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France takes away most medals in IWC competition

France has come top of the medal table at this year’s International Wine Challenge, picking up a total of 696 in the world’s biggest blind tasting competition. The Old World country also grabbed the most Golds, with 60 of its wines being awarded the highest medal.

Australia was second, achieving 587 medals overall, including 48 Golds, while the Iberian countries came third – Spain for total medals at 381 and Portugal for Golds with 30.

England’s growing reputation as a wine-producing nation was confirmed by 22 medals, most of which were awarded for sparkling wines. Hush Heath Estate’s Balfour Brut Rosé 2004 received a Gold medal, while, six English fizzes got Silver. Three of these went to RidgeView Wine Estate, for its 2005 Merret Bloomsbury, Merret Cavendish and Merret Fitzrovia Rosé; two to Nyetimber, for its Blanc de Noirs Pinot Meunier 2003 and Premiere Cuvee Blanc de Blancs 2001; and the remaining one went to Camel Valley for its Cornwall White Pinot 2005.

Of the 15 Bronze medals given to English wines, there were triple awards for Camel Valley, Chapel Down and Sharpham Wines.

More than 40,000 bottles were assessed for the competition this year judged by over 370 winemakers, merchants and writers from around the world. In total, 267 wines merited Gold, 1,257 Silver and 2,140 Bronze. Trophy winners, picked from the top medal-winning wines, will be announced next month.