medals and wines with a price band below £15 are awarded Value Platinum medals.

6 | DWWA 2018 • Decanter

2 Wines are grouped by country, region,

colour, grape, style, vintage and price

brackets. The price brackets are:

Band A: Up to £7.99

Band B: £8-£14.99 Band C: £15-£29.99 Band D: £30-£59.99 Band E: £60+

5 All the Platinum winners then compete

for the Best in Show. In a separate

tasting consisting of our co-Chairs only,

the wines from around the world are

pitted against each other to win the ultimate accolade at the DWWA: Best in Show. Wines under £15 are eligible for Value Best in Show.

3 All wines are tasted blind but judges are

aware of the factors in step 2. They taste

wines individually within the context of

their style and price bracket. They then

compare notes and reach a consensus on the wine’s medal and the score out of 100 points. Wines awarded Gold or Silver medals are re-tasted by the Regional Chair for his or her confirmation of the medal. The co-Chairs also re-taste all of the Gold wines for final endorsement.

6 The results are printed in this magazine and on Decanter.com.

Producers label medal- winning wines with stickers for consumers to recognise in store. Global tastings around the world give wine lovers a chance to try medal-winning wines.



The pioneering sparkling wines of the new world

&b handon was born in France, in the 1950s, from the pioneering vision of Robert-Jean de Vogüé, then President of Moët

& Chandon, who pushed the boundaries of traditional champagne elaboration by adapting ancestral savoir-faire and techniques to new world terroirs and cultures whilst never foregoing the same indisputable quality. Robert-Jean de Vogüé founded Bodegas Chandon, in Mendoza, Argentina, in 1959, followed by Chandon California and Chandon do Brasil in 1973. Chandon´s pioneering spirit did not end when he retired in 1972. With a strong sense of collaboration and mutual enrichment, supported by best-in-class winemakers and courageous entrepreneurs, Chandon Australia was inaugurated in 1986. More recently, Chandon India, in 2013, and Chandon China, in 2014, have opened up new frontiers in emerging markets – regions where Chandon plays a leading role in

markets – regions where Chandon plays a leading role in Domaine Chandon, Yountville California building the

Domaine Chandon, Yountville California

building the category and introducing sparkling wines to new consumers. Chandon´s pioneering spirit is embodied by its 16 talented winemakers, from 7 nationalities, who have gained a reputation for producing high-quality, award-winning sparkling wines. Chandon´s vineyards are located on the foothills of some of the world´s most iconic hills and mountain chains: in Mendoza close to the Andes, in Argentina; on the emblematic hills of Napa Valley, in

California; at the Serra Gaucha (Gaucho Highlands) in southern Brazil; on the breathtaking hills of Yarra River, in Australia; in Nashik, close to the Western Ghats mountains on the banks of India´s Godavari River; and on the Helan Mountains (Alashan Mountains) in Ningxia, in China´s northern province. This constellation of creative and passionate people is proud to share its passion, savoir-faire and enthusiasm with consumers worldwide, without ever forgetting to embrace the opportunity to do things differently. Chandon, born in France, crafted in the new world.

For more information on Chandon, please visit our website at www.chandonworlds.com

DWWA: the winning wines

DWWA: the winning wines Best in Show 95-100 All Platinum winners are pitted against each other

Best in Show


All Platinum winners are pitted against each other to win Best in Show – the DWWA’s top accolade. Value Best in Show awards are given to wines under £15



All Golds are re-tasted; a Platinum award is given to those wines that stand above the rest. Value Platinums are awarded to wines under £15


Each wine is given an individual score



An excellent wine of great complexity and character

8 | DWWA 2018 • Decanter



A very accomplished wine, with impressive complexity



An acceptable and simple wine



A well-made, straightforward and enjoyable wine



" !





All photographs: Nina Assam (www.ninaassam.com)

Above: judges on the Argentina & rest of South America panel (left to right): Dirceu Vianna Junior MW, Göran Klintberg and Alejandro Iglesias

Vianna Junior MW, Göran Klintberg and Alejandro Iglesias Judges by region An international panel of experts

Judges by region

An international panel of experts judge the wines submitted to DWWA each year, with Regional Chairs selected to support the Chairman Emeritus and co-Chairs of the competition. Read on to find out more about them and discover the names of the judges who taste and assess wines for each individual winemaking region

Chairman Emeritus

Steven Spurrier

Decanter’s consultant editor joined the wine trade in London in 1964 and later moved to Paris where he bought a wine shop in 1971, opening L’Academie du Vin, France’s first private wine school, in 1973. Spurrier staged the historic Judgment of Paris tasting in 1976 between wines from California and France. In the 1980s he wrote several wine

books and created the Christie’s Wine Course with Michael Broadbent. In 1988 Spurrier returned to the UK to focus on consultancy and writing. His awards include: Decanter Man of the Year 2017, Le Personnalité de l’Année (oenology) 1988 for services to French wine, and the Maestro Award 2011 in honour of California legend André Tchelistcheff. Spurrier is president of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and Circle of Wine Writers, founder of the Wine Society of India and owner of Dorset’s Bride Valley Vineyard.


Sarah Jane Evans MW

Evans is an award- winning journalist who began writing about wine in the 1980s. She started drinking Sherry and Spanish wine as a student at Cambridge University. This began her lifelong love of Spain’s wines, food and culture, culminating in membership of the Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino for services to Spanish wine. In 2006 she became a Master of Wine, writing her dissertation on Sherry and winning the Robert Mondavi Winery Award. A past chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine, Evans divides her time between writing for magazines such as Decanter, writing books, wine education and judging internationally.

10 | DWWA 2018 • Decanter


Michael Hill Smith MW

Hill Smith became the first Australian to pass the rigorous Master of Wine examination in 1988. He is a wine producer with his Adelaide Hills label Shaw+Smith, wine consultant, international wine judge, occasional wine writer and lapsed restaurateur. In 2008 he was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) for his contribution to the Australian wine industry, and he featured in Decanter’s Power List in 2009, 2011 and 2013. Hill Smith believes passionately in the future of Australian fine wine, and is part of the international tasting panel responsible for the selection of all wines served on Singapore Airlines.


Andrew Jefford

Jefford contributes a column every month to Decanter magazine, and writes the widely followed ‘Jefford on Monday’ blog for Decanter.com. Jefford has been writing and broadcasting about wine (as well as about food, whisky, travel and perfume) since the 1980s, winning numerous awards for his work. After spending 15 months as a senior research fellow at Adelaide University between 2009 and 2010, he now lives with his family in the Languedoc, close to Pic St-Loup.

ALSACE Regional Chair

Thierry Meyer

Alsace born and bred, Meyer began writing about wine in 1999, sharing tasting notes and insights into the wines of Alsace online. In 2001, he started his signature dinner series, dedicated

to pairing Alsace wines with fine food. He then founded L’Oenothèque Alsace society in 2006 and launched www.oenoalsace.com, one of the most comprehensive websites dedicated to the region’s wines. At the same time Meyer launched a programme of masterclasses and dinners with Alsace wines. From 2007 to 2011, Meyer was a contributing editor to the Bettane + Desseauve Guide des Vins. In 2014 he took responsibility for the new Alsace Master-level education programme for the Wine Scholar Guild (formerly the French Wine Society). JUDGES

Marcel Orford-Williams Aristide Spies MS

Eric Zwiebel MS

Orford-Williams ■ Aristide Spies MS ■ Eric Zwiebel MS ARGENTINA & REST OF SOUTH AMERICA (excluding

ARGENTINA & REST OF SOUTH AMERICA (excluding Chile) Regional Chair

Paz Levinson

Levinson works at Maison Pic in Valence as cheffe sommelière exécutif. Levinson began her wine career in her native Argentina, where she worked as head sommelier for a number of top restaurants, including Restó. She taught at the Centro Argentino de Vinos y Espirituosas (CAVE) for five years and achieved her professional sommelier diploma from CAVE in 2006. At the same time, she completed a BA in literature, and became the first Argentinian to pass the Court of Master Sommeliers advanced sommelier certificate. Levinson was named Best Sommelier of Argentina 2010 and 2014 by the Argentinian Association of Sommeliers. In 2015 she won the title Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) and Alliance of Pan-American Sommeliers (APAS) Best Sommelier of Americas. In 2016 she won fourth place at the ASI Best Sommelier in the World competition. She has worked at the three-star Michelin restaurant in Le Bristol Paris and at Virtus in Paris, and has written for a number of publications including GuildSomm. She also works as a restaurant consultant and a wine educator for Wines of Argentina.


Beverley Blanning MW Wojciech

Bo´nkowski Phil Crozier Matt Deller MW

Philip Harden MW Caroline Hermann MW

Alejandro Iglesias Göran Klintberg

Virginia Philip MS Mai Tjemsland MW

Raimonds Tomsons Dirceu Vianna Junior

MW Arabella Woodrow MW

ASIA Regional Chair

Ch’ng Poh Tiong

A lawyer by training,

Ch’ng published the world’s first Bordeaux guide in Chinese in 2000. He also writes columns for WineLife and RVF China. For nearly 20 years, he has been consultant to FairPrice, Singapore’s largest supermarket chain. Ch’ng is also a senior judge at other wine competitions and contributes to the China, Japan and India sections of Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book. Holding a certificate in Chinese art from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, Ch’ng is an ambassador of The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) Maastricht. JUDGES

Matt Deller MW Ying Guo Carmel

Kilcline MW Siniša Lasan Antoine Lehebel

Caro Maurer MW Rhys Pender MW

Beverly Tabbron MW Marcia Waters MW

AUSTRALIA Regional Chairs

Huon Hooke

Hooke is Australia’s leading independent

wine writer, based in Sydney, who also judges wine competitions and educates on wine.

A journalist first and

wine professional second, he has tertiary qualifications in both fields, and has also worked in wineries and wine retailing. He contributes to Gourmet Traveller Wine, the Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘Good Food’ section and Decanter, among other publications. He was co-author of The Penguin Good Australian WIne Guide for 14 years until 2007. In 2012 he launched the web- and phone-based app, Huonhooke.com. He has won 10 awards for wine writing since 1984 and has published 18 books on wine, including a biography of Penfolds Grange creator Max Schubert.


Anthony Rose

Rose is a wine critic who contributes to Decanter, and the Financial Times’ How To Spend It online, among other titles. His specialist areas include wine investment, on which he contributes to The Oxford Companion to Wine; and saké,

which he writes about and teaches. He has won a number of awards, among them three Glenfiddich Wine Writer of the Year Awards and a Louis Roederer International Wine Columnist of the Year Award. A founding member of The Wine Gang, Rose writes the Anthonyrosewine.com blog and is co-chair of the International Saké Challenge. JUDGES

Hamish Anderson Giles Cooke MW

Sebastian Crowther MS Dawn Davies MW

Nick Dumergue Julie Dupouy Alastair

England Edward Gerard Caroline Hermann MW Tim Jackson MW David Jean

Roger Jones Maggie Macpherson

Eugene Mlynczyk MW Stefan Neumann

MS Rebecca Palmer Jane Parkinson

Andrea Pritzker MW Treve Ring

Clement Robert MS Julia Sewell Erik

Simonics Christopher Tanghe MS Mai

Tjemsland MW Asa Wahlström Tim Wildman MW Nigel Wilkinson MS

Amanda Yallop

AUSTRIA Regional Chair

Markus del Monego MW

Del Monego holds the title of Best Sommelier of the World 1998 and is both wine advisor to Lufthansa airlines and owner/managing director of consultancy CaveCo. Based in Essen, Germany, he advises merchants, producers and private individuals on wine. Del Monego was born in Switzerland and grew up in Germany, where he began hotelier training at the Dorint Resort & Spa in Bad Brückenau. He then worked as sommelier in the Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburg, and later at the Dorint Park Hotel Bremen and The Savoy in London. Del Monego is also a Master of Saké, gaining the qualification a few months after passing his Master of Wine exams in 2003. JUDGES

Anthony Barne MW Wojciech Bo´nkowski

Stefan Neumann MS Mark Savage MW

Andreas Wickhoff MW

BALKANS Regional Chairs

Caroline Gilby MW

A writer and consultant, Gilby specialises in Central and Eastern Europe. Among other titles, she contributes to Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book, The Oxford Companion to Wine and The World Atlas of Wine, and has previously written for Dorling Kindersley’s Wines of the World, The Wine Opus, and Tom Stevenson’s Wine Report. Prior to her career as a writer, Gilby spent seven years as a senior wine buyer at Augustus Barnet off-licences, where she became the first major buyer to import Hungarian wines to the UK. She holds a doctorate in plant biology but abandoned life behind the microscope for a career in wine soon after winning the Decanter-Macallan Malt Whisky Taster of the Year Award. A Master of Wine since 1992, she has been visiting and tasting the wines of Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Romania for more than 20 years.

Beth Willard

Australian born and bred, Willard fell into wine through a love of languages and travel. She started her wine career in events and promotions at Kamberra, Hardy’s Canberra winery, then worked for Capital Wines, a small family producer. Making the move to Europe, Willard spent a year working at the Syndicat des Vins de Bordeaux before transferring into buying. Currently part of the buying team for Direct Wines in the UK, her specialities and passions are Spain and Eastern Europe. JUDGES

Karl Arbin Luis Capitao Miquel Hudin

Darrel Joseph Siniša Lasan Mario

Meštrovi´c Adam Pawlowski MS Sebastian Payne MW Bérenger Piras Ana Sapungiu MW Lenka Sedlackova MW Mikolaj Skrzypczak Igor Sotric Christian

Thorsholt Jacobsen Eric Zwiebel MS

■ Christian Thorsholt Jacobsen ■ Eric Zwiebel MS Now you’ve found out all about our DWWA

Now you’ve found out all about our DWWA Chairman Emeritus, Co-Chairs and the 36 Regional Chairs, read the biographies of each of the 239 judges in this year’s competition by visiting www. decanterawards.com/en/dwwa/judges/

12 | DWWA 2018 • Decanter

BEAUJOLAIS Regional Chair

Bernard Burtschy

Burtschy writes for ‘l’Avis du Vin’, a weekly column in France’s Le Figaro. He contributes to several other French publications including Amateur de Bordeaux and Amateur de Cigare, as well as Der Feinschmecker in Germany and Wands wine and spirit magazine in Japan. He is a member of the Grand Jury Européen, president of the Association de la Presse du Vin and contributes to books on wine. Outside the world of wine, Burtschy is a professor of statistics at the Télécom ParisTech. JUDGES

Adam Bruntlett Jamie Hutchinson

Frederic Marti Lionel Periner Tim Sykes

BORDEAUX Regional Chair

Jane Anson

Anson is Bordeaux correspondent for Decanter, and has lived in the region since 2003. An accredited wine teacher at the Bordeaux Ecole du Vin, she has a Masters in publishing from University College London. She is author of Bordeaux Legends, a history of the 1855 first growth wines, as well as Wine Revolution, The Club of Nine, and Angélus, and has translated Lynch Bages & Cie. Anson is a contributor to the Michelin Guide to the Wine Regions of France; she writes a monthly wine column for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, as well as a weekly column for DecanterChina.com. JUDGES

Christopher Bates MS Sebastian Braun

Laurent Chaniac Jeremy Cukierman MW

Charles Curtis MW Ezio De Bernardi

Matthew Hemming MW Martin Hudson

MW Keith Isaac MW Guillem Kerambrun

Chris Kissack Eugene Mlynczyk MW

Adam Pawlowski MS Frank Roeder MW

David Round MW Daphne Teremetz

Tim Triptree Dominique Vrigneau

BURGUNDY (excluding Beaujolais) Regional Chair

Jasper Morris MW

Morris built a reputation as one of the world’s leading authorities on Burgundy – originally through his importing company Morris & Verdin, then through his work as Burgundy director at merchant Berry Bros & Rudd, and more recently through his book Inside Burgundy, winner of the 2010 André Simon award for the Best Wine

Book of the Year. He now also consults for Christie’s on behalf of the Hospices de Beaune. JUDGES

Serdar Balkaya Adam Bruntlett Nicolas

Clerc MS Emma Dawson MW Lukasz Kolodziejczyk Catherine Petrie MW Erik Simonics Christopher Tanghe MS Robbie Toothill David Vareille Matt Wilkin MS

CANADA Regional Chair

Tony Aspler

Aspler has been writing about wine since 1975, and has been wine columnist for the

Toronto Star for 22 years. He is the author of 18 wine books, including The Wine Atlas of Canada, and three wine murder mystery novels:

Blood Is Thicker than Beaujolais, The Beast of Barbaresco and Death on the Douro. In 2001, Aspler co-founded the charity Grapes for Humanity to raise money through the wine community for victims of landmines and children with disabilities. In 2007 he was awarded the Order of Canada and in 2012 hw was elected to The Wine Media Guild of New York’s Wine Writers’ Hall of Fame. JUDGES

Tim Jackson MW Sarah Knowles MW

Rhys Pender MW Barbara Philip MW

Andrea Pritzker MW


Caroline Gilby MW

See profile for the Balkans

Beth Willard

See profile for the Balkans JUDGES

Miquel Hudin Dimitar Nikolov

Simon Woolf

MEET THE EXPERTS Above: Languedoc-Roussillon judges (left to right): Wojciech Bo´nkowski, Carmel Kilcline MW, Simon


Above: Languedoc-Roussillon judges (left to right): Wojciech Bo´nkowski, Carmel Kilcline MW, Simon Taylor and co-Chair Justin Howard-Sneyd MW

CENTRAL ITALY (excluding Tuscany) Regional Chair

Jane Hunt MW

Hunt’s 40-year career in wine has spanned sales, marketing, buying, education, writing and PR. She moved from Italy to the UK in 1977, and became a Vintners’ Company scholar in 1981 and a Master of Wine in 1985. With business partner Tina Coady, Hunt now runs Hunt & Coady, a company which organises trade tastings and the annual Argentina Wine Awards competition in Mendoza. Hunt spends several months of the year in Italy, where she produces olive oil at her renovated farmhouse in Umbria. JUDGES

Karl Arbin Andrea Briccarello Gennaro

Buono Daniele Cernilli Vincenzo

Donatiello Giovanni Ferlito Ying Guo

Claire Kyunghwa Nam Margaret Rand

Angelo Sabbadin

CHAMPAGNE Regional Chair

Richard Juhlin

Juhlin is the author of seven books on Champagne and contributes to several magazines including Decanter. He also runs The Richard Juhlin Champagne Club (www.champagneclub.com) through which he arranges tours to the region and manages the members-only Richard Juhlin Champagne Bars in Stockholm and Copenhagen. Juhlin is working on the television series, Drinks & Restaurants in Europe, which will air in the US and China, and he previously appeared in the Norwegian television series Nesevis. He was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole in 2002, and in 2014 was presented with l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur for his contribution to Champagne. Juhlin additionally carries out cellar consultations, holds wine tastings and lectures across the globe. He currently holds the world record for the highest number of Champagnes tasted – over 10,500 to date. Right now Juhlin is working on Champagne Hiking, searching for the world’s 100 best places to taste the world’s 100 best Champagnes. JUDGES Björnstierne Antonson Wojciech

Bo´nkowski Dilek Caner MW Sandia Chang

Charles Curtis MW Sue Daniels

Roberto Della Pietra Michael Edwards

Tim Hall Tim Jackson MW Lukasz

Kolodziejczyk Stefan Metzner Derek Morrison Piotr Pietras MS David Vareille

CHILE Regional Chair

Peter Richards MW

A TV presenter with more than a decade on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, Richards has won many awards for his work; his credits include Sky One, ESPN, Financial Times, The Guardian, ITV1, Radio 4, www.thetimes.co.uk and BBC2. He is also a regular Decanter contributor as well as chairman of the Decanter Retailer Awards. After publishing his book Wines of Chile, and Chile Wine Brief, he was recently described as ‘the world’s leading commentator on Chilean

wine’. Together with his wife, Susie Barrie MW, he launched Wine Festival Winchester in 2014. JUDGES

Paulo Brammer Alistair Cooper MW

Dawn Davies MW Benjamin Gubbins

Martin Lam Jorge Lucki Valentin

Radosav Amanda Yallop

GERMANY Regional Chair

Markus del Monego MW

See profile on p11 JUDGES

Fred Bulmer Dilek Caner MW Jan

Konetzki Andreas Rosendal Mark Savage MW Julia Sewell


Nico Manessis

Manessis is an expert on the wines of his native Greece and is the author of three wine books. He spends several months each year in the Greek vineyards, which he writes about and films for his site Greekwineworld.com. He also co-produced the award-winning documentary Pelican’s Watch about Santorini. Manessis teaches at the College of Crete, Greece, and at the Université du Vin, Suze la Rousse, France. He is also a member of the Académie Internationale du Vin. JUDGES

Mark Andrew MW Laurent Chaniac

Terry Kandylis Yiannis Karakasis MW

Sebastian Payne MW Ana Sapungiu MW

Elvis Ziakos

Sebastian Payne MW ■ Ana Sapungiu MW ■ Elvis Ziakos LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON Regional Chairs Justin Howard-Sneyd MW


Justin Howard-Sneyd MW

Howard-Sneyd’s career in the wine trade began in retail, running education courses and working six vintages in South Africa, Hungary, Romania and France. He then settled down in England to become a buyer for Safeway supermarkets, and became a Master of Wine in 1999, winning the Tim Derrouet Award as the outstanding student of his year. A year later, Howard-Sneyd joined Sainsbury’s where he was a buyer until 2005, when he moved to Waitrose to head up its wine team for five years. Howard-Sneyd is now global wine consultant to Direct Wines and founder of The Hive Wine Consulting. In addition to his day job, he and his family make 4,000 bottles a year of Domaine of the Bee, a blend of Grenache and Carignan from Roussillon.

14 | DWWA 2018 • Decanter

James Lawther MW

Lawther is a Decanter contributing editor as well as an independent wine writer, lecturer and tour guide based in Bordeaux. He worked at Steven Spurrier’s Paris wine shop in the 1980s, and his early career also involved stints as a cellar hand in Bordeaux, Burgundy, Roussillon and Western Australia. In 1993, Lawther became a Master of Wine. He is author of The Heart of Bordeaux and The Finest Wines of Bordeaux, and has contributed to many other books including Oz Clarke’s Bordeaux and Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book. JUDGES

Beverley Blanning MW Wojciech

Bo´nkowski Juliet Bruce Jones MW

Gemma Crangle Matt Deller MW

Heather Dougherty Victoria James

Carmel Kilcline MW Julia Lambeth Ben

Llewelyn Richard Maltby Adam Pawlowski MS Lionel Periner Barbara

Philip MW Valentin Radosav David Round MW Andrew Shaw Aristide Spies MS

Larry Stone MS Simon Taylor Daphne

Teremetz Arabella Woodrow MW

LOIRE Regional Chair

Jim Budd

Budd moved from education to wine in 1988, and has written for Decanter since 1989. He is the former editor (1991-2015) of Circle Update, the newsletter of the Circle of Wine Writers, writes the award-winning jimsloire. blogspot.com and is one of the five members of the blog les5duvin.wordpress.com. Budd exposes the dangers of drinks investment on his award-winning website www.investdrinks.org, and complementary blog Investdrinks-blog. blogspot.com. He also contributes to Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book, Wine Behind the Label and Maureen Downey’s website www. WineFraud.com. Budd is also a keen photographer – especially in the Loire. JUDGES

Chris Hardy Chris Kissack

Nigel Wilkinson

MIDDLE EAST Regional Chair

Caro Maurer MW

Maurer is a German wine writer who divides her time between General- Anzeiger, the daily newspaper in Bonn, and two magazines, Der Feinschmecker and the German edition of Fine. With a writing career spanning almost 25 years, her previous positions include working as a

correspondent in New York and Los Angeles, as a staff editor for the German edition of Forbes magazine, and at Die Welt, a German daily national newspaper. Maurer is also a wine educator and judges at international wine competitions. JUDGES

Serdar Balkaya Dilek Caner MW

Emma Dawson MW Johan Larsson

NEW ZEALAND Regional Chair

Bob Campbell MW

Campbell is wine editor of Your Home & Garden Magazine, Taste magazine and Air New Zealand’s in-flight magazine KiaOra. He is New Zealand editor for Gourmet Traveller Wine and also writes for wine publications in seven countries. Nearly 22,000 people have attended Campbell’s wine diploma courses, which he runs in New Zealand, Asia and Europe. He is chairman of the New Zealand International Wine Show, and has been a senior judge in wine competitions in 10 countries. JUDGES

Melanie Brown Cameron Douglas MS

Julie Dupouy Rebecca Gibb MW Keith

Isaac MW Lukasz Kolodziejczyk Lionel Periner Ronan Sayburn MS Mai Tjemsland

MW Philip Tuck MW


Caroline Gilby MW

See profile on p12

Beth Willard

See profile on p12 JUDGES

Fred Bulmer Luis Capitao Peter

Csizmadia-Honigh Tamas Czinki Darrel

Joseph Mario Meštrovi´c Dimitar Nikolov

Bérenger Piras Mikolaj Skrzypczak

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NORTHERN ITALY (excluding Piedmont & Veneto) Regional Chair

Alessandro Torcoli

Torcoli is the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Italian wine magazine Civiltà del Bere. In his time as editor he has organised wine tastings and events around the world, including VinoVip Cortina, the biennial summit of the best Italian wines. Torcoli has been writing about wine since 1998 and has won many awards, including the Comitato Grandi Cru d’Italia Best Young Italian Wine Journalist in 2009. He also contributes to Italian newspapers and appears on TV. He holds a sommelier certificate from the Associazione Italiana Sommeliers, is a member of the Accademia Italiana della Vite e del Vino (Italian Academy of Vine and Wine) and is currently a second stage MW student. Last year he wrote Vinology: Guida visuale ai vini d’Italia e del mondo (‘Vinology: A visual guide to the wines

of Italy and the world’) for the Italian publisher BUR-Rizzoli. JUDGES

Vincenzo Arnese Andrea Briccarello

Daniele Cernilli Julie Chéné Nyheim MW

Nicolas Clerc MS Ruben Desport Fabio

MW ■ Nicolas Clerc MS ■ Ruben Desport ■ Fabio Giavedoni ■ Ying Guo ■ Andrea

Giavedoni Ying Guo Andrea Pritzker MW

Andrea Sturniolo

PIEDMONT Regional Chair

Stephen Brook

Brook has been a contributing editor to Decanter since 1996 and has won a clutch of awards for his writing on wine. The author of almost 30 books, his works include The Complete Bordeaux, now the definitive study of the region and in its third edition, and The Wines of California, which won three awards. His most recently published book is The Wines of Austria. Brook also fully revised the last two editions of Hugh Johnson’s Wine Companion, and he writes for magazines in many countries. JUDGES

Paolo Basso Bruno Besa Nick Bielak

Davide Buongiorno Nicolas Clerc MS

Brian Cronin MS Emilio Del Fante

Vincenzo Donatiello Andres Ituarte

Robin Kick MW Andrea Pritzker MW

Clement Robert MS

16 | DWWA 2018 • Decanter

PORT & MADEIRA Regional Chair

Richard Mayson

Mayson began his career working for The Wine Society, winning the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s Vintner’s Company Scholarship in 1987 during his time there. Now specialising in the wines of Iberia, especially fortified wines, he owns a vineyard and produces wine in the Alto Alentejo, Portugal. The author of five books, including Madeira: The Islands and their Wines and Port and the Douro, Mayson also writes regularly for Decanter, contributes to The Oxford Companion to Wine and lectures for Leiths School of Food and Wine in London. In 1999, he was made a Cavaleiro of the Confraria do Vinho do Porto in recognition of his services to the Port wine trade. He is currently series editor for the Infinite Ideas Classic Wine Library and writes at www.richardmayson.com. JUDGES

Martin Hudson MW James John MW

Rod Smith MW Demetri Walters MW

PORTUGAL Regional Chair

Sarah Ahmed

Ahmed is a London- based wine writer, educator and judge. She was awarded the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s Vintners Cup in 2003, the Portuguese Annual Wine Awards’ Wine Writer of the Year 2009 and was shortlisted for the International Wine & Spirit Competition Communicator of the Year in 2009 and 2010. In addition to publishing Thewinedetective.co.uk, Ahmed has contributed on Portugal, Port and Madeira to Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book and on Portugal to the fourth edition of Jancis Robinson MW’s The Oxford Companion to Wine. She also consulted on Portugal and Australia for the seventh edition of The World Atlas of Wine. In 2013, she was made a Cavaleiro of the Confraria do Vinho do Porto for her commitment and contribution to Port. JUDGES

Danny Cameron Nelson Guerreiro Anne

Hill Matthieu Longuere MS Beatriz

Machado Ieva Markaityte Jason Millar

Nick Oakley Treve Ring Christopher

Sherwood Christian Thorsholt Jacobsen

PROVENCE Regional Chair

Rod Smith MW

Smith is a wine educator, marketer and salesman, based in the south of France. He is director of the Riviera Wine Academy and previously worked for Vins Sans Frontières, wine supplier to the super-yacht industry in the south of France, and a variety of fine-wine importers and retailers in the UK. He started his wine career in 1987 as Christmas staff at Oddbins while studying at Chelsea School of Art, and upon completing a degree in illustration and graphic design in Dundee he worked for the UK wine merchant while establishing himself as a freelance illustrator. An increasing love of wine won the day, however, and Smith’s career has seen him work for Seagram and Mentzendorff over the years, as well as judging at the Moscow

Wine Fair and the Shanghai International Wine Challenge. His personal interests include cycling, running, travel, literature, card magic and film. JUDGES

Yves Desmaris MS Jennifer Docherty MW

Heather Dougherty Richard Maltby

Stefan Metzner Andrea Pritzker MW

Lindsay Talas Dominique Vrigneau

RHONE Regional Chair

Matt Walls

Walls is a freelance wine writer and consultant, contributing regular articles to Decanter and other print and online titles. He publishes the blog Mattwalls.co.uk, for which he was named the 2015 International Wine & Spirit Competition Blogger of the Year. His first book on wine,

Drink Me, won Best Newcomer at the 2013 Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards. In addition to writing, Walls advises restaurants on wine lists, hosts tastings and judges at food and wine competitions. He was previously fine wine manager at UK importer Mentzendorff and set up, managed and bought wines for the flagship store of London’s The Sampler. JUDGES

Jeremy Cukierman MW Gearoid Devaney

MS Bastien Ferreri Simon Field MW

Christian Honorez Ben Llewelyn

Tanguy Martin Bérenger Piras Valentin

Radosav Laurent Richet MS David Round

MW Larry Stone MS Colin Thorne

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SHERRY Regional Chairs

Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW

Ballesteros Torres has studied around the world, including Jerez, Burgundy, Napa and Bordeaux. He holds a degree in agro-food engineering and a masters in viticulture and oenology among his qualifications. A columnist for magazines in Spain and Belgium, he works in four languages. He is active in the fields of promotion and education, and is also on the council of the Institute of Masters of Wine, the governing board of the Unión Española de Catadores (the Spanish wine tasters’ union), the board of the International Federation of Wine and Spirit Journalists and Writers, the wine committee of the Basque Culinary Centre and an expert at the OIV (International Organisation of Vine and Wine).

Patricio Tapia

Tapia graduated with a degree in journalism from the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, before attending Bordeaux University in France, where he studied for a diploma in wine tasting and winemaking. He is the wine critic for Argentina, Chile and Spain in Wine & Spirits magazine and has been a host on the El Gourmet TV channel in South America. He has written several books, including The Wines of Colchagua Valley, TodoVino, Wines for Great

Occasions, and his annual Descorchados, a guide to the wines of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, published in both Spanish and English. JUDGES

Sue Daniels Nick Dumergue Tim

Jackson MW Victoria James Nick Room

Ronan Sayburn MS Matt Wilkin MS

■ Nick Room ■ Ronan Sayburn MS ■ Matt Wilkin MS SOUTH & NORTH AFRICA Regional


Fiona McDonald

McDonald is a trained news journalist who began her wine writing career when she helped a friend organise a wine show, which resulted in her writing a weekly wine column. She spent

18 | DWWA 2018 • Decanter

eight years as editor of Wine magazine in Cape Town, playing a key role in documenting the changing face of South African wine – her tenure coincided with the industry’s post- apartheid era. McDonald edits the magazine Cheers in South Africa, as well as contributing to a number of other publications. She judges at global wine competitions and is also a member

of the Platter’s South African wine guide tasting panel and writing team. JUDGES

Anthony Barne MW Christopher Bates MS

Jennifer Docherty MW David Forer MW

Nancy Gilchrist MW Higgo Jacobs

David Jean Maggie Macpherson Jason

Millar Valentin Radosav Greg Sherwood

MW Erik Simonics Lindsay Talas

Robbie Toothill


Bernard Burtschy

See profile on p11 JUDGES

Adam Bruntlett Heather Dougherty

Jamie Hutchinson Lionel Periner

Larry Stone MS Lindsay Talas

Dominique Vrigneau


Andy Howard MW

Howard became a Master of Wine in 2011 and runs his own consultancy business, Vinetrades, which focuses on education, judging, investment and sourcing. He previously worked for Marks & Spencer as a buyer for more than 30 years and was responsible for Italy, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire, Champagne, North and South America, South Africa, England, Port and Sherry. Howard is a regular contributor to Decanter and writes a column

on the UK wine retail trade for JancisRobinson. com. He owns a house in Gaillac where he made wine for six vintages. JUDGES

Sebastian Braun Luigi Buonanno Laura

DePasquale MS Vincenzo Donatiello

Fabio Giavedoni Andres Ituarte

Claire Kyunghwa Nam Julia Lambeth

Alessandro Marchesan Robert McNulty

Mick O’Connell MW Alessandra Piubello

James Reed Angelo Sabbadin

SPAIN Regional Chairs

Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW

See profile for Sherry

Patricio Tapia

See profile for Sherry SPAIN JUDGES

Cristina Alcalá Victoria Anderson

Julie Buckley Victoria Burt MW Pilar

Cavero Laurent Chaniac Rémi Cousin

Guillermo Cruz Sue Daniels Audrey

Doré Heather Dougherty Nick Dumergue

David Forer MW Tom Forrest Philip

Harden MW Miquel Hudin Raúl Igual

Maria José Huertas Vega Kathrine Larsen

MS Matthieu Longuere MS Jane MacQuitty Pierre Mansour Frederic Marti

Dimitri Mesnard MS Eugene Mlynczyk

MW Fernando Mora MW Bruno Murciano

Christine Parkinson Matt Pym Mike

Ritchie MW Diana Rollan Nick Room

David Round MW Ruben Sanz Ramiro

Mikolaj Skrzypczak Christopher Tanghe

MS Agustin Trapero Asa Wahlström

Matt Wilkin MS

SWITZERLAND Regional Chair

Paolo Basso

Swiss-Italian Basso was named Best Sommelier of the World in 2013. He started his wine career as a sommelier in Switzerland and gained experience with a leading Swiss-based fine and rare wines trader, where he focused on the wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux. Basso is now a wine trader and consultant through his own company Paolo Basso Wine, based in Lugano, Switzerland, as well as a wine producer – his first own-label red was dedicated to his daughter: Il Rosso di Chiara. He has won many awards – including Best Sommelier of Switzerland 1997 and Best Sommelier of Europe 2010 – and is one of just

six sommeliers to hold both the European and World titles. Since 2014 he has been in charge of the wine selection for Air France and he is a member of the technical committee of the International Sommelier Association. JUDGES

Gennaro Buono Ezio De Bernardi

Emilio Del Fante Frederic Marti

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TUSCANY Regional Chair

Monty Waldin

Waldin became the first wine writer to specialise in environmental issues in the mid-1990s and his first book, The Organic Wine Guide, published in 1999, was voted Britain’s Wine Guide of the Year. He was developing a biodiversity project for a Demeter-certified biodynamic vineyard in California at that time, and has drawn on this and other winemaking experiences in both hemispheres for subsequent writing. His other award-winning books including Biodynamic Wines and Wines of South America, and he has also been filmed in 2007 for a Channel 4 documentary, Château Monty, on biodynamic

winemaking in Roussillon, France. He has contributed to radio and newspapers, plus wine, travel and environmental publications. He lives for part of the year in Tuscany with his family and advises on biodynamics. JUDGES

Vincenzo Arnese Sara Bachiorri

Gennaro Buono Laurent Chaniac Brian

Cronin MS Katie Exton Giovanni Ferlito

Michaela Morris Mick O’Connell MW

Alessandra Piubello Ben Robson

Gerd Stepp

MW ■ Alessandra Piubello ■ Ben Robson ■ Gerd Stepp Now you’ve found out all about

Now you’ve found out all about our DWWA Chairman Emeritus, Co-Chairs and the 36 Regional Chairs, read the biographies of each of the 239 judges in this year’s competition by visiting www. decanterawards.com/en/dwwa/judges/

Red Shirts help out on the Balkans table, with judges (left to right): Igor Sotric, Siniša Lasan and Lenka Sedlakova MW

UK Regional Chair

Stephen Skelton MW

Skelton started his career in wine in 1975. After 12 months at Schloss Schönborn in Germany’s Rheingau wine-growing region and two terms at Geisenheim wine school, he returned to the UK in 1977 to establish Tenterden Vineyards in Kent, where he made wine for 23 vintages. He was also winemaker at Lamberhurst Vineyards from 1988 to 1991. Skelton is a consultant to the English wine industry and is involved with planting

vineyards for the production of sparkling wine. He became a Master of Wine in 2003. JUDGES

Fred Bulmer Richard Hemming MW

Andreas Rosendal


Karen MacNeil

MacNeil is an award- winning wine writer, presenter and journalist, having won most major wine awards given in the English language. These include the James Beard Award for Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year and Global Wine Communicator of the Year at the International Wine & Spirits Competition. MacNeil is also the author of award-winning book, The Wine Bible, and the former wine correspondent for the Today show on NBC. She gives wine presentations, speeches and seminars to audiences globally. She is the creator and editor-in-chief of WineSpeed, her

digital newsletter, which has an audience of 45,000 subscribers. JUDGES

David Forer MW Alex Hunt MW Sarah

Knowles MW Cat Lomax Adam Pawlowski MS Virginia Philip MS Ronan Sayburn MS

Nick Taylor Kelli White

VENETO Regional Chair

Richard Baudains

Baudains was born and bred in Jersey in the Channel Islands and trained to be a teacher of English as a foreign language. After several years in various foreign climes, Baudains settled in Friuli-Venezia Giulia in Italy, having resided previously in the winemaking regions of Piedmont, Tuscany, Liguria and Trentino-Alto Adige. Baudains wrote his first article for Decanter in 1989 and has been a regular contributor on Italian wines ever since. His day job as director of a language school conveniently leaves him with time for a range of wine-related activities including writing for the Slow Wine guide, editing, translating, leading tastings and lecturing in wine journalism at the L’Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche. JUDGES

Andrea Briccarello Daniele Cernilli

Sergio De Luca Emilio Del Fante Roberto

Della Pietra Silvia Garatti Michael Garner

Edward Gerard Tim Jackson MW

Victoria James Alessandro Marchesan

Robert McNulty Rebecca Palmer Piotr

Pietras MS Margaret Rand Ben Robson

Andrea Sturniolo Simon Woolf

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Decanter World Wine Awards Judges’ Party

As judging for DWWA 2018 drew to a close, the international panel of judges gathered together to compare notes and to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the competition with the Decanter team

German winemaker Gerd Stepp (left) talks to Ben Robson of Italian importer Bat & Bottle 2 Judges celebrated with sparkling wine from English producer Wiston Estate 3 From left to right: Nico Manessis, Regional Chair for Greece, Cyprus & Malta; Polish wine writer Wojciech Bońkowski; Australian winemaker and DWWA co-Chair Michael Hill Smith MW 4 Silvia Garatti of FortyFive10 with Colin Thorne of Vagabond Wines 5 Writer and sommelier Miquel Hudin 6 From left to right:

Australia-based Master Sommelier Sebastian Crowther; writer and New Zealand specialist Rebecca Gibb MW; fine wine adviser Charles Curtis MW


Rebecca Gibb MW; fine wine adviser Charles Curtis MW 1 7 The party was held at


The party was held at Tanner Warehouse in London 8 Roger Jones of

The Harrow at Little Bedwyn 9 Decanter’s former tastings director Christelle Guibert chats with Jorge Lucki (left) and Paolo Brammer

10 South American wine judges Amanda Barnes and Alistair Cooper MW

11 Decanter’s Julie Sheppard with Regional Chair for Rhône, Matt Walls

12 The goodie bags included a commemorative Riedel glass 13 Fiona

McDonald, Regional Chair for South Africa 14 Regional Chair for Veneto, Richard Baudains 15 Spainish wine judges, from left to right: sommelier Maria José Huertas Vega; producer and sommelier Bruno Murciano;

communicator and consultant Cristina Alcalá 16 Eugene Mlynczyk MW of Arterra Wines Canada with Italian expert Michaela Morris







22 | DWWA 2018 • Decanter


7 8 JUDGES’ PARTY 9 10 13 14   11 12 16 15 Decanter • DWWA














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DWWA 2018:

The ultimate winners

The 50 Best in Show wines – the top 0.3% – triumphed over more than 16,850 others this year. They were judged to be the most exceptional examples of their type, not only in their own country or region, but a step above the already outstanding 149 Platinum winners, who in turn shone above the 439 Golds

149 Platinum winners, who in turn shone above the 439 Golds 50 Best in Show (0.3%)

50 Best in Show (0.3%)

149 Platinum (0.88%)

439 Gold medals (2.6%)

3,454 Silver medals (20.43%)

7,079 Bronze medals (41.88%)

16,903 wines tasted from around the world


Dopff au Moulin, Gewurztraminer, Grand Cru Brand 2015 (13.8%)

Pale green-gold, with luscious yet fresh aromas of fine perfumer’s spice with beaten cream and oil of lemon:

head-turning and arresting. Full, lush and compelling on the palate, with the same combination of perfumer’s spice, cream and lemon oil lying thick on the tongue. There’s almost no acidity at all, but the combination of perfume, glycerol, sweetness and extract means that the wine finishes poised and fresh. Drink on its own or partner with rich dishes. Drink 2018-2023

on its own or partner with rich dishes. Drink 2018-2023 £26.50-£30.99 Exel Wines, Hallgarten & Novum,

£26.50-£30.99 Exel Wines, Hallgarten & Novum, Strictly Wine

T he Dopff family has been in Riquewihr for an incredible 13 generations, starting out with just a few parcels of vines which, over the years, have grown to an impressive 200ha (70ha is the

family’s own production, while the remaining 130ha are bought from trusted growers).

The current general manager is Etienne-Arnaud Dopff, who recalls his first full vintage well: ‘It was 1998 and I remember that it was a very nice vintage, close to

a late harvest,’ he says. ‘We still have some

1998s in the cellar which I am keeping a very close eye on!’ ‘At Dopff au Moulin, we aim to represent our passion through our wines,’ he says. ‘For us, the ethic is in the balance of dry and gastronomic wines.’

He explains that the Gerwurztraminer vines suffer in Brand. ‘The terroir here is

sandy and granitic, and the vines face south on a steep slope of up to 35%. Yields are always low

– 22hl/ha compared to the allowed maximum in

Brand of 55hl/ha – so we always have excellent concentration, which wonderfully expresses the atmosphere of this grand cru,’ he says. ‘This DWWA Best in Show award represents our gratitude to our workers for all that they have done in the vineyard and in the cellar to obtain this magnificent wine from such an outstanding terroir,’ concludes Dopff.

26 | DWWA 2018 • Decanter


Bodegas Fabre, Viñalba Gran Reservado Malbec, Uco Valley, Mendoza

2015 (14.5%)

Saturated dark black-purple, with arrestingly floral aromas, alluring plum, damson and sloe fruits and a grind of pink peppercorn: so splendid in its youthful appeal that it seems a shame to wait, though the depth of the wine suggests it would take ageing in its stride. On the palate, the wine is dark, concentrated and once again head-turningly floral and fresh, without any evident alcohol heat or overripeness. Brilliant Malbec from a great site. Drink 2018-2023

£16.99 Majestic

B ordeaux-born Hervé Joyaux Fabre (owner and winemaker) found himself in Argentina at the beginning of the 1990s, on the lookout for opportunities to purchase

vineyards and launch a winery. ‘When I arrived with my wife Diane, Malbec was viewed as little more than a blending grape,’ he states. ‘Seeing the incredible potential of the Argentinian terroir, we bought a number of the country’s oldest Malbec vineyards – first planted in 1908 – and in 1992 we built our first winery, Fabre Montmayou, in Luján de Cuyo, near Mendoza. ‘My background was all about Bordeaux when I moved to Mendoza, so my priority was for our wines to show elegance and subtlety while reflecting the local terroir. We were the first winery to make a single-varietal Malbec in Argentina in the early 1990s, so a lot has changed since then!’ This is Viñalba’s flagship wine and its base is Malbec vines which have an average age of 60 years. ‘With Viñalba we’ve always focused on combining purity of fruit with elegance and complexity,’ explains Joyaux Fabre. ‘Our winemaking team has an unshakeable belief in the local terroirs, and we are determined that all our wines should express these as elegantly as possible.’


McGuigan, Vineyard Select Semillon, Hunter Valley, New South Wales

2005 (10.5%)

Tangy, haunting, developed aromas of earth after rain, lime pith, flintlock sparks and parsley root: a unique combination. It’s vivid, fresh, poised and petite on the palate, and the 13 years of ageing have brought a cascade of orchard and citrus fruits alike, which cluster around the now-juicy acids at the wine’s core. This is just approaching mid-life and has at least as long again to run, to unfold and to charm, changing and deepening as it does. Drink 2018-2033

N/A UK www.mcguiganwines.co.uk

it does. Drink 2018-2033 N/A UK www.mcguiganwines.co.uk A lthough the Vineyard Select Semillon lives on under

A lthough the Vineyard Select Semillon lives on under other pseudonyms, the 2005 was the only wine made and labelled as such, making it something of a collector’s item

– even more so when you consider that just 1,000 12-bottle cases were made. Chief winemaker is Neil McGuigan who grew up within a family of winemakers in the Hunter Valley, and over the years he has worked at Briar Ridge (which he part-owned) as well as McGuigan Simeon Wines (now Australian Vintage) and Wyndham Estate, along with his brother, Brian. The grapes for this wine come from the Hunter Ridge Vineyard at the base of the Brokenback Range in the Lower Hunter. McGuigan explains: ‘Each day, a cool coastal breeze arrives about 1pm, hitting the range and flowing down over the vineyard, lowering the temperature of the vines to about 27°C. In terms of the terroir, the vineyard is located on sandy loam. We don’t irrigate and keep yields very low, so the grapes have amazing concentration. ‘We wanted to make a wine that celebrated Hunter Valley Semillon and was representative of the region,’ adds McGuigan. ‘It has vibrancy and outstanding ageability which is second to none. We are fully committed to Semillon and with this wine we put our stake in the ground in terms of showing what it’s capable of achieving. For us, it’s all about making wine the hero.’


For tasting notes of all wines, plus prices and stockists, see




Tapanappa, Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay, Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills, South Australia 2016 (13.8%)

Scents of cream mingle with iris root and gentian:

classy and distinctive. It is light, fresh and delicate on the palate, its alcohol fittingly invisible, with all its flavoured richness clustered around the evolving acid core. A wine you could age with confidence, and which will certainly have further complexities concealed in its artfully hidden recesses. Drink 2018-2030

£52 Edencroft Fine Wines, Hailsham Cellars, Nickolls & Perks, The Champagne Co

W hen my wife Ann and I came to the Piccadilly Valley in 1978 it was specifically to grow and make Chardonnay in a cool, wet climate

and on a soil suited to making wines of intensity and finesse,’ says Brian Croser. ‘The Tiers Vineyard was the first in the Adelaide Hills, so it was a gamble how it might turn out; at the time there was almost no Chardonnay in South Australia.’ The gamble paid off: the 7ha vineyard, planted in 1979, is the wettest and coolest in all of South Australia, and the wines – made in the Crosers’ Petaluma winery down the hill from the Tiers Vineyard – became world-renowned. In 2001 the Petaluma winery was sold to brewer Lion Nathan and the Crosers forged ahead with their Tapanappa project in 2002, retaining ownership and making wine from the Tiers Vineyard. In 2014, the Crosers regained control of the Petaluma winery, where this Tapanappa Tiers Chardonnay was made. ‘It’s a dream vineyard to own and manage,’ says Croser. ‘The vineyard gently slopes to the northeast and is surrounded by trees; it is in effect a clos. 2016 was the warmest year for the Piccadilly Valley since at least 1960. Despite that, Tiers expressed its terroir attributes and retained Chardonnay fruit vibrancy and acidity.’


Annie’s Lane, Copper Trail Shiraz, Clare Valley, South Australia 2016 (14.5%)

Dense, deep, saturated black-red in colour, with very classy fruits: refined blackcurrant and early season plum, suggesting perfectly judged ripeness and a perfectly adapted site. Long-flavoured, vivacious, dark-hued in terms of its fruit spectrum, tight-sewn and naturally concentrated: a masterclass in Clare Valley Shiraz finesse. Great density of fruit and sumptuous, well-judged tannins promise a long life ahead. Drink 2018-2030

tannins promise a long life ahead. Drink 2018-2030 N/A UK www.annieslane.com.au A t the turn of

N/A UK www.annieslane.com.au

A t the turn of the 20th century, when winemaking was some way from hitting its stride in Clare Valley, the locals would chip in to help during the busier times. One such local

was Annie Wayman, who would bring lunch to the workers in the vineyards in her horse-drawn cart, which one day got bogged down on a muddy track after her deliveries. Henceforth it’s been known as Annie’s Lane. The 2016 vintage was a rather tricky one in Clare. From November to January barely a drop of rain fell from the sky, which isn’t ideal when a significant amount of the vineyards here don’t receive irrigation. However, it did finally rain at the end of January, which pulled the vineyards back from the brink and led to massively concentrated, characterful wines. Anxiously looking on with a furrowed brow was winemaker Alex MacKenzie, who has been with Annie’s Lane since 2001. Although trained and educated in Australia, he has supplemented his experience by working vintages with Chapoutier in the Rhône and at Castello di Gabbiano in Tuscany, as well as in Piedmont. Copper Trail is the flagship wine produced at Annie’s Lane. It is a blend made from selected parcels of fruit, sourced from four separate, unirrigated sites in four different sub-regions across Clare Valley: Armagh, Sevenhill, Polish Hill and Watervale.

28 | DWWA 2018 • Decanter


Brown Hill Estate, Perseverance Cabernet- Merlot, Margaret River, Western Australia 2014 (14%)

Deep, dark black-red in colour. This Margaret River Bordeaux blend has ample sweet ripeness of currants, bramble fruits and plums, mingled with sweet spice and some soft herb notes, too: exotic and head-turning. On the palate, it is rich, succulent and rewarding, its ample, sweet-toned fruits balanced by well-judged, fresh-toned tannins and supportive, though not insistent, acidity. Drink 2018-2025

N/A UK www.brownhillestate.com.au

B rown Hill’s 24ha vineyard was established in 1995 as a partnership between Jim and Gwen Bailey, and their son, Nathan, who is also the senior winemaker and viticulturist.

It’s very much a family-oriented concern, with Jim and Gwen manning the cellar door, and Nathan’s wife, Chiara, running the office, marketing and doing the books. Even their three young sons work at the winery at weekends and school holidays, although a recent, important addition has been winemaker Haydn Millard in 2014. Despite an overarching sense of calm, nothing is left to chance. The grapes are hand-picked and hand-sorted, while only top-notch French barrels get anywhere near the Baileys’ precious fruit. ‘The Cabernet and Merlot grapes in this wine were fantastic. 2014 was an exceptional vintage in Margaret River,’ says Nathan. ‘Our vines reap the benefits of the harsh, gravelly soils and the warm, sunny climate. This results in small, intensely flavoured grapes – our Cabernet grapes are smaller than peas! – which leads, of course, to deeply coloured, intensely flavoured wines.’ Nathan adds: ‘It’s nice to see a small producer such as Brown Hill Estate being acknowledged for a wine like the 2014 Perseverance Cabernet-Merlot. We like to think our wines are world class – and this accolade helps to showcase the special style that we’re producing in Margaret River.’


Calabria Family, Saint Petri Grenache-Shiraz- Mataro, Barossa Valley, South Australia 2016 (14.5%)

Fascinating aromas of sweet, sheeny black fruits (perfumed plums) and fine spices: fresh, poised and engaging, without any intrusive oak or exaggerated ripeness. Vivid and lively on the palate, that liveliness coming entirely from the strength of the fruit and the complexity of the blend: very fine Barossa grain and finesse here, in naturally articulated, limpidly expressed style. Drink 2018-2025

articulated, limpidly expressed style. Drink 2018-2025 N/A UK www.calabriawines.com.au S t Petri was the first

N/A UK www.calabriawines.com.au

S t Petri was the first Lutheran church to be

built in the Barossa Valley by settlers and

incoming families, as the region began to

grow in population from the mid-19th

century onwards. Together they pooled funds, gathered gravel and sand, cut timber and quarried stone until there was enough money and raw material to construct the church in 1867. This story resonated with the Calabria family, Italian immigrants who arrived in Australia in 1945, and now own vineyards in Riverina and the Barossa. They named this red blend in honour of those early settlers and their church. ‘The three varieties in this blend come from three separate vineyards,’ says Calabria Family Wines’ chief winemaker, Emma Norbiato, who was named Winemaker of the Year in the Australian Women in Wine Awards 2016. ‘The Grenache is from the Rowland Flat sub-region and a vineyard that’s over 50 years old, while both the Mataro (planted in 1914) and Shiraz are from sand-over- clay soils in the Nuriootpa sub-region. ‘In these vineyards we produce Grenache with layers of fruit and texture, Mataro which is dark and savoury, and the Shiraz which rounds out the palate with its lusciousness,’ she explains.



For tasting notes of all wines, plus prices and stockists, see



Mr Riggs, Shiraz, McLaren Vale, South Australia 2015 (14.5%)

Dense, dark black-red. Very pure bramble and plum with rich, thick cream and mineral complexities:

hugely attractive yet far from simple in aroma, and with the overwhelming appeal and force of a great South Australian site. It delivers on all of that aromatic promise on the palate: a slow-fuse, broad- shouldered McLaren Vale Shiraz which has retained freshness in its fruits, yet which sighs and whispers with all of the brooding, tarry, oilstone complexity this fine terroir is capable of. Drink 2018-2027

N/A UK www.mrriggs.com.au

T he Mr Riggs who gives his name to this winery is Ben Riggs, owner and winemaker of this archetypal McLaren Vale Shiraz. Widely travelled, he has worked over 40

vintages, some as far afield as Greece, Italy, the south of France and Napa Valley, although most of his work is closer to home nowadays. ‘Besides a brief stint when I was 16 years old, delivering televisions and refrigerators, I’ve only ever wanted to make wine,’ he says. ‘Apart from my passion for cooking and growing things, it’s been my life’s work,’ he adds. ‘I’ve been making McLaren Vale Shiraz since 1988 and although my style has evolved I’ve stuck to my guns and focused on traditional, structured, flavourful Shiraz, while expressing the essence of what we do best,’ he explains. Riggs has been making wine under his own banner since 2001, a year which marked the first vintage of this particular wine. For the 2015 vintage, fruit comes from two vineyards: Piebald Gully and Gateway. Riggs owns the former vineyard, which is located in the coolest and wettest part of McLaren Vale. It delivers wines with elegance, fragrance and structure. Gateway Vineyard is warmer, with low vigour and low crop, producing dark, rich and powerful wines. ‘The combination of the two sites works amazingly well,’ says Riggs.


Gritsch Mauritiushof, Kalkofen Riesling Smaragd, Wachau, Niederösterreich 2016 (13.5%)

A full green-gold, with beguiling, spicily rich aromas which almost combine hints of musk and oud with the distinctive orchard purity of Riesling: a head-turning combination which only the Wachau can achieve, brilliantly realised. On the palate it is rich and festive, generously constructed, with the orchard stone fruits just hinting at high-summer richness and the spice continuing to charm. Drink 2018-2024

and the spice continuing to charm. Drink 2018-2024 £33 Savage Selection POA $ H Mercer W

£33 Savage Selection POA $ H Mercer

W ine has been made at the Mauritiushof since the 13th century, when it was used by local monks. Since 1799 the house and cellar have been owned by the

Gritsch family and the property has served them well, seeing over 200 years of wine production. Today it stands as testament to the heritage of the region, while the family now makes wine in a new, modern winery. Winemaker is Franz-Josef Gritsch and this is the very first release of his Kalkofen Riesling Smaragd, made with fruit that was picked at the end of last October. ‘The Kalkofen Vineyard in the Spitzer Graben is located in one of the most intriguing areas in the Wachau, lying as it does at the extreme edge of the wine- growing climatic zone,’ explains Gritsch. ‘Here, thanks to the unique microclimate, the vines really flourish on extremely steep terraces of primary rock, and the wines are characterised by pronounced coolness and elegance,’ he adds. ‘Our wines are synonymous with the unique soil and microclimate of each individual vineyard. These special qualities yield great wines that are based not only on traditional craftsmanship, but also on the unique philosophy of our family.’

30 | DWWA 2018 • Decanter


Wieninger, Ulm- Nussberg, Wiener Gemischter Satz, Wien

2016 (14.5%)

Complex yet sensually enticing aromas of spring leaf and flowers with bright, early-season summer fruits. There’s a fresh, doughy undertow, too, to this complex yet accessible field blend. This complexity is the perfect foil to the mouthwatering, plumply juicy yet dry palate. Proof that Gemischter Satz can satisfy intellectually as well as charm. Drink 2018-2021

£25.80-£29.99 Exel Wines, Liberty Wines POA $ Winebow

T his is a field blend of Pinot Blanc, Neuburger, Welschriesling, Grüner Veltliner, Sylvaner, Zierfandler, Rotgipfler, Traminer and Riesling,’ says its creator Fritz Wieninger.

‘These varieties grow together, totally mixed up, and are harvested at the same time, no matter if there is

a bit of over or underripeness. Field blends are very traditional in Vienna – and I wanted to express Vienna and its unique terroir.’ Wieninger grew up in a winemaking family and knew that he was destined to make wine. ‘Wine accompanied me very early on and I knew that this was going to be my life,’ he explains. Graduating from winemaking school in 1985, he then spent half a year working in Napa at Bill Harlan’s first winery, before returning home in 1987 with plans to make his first vintage. ‘I started to change some things,’ he remembers. ‘My parents were very liberal and let me go ahead, so I built up the winery, starting with 5ha of vines in 1987 and growing to 75ha now.’ His winemaking ethos? ‘You could compare it to a chef. Over the years I have developed my own signature, my own way of winemaking. I like a wine to be pure and dedicated to terroir, not influenced by cold fermentation or aromatic yeasts. My goal is

a wine that expresses the region and can age as long as possible.’


Château Beauregard, Pomerol 2015 (13.5%)

Deep black-red in colour, with head-turning aromas of ripe plum and sweet damson, qualified by a subtle calfskin and vellum allure: the classic, quasi-visceral appeal of great Pomerol. Dense and detaining on the palate, the plum juices darkened by plum-skin density, grip and richness. A finely crafted Pomerol with a great future ahead of it, yet almost irrestistible now. Drink 2019-2030

ahead of it, yet almost irrestistible now. Drink 2019-2030 £75 BI Fine Wines, Corkr, Decorum Vintners,

£75 BI Fine Wines, Corkr, Decorum Vintners, Fine & Rare, Goedhuis, Hennings, Lay & Wheeler, Paramount Fine Wines, Roberson

B eauregard has been producing wines since the middle of the 18th century. In 2014 the Moulin family (owner of the Galeries Lafayette group) and the Cathiard family

(owner of Smith Haut Lafitte) jointly purchased the property and swiftly set about raising the bar in order to help it realise its full potential. This included a total remapping of the vineyard and gaining organic certification, as well as fine-tuning the entire vinification process. New initiatives included using two sorting tables in the winery and a plot-by-plot vinification process. These efforts have certainly paid off, as can be seen in this 2015 vintage. The wine is a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc, with the winemaking team taking full advantage of the boons of this particular vintage, when the vines received plenty of sun interspersed with much-needed bursts of rain. Harvest conditions were perfect. The best barrels were selected for this wine, undergoing malolactic fermentation in new French oak. The wine was aged for a further 18 months in barrel.



For tasting notes of all wines, plus prices and stockists, see



Domaine de la Vougeraie, Charlemagne Grand Cru 2015 (13%)

Pale green-gold in colour, with fine, classic, youthful aromas suggesting green lime with ivy or beech leaf – all the pure restraint of this great, west-facing grand cru site. Perfectly judged oak will help to amplify the wine in the years ahead, but maturity is unlikely to subdue the wine’s diagnostic purity and freshness. The palate is clean, fresh and subtle, with perfectly judged ripeness and concentration: just enough to underscore the class of the vineyard without impinging on its drinkability. Drink 2019-2030

N/A UK www.domainedelavougeraie.com POA $ Veritas Imports

T his is the first of a trio of Best in Show trophies for Domaine de la Vougeraie, in what is an extraordinary performance in this year’s DWWA. The domaine was

created when brother and sister Jean-Charles and Nathalie Boisset (from one of Burgundy’s most

famous dynasties) consolidated its family vineyards with other estates it had acquired over time. This vineyard boasts a long history, being gifted to the Collegiate of St-Andoche at Saulieu by Charlemagne in 775.

It remained in church hands for

over 1,000 years until the French Revolution. Legend has it that Charlemagne was known as ‘the emperor with the flowery beard’, thanks to his enthusiasm for drinking red wine, which spilled from his cup, and stained his white beard pink. His wife’s patience eventually snapped and she demanded that he drink white wine instead; so this vineyard has been planted with white grapes ever since. This impeccable Chardonnay comes from a south-facing site where the first plantings date back to the mid-1950s.

The wine ages in medium-toast French oak for 18 months, with lees stirring twice

a month during the fruit days and rising

moon – Domaine de la Vougeraie has been run in accordance with biodynamic principles since 1999.


Domaine de la Vougeraie, Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru

2016 (13.5%)

Clear, bright garnet-red in colour, with lively plum- redcurrant scents, a hint of bergamot and a faint meaty-tarry warmth, too: layered, complex and enticing. Vivid, pure, limpid and light-textured, though concentrated and complex on the palate, you’ll find both red and black fruits here in balanced, vivacious style. A shapely Bonnes Mares with ample Morey character: fruit first, never overdrawn, with power and perfume in just proportion. Drink 2019-2029

with power and perfume in just proportion. Drink 2019-2029 N/A UK www.domainedelavougeraie.com POA $ Veritas Imports

N/A UK www.domainedelavougeraie.com POA $ Veritas Imports

A few different theories have been bandied about as to the source of the name Bonnes-Mares – some more romantic than others. Nathalie and Jean-Charles

Boisset, owners of Domaine de la Vougeraie, lean towards the less fanciful, saying that the name comes from the ancient Burgundian word marer, which means ‘to cultivate’. What is beyond dispute is that the vineyard was originally created by the Bernardine Sisters of Notre-Dame de Tart. This abbey sprang to life in 1125 and the nuns who lived there developed a number of local vineyards in the 1140s, including Clos de Tart. The Bonnes-Mares appellation sits astride the border between Morey-St-Denis and Chambolle-Musigny. The vineyard itself is in an old quarry on the larger side, in Chambolle-Musigny, close to the border between the land of the two villages, where the influences of the terroir are balanced against the varietal character of Pinot Noir. Once the fruit is hand-sorted both in the vineyard and the winery, the berries are vinified with a softly-softly approach in the gravity-fed winery, with the wine being matured in fine-grained barrels and also bottled by gravity.

32 | DWWA 2018 • Decanter


Domaine de la Vougeraie, Les Mazoyères, Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2016 (13.5%)

Limpid scarlet-red colour, with energetic, arresting cherry and wild strawberry scents; vital and fresh. The oak frames undistractingly. The palate is taut, concentrated and bright in expressing those cherry and strawberry fruits. The silky texture makes this very accessible just now, but there will be rewards ahead for those prepared to wait. Sappy and taut, long and pungent, with ample resource. Drink 2019-2028

N/A UK www.domainedelavougeraie.com POA $ Veritas Imports

O wned and managed by siblings Nathalie

and Jean-Charles Boisset, the vineyards

of Domaine de la Vougeraie cover 40ha,

comprising 74 plots across 36 different

appellations on the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits (the latter making up two-thirds of those 36). In the winery bespoke oak vats have been tailor-made for each of those appellations, in addition to a diverse array of barrels for ageing, which are bought from eight different cooperages – again allowing the winemaking team to adapt to the vintage and personality of each individual site. The family’s vineyard holdings in Charmes-Chambertin total just 0.74ha, situated on east-facing slopes just across the road from the legendary Chambertin grand cru. Soils are a mixture of pure silt, clay-silt and deep clay, with all vines farmed biodynamically. The oldest plantings here date back to the early 1900s. This wine completes a tremendous hat-trick of Best in Show awards for Domaine de la Vougeraie.


Thirty Bench, Small Lot Cabernet Franc, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario 2015 (13.9%)

Fresh, fine-drawn, beautifully ripened fruits expressed with great purity and poise. The oak is restrained enough to allow that superb fruit its aromatic head. On the palate, there is brilliant definition, ripeness and freshness without either green tones or the dryness which can come with excessive ripeness for this variety. Bravo! Drink 2018-2025

N/A UK www.thirtybench.com

Bravo! Drink 2018-2025 N/A UK www.thirtybench.com T hirty Bench was the first winery that opened on

T hirty Bench was the first winery that opened on the Beamsville Bench, in 1994. It was jointly owned by a doctor, a professor and an amateur winemaker, who made wine together

until the winery was sold to Andrew Peller in 2005. Today the winemaker is Emma Garner and the main focus is on Bordeaux-style red production. ‘This wine is testament to the fact that Bordeaux varieties can be grown in Ontario,’ says Garner. She was inspired to make wine her career after taking a year out from her university studies to travel. ‘I found that with every visit to a wine region, my love and appreciation for what wine offers and how it brings people together, grew,’ she explains. Cabernet Franc is one of Garner’s favourite grape varieties to work with. ‘It requires the crop load to be managed in the vineyard and then subsequent fruit quality will be astounding,’ she says. ‘We treat this wine to premium processing at each step of the way – this includes hand- harvesting, extended skin contact in wood fermenters, and roughly 24 months in premium French oak barriques.’ Her philosophy is simple. ‘We focus on what the vineyard has to offer and let the fruit tell its story. Low-yielding vines result in fruit bursting with intensity and character. Small truly is beautiful.’



Piper-Heidsieck, Rare Brut 2002 (12%)

For tasting notes of all wines, plus prices and stockists, see



Very fine mousse. Fresh, pure and invigorating nose in which green apple and citrus give way to subtle, soft brioche, ivy and plant sap; just a brush of cream behind. A lean, pure Champagne of perfectly poised ripeness and restraint, very long in flavour, with the richness of autolysis perfectly judged – supportive but in no way obtrusive. The minority Chardonnay still takes a leading role at this stage; the majority Pinot Noir provides a pure frame and canvas. Exciting now, but don’t hurry to drink. Even at this age there are further rewards ahead. Drink 2018-2028

£159.99 Harrods, Hedonism POA $ Terlato Wine International

P iper-Heidsieck’s heritage is a rich one, beginning in the mid-18th century when cloth merchant, Florens-Louis Heidsieck, fell in love with a woman from Champagne

as well as the wine itself. In 1785 he set up his own business – the cloth and wine trading company Heidsieck & Co – his goal being ‘to make a cuvée worthy of a queen’. The maison has passed through family hands, with the Piper clan joining the business in the 19th century. At this time Piper- Heidsieck Champagnes were being drunk in both the royal courts of Europe and by Chinese emperors. Earlier this year, Piper-Heidsieck appointed Séverine Frerson as chef de cave, making her the only female cellarmaster at one of the top 10 Champagne houses. She works alongside legendary chef de cave Régis Camus, who focuses on this prestige cuvée, Rare. ‘Champagne definitely embodies conviviality, sophistication and extravagance,’ says Camus. ‘A Piper- Heidsieck wine is a great wine to be enjoyed in its own right, but with Rare you then move into the world of haute couture and handmade wines.’ A combination of 17 different crus aged for over seven years, this wine is a blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir, both sourced from the Montagne de Reims.


Prinz von Hessen, Johannisberger Klaus Riesling Grosses Gewächs, Rheingau 2016 (13%)

Silver-green in colour, with a suite of perfectly defined, crystallised fruit aromas and ample spring-flower charm, too. Give it time in the glass: there’s spellbinding Riesling intricacy here: minutes of happy sniffing. On the palate, the wine is pure, limpid and open, with high-optic flavours of orchard fruits, a touch of vinosity, perfectly judged rounded sweetness which finishes all but dry, and some stony sobriety lurking below. Drink 2018-2030

and some stony sobriety lurking below. Drink 2018-2030 N/A UK www.prinz-von-hessen.de T he 45ha Prinz von

N/A UK www.prinz-von-hessen.de

T he 45ha Prinz von Hessen estate is owned by Donatus, Prince and Landgrave of Hesse. ‘In order for something to be truly successful you need to have staying power – and my

family has that,’ he comments. ‘It just seemed natural to dedicate ourselves to wine-growing, something we’ve now been doing for three generations. We chose Johannisberg because this town has been a benchmark for world-class white wine for centuries,’ he adds. However, the 2016 vintage certainly put up some hurdles to this dedication. In the run-up to June, rainfall was three to four times higher than usual for the time of year. However July heralded a return to stable weather conditions and by harvest time the vintage quality was considered very good, although the size of the crop was slightly smaller than usual. Estate director Dr Clemens Kiefer and cellarmaster Sascha Huber are the people tasked with responding to such vintage variation. Huber has been working for the estate since 2006 and is in control of its annual production of 300,000 bottles – including just 2,400 bottles of this award-winning wine. ‘For me, winemaking is a neverending process of learning and developing,’ says Huber. ‘It’s a challenge that never gets old.’

34 | DWWA 2018 • Decanter


Artemis Karamolegos, Assyrtiko, Santorini, Aegean Islands 2016 (13.5%)

Finely composed and settled nose in which Assyrtiko’s quiet, understated sour-green fruit mingles with the distinctive powdered yet faintly burnt stone scents of Santorini’s fine tephra soils. On the palate, this is an unusually broad, structured, almost thick-textured wine with the same profoundly satisfying combination of sour-green fruit and mineral wealth; the wine has a notably saline edge, too. An outstanding summary of this unique terroir. Drink 2018-2022

£23-£26 Duncan Murray, Eclectic Wines, Isle of Olive, Noel Young, Theatre of Wine POA $ Verity Wine Partners

T he story of this winery goes back to 1952, when Artemis Karamolegos began cultivating the vineyards around his home on the island of Santorini to make wine for his family. His

grandson, also named Artemis Karamolegos, later developed the business – revitalising portions of the old vineyard and creating new vineyard plots planted with indigenous varieties such as Aidani and Mavrotragano, before opening a new winery in 2004. The winery’s winemaker and viticulturist is Lefteris Anagnostou, who studied oenology in France before working vintages in the South of France, Bordeaux and Marlborough before returning home to Greece. His first vintage in charge at Artemis Karamolegos was 2016, when he produced this award-winning wine. ‘We are a team that keeps a low profile, but we love to work hard to create our vision,’ says Anagnostou. ‘We feel blessed to live and work in a such unique place and have access to this rare terroir.’ The grapes for this wine are sourced from specially selected, phylloxera-free vineyards in different locations on the island. ‘The roots of the vines are more than 100 years old and we vinify the grapes with a minimalist approach, in order to express the varietal character of Assyrtiko, and maximise the austerity, minerality and sea-breeze salinity that represents Santorini,’ adds Anagnostou.


Château Auzias, Gloria Mundi, Cabardès 2015


Dark black-red in colour, with complex aromas that combine the freshness and lift of Atlantic-origin varieties and locations with just a little of the sweetness and thyme-flower charm of the Mediterranean: perfectly judged Cabardès. The palate, too, is fresh, lively and fragrant, yet textured and deep, and its pristine fruit has real grain and intrigue. This fine though ‘hidden’ appellation has been waiting for wines like this. Drink 2018-2022