Home News > March 2018 > Tawny Port's and New Zealand styles hit the sweet spot

The final day of round one judging for the Sommelier Wine Awards was, well, a little bit mediocre.

The talking point of the day was New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, with tasters across the room praising the excellent quality of the flights and how well made they are.

It seems the emergence of new styles are proving popular and they are gaining ground like Australian Chardonnay’s did five years ago.

Competition Director, Chris Losh said: “These producers are really owning their style, however sommeliers are still slightly thrown by it as it’s so new. I think it’s most likely to continue in this style and is a trend we can see emerging particularly in the 2018 competition.”

Head of Judging Christine Parkinson commented: “New Zealand is starting to do what the Loire does so well and establish its own particular styles.”

The other category that interested judges today was Rosé. It seems those performing well this year are a brighter pink than has been seen in recent years and they’re remarkably good quality wines.

The return to this style has been praised as they’ve been done well with this colour actually performing better than the pale versions entered for the last couple of years. Chris Losh said, “It’s interesting to see them back and is possibly a trend we might see more of.”

Christine Parkinson said the Rosé flights were difficult this year, “It seems you have to kiss a lot of frogs to get a prince!”

Finally, the sweet spot of the day was definitely port, specifically Tawny Port. These flights have won medals all round, proving very popular across the room – so good we couldn’t get the sommeliers to leave!