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Nyetimber sparkles in International Wine & Spirit Competition

An amazing 96% of English wines were awarded medals in this year’s International Wine & Spirit Competition, with Nyetimber taking the limelight for entries from the UK by picking up a Gold Best in Class for its Classic Cuvee 2001.

Eight English sparkling wines got Silver Best in Class medals, including four for Chapel Down, and a pair each for Nyetimber and RidgeView. Of the 16 Bronze awards for English wines, 10 went to home-grown fizzes.

In other results from the Northern Hemisphere, Israel surprised by gaining medals for 91% of its wines entered, with leading producers Yarden Golan Heights, Carmel, Recanati, Dalton and Tishbi Estate repeatedly getting awards.

As in the International Wine Challenge, France topped not only the highest number of awards in total, with 524, but also the highest number of Golds. These included 17 Gold Best in Class medals. Spain came second, notching up five Gold medals, including four Best in Class for its fortified wines, and a further 10 Golds, of which seven were Best in Class, for its light wines. Spain’s total medal haul was 442, just ahead of Portugal’s 432. However, Portugal walked away with 19 Gold Best in Class accolades, 16 for its Ports and three for its wines.

Over 3,000 light and fortified wines from Europe, Asia, the USA and Canada were judged for this part of the competition. Only 2% of the fine wine entries, where the average retail price is over £9 a bottle, attained Gold or Gold Best in Class, the latter of which are awarded to bottles that perform best within their category.

IWSC competition director Frances Horder said, ‘The quality, diversity and sheer numbers were markedly increased this year. It is marvellous to see some serious wines coming in from Asia and New Europe, whilst some of our most traditional producers, such as France, Spain and Portugal, have all shown gains in awards. It is only because of our stringent evaluation system that the quantity of medals is not greater, but the rigorous judging limits the awards to the best of the best.’

Results of Southern Hemisphere wines as well as spirits from all around the world will be announced later this summer.