Home News > March 2020 > The last day of the Sommelier Wine Awards has ended on a sparkling high for English rosé

English wine has developed a reputation for great rosé, and it was English sparkling rosé that, today, left our judges wanting more. The bright, fresh and fruity styles really stood up to their French counterparts.

Another underdog to triumph this year, is Turkey. The red wines delighted our judges. Turkey has really demonstrated its potential over the years through its indigenous grape varieties. The local grapes offer a spectrum of styles, from the light and juicy elegance of Kalecik Karasi, to the big and crunchy Öküzgözü and Boğazkere. Although, today, it was the prowess of their international grapes that surprised our judges. They demonstrated just how far the country’s winemaking skills have come, and at pleasingly moderate price points.

Reds from Rhône have always excelled at SWA, however last year, it appeared they had fallen out of favour, but thankfully this year they came back with a vengeance. The category has performed incredibly well, showing wines with great structure and flavour. The personality that shone through the wines, established them as wonderful wines to serve with food.

Our judges were also wowed by the Italian indigenous variety – Verdicchio. It had an interestingly gentle style, that our somms believed would bring a great dimension to food, as well as being enjoyed on its own. The classic fruit characteristics were ever present but the herbal nuances were what propelled the wines. Their accessible price points left Competition Chairman, Chris Losh prophesying: “this varietal is one to watch on restaurant wine lists”.

Over the past few days of judging, the New World has really surpassed all expectations. The Cabernets from across the New World have had a really strong performance, namely from South Africa, Chile and Australia. They all showed the classic characteristics expected from the grape variety, but were all stylistically diverse. Our judges were instantly able to detect the origin of the wines. The diversity of this grape variety will really give sommeliers something to work with.

Following 6 days of blind tasting over 3,000 wines, our 150 judges have really been put to work. Stay tuned to find out the outcome of our judging dates, when the results are announced on 5th May.