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Christine Parkinson's view

SWA 2017 head of judging, Christine Parkinson, shares her thoughts on Italy's leading performance...  

South Africa was a hit this year, with lots of good wines, in various styles, at many different price points. It felt like someone had turned on a tap, with last year’s promising results leading to a torrent of good stuff this time round.

Italy stood out for me as well. There were some good mid-priced wines – both red and white – but it really shone at the top end, with mouth-watering wines, often at eye-watering prices!

We all know that Supertuscans are expensive, but there were plenty of other high-end wines from elsewhere in Italy too. A few of these were ambitious, oak-monsters in super-heavy bottles, but the majority were delicious, and fully justified their price points.

There weren’t too many downsides this year, though it’s fair to say that the most difficult category in which to find stars was pink wines. A lot of the wines were very pale in colour, but looking like a high end Provence rosé was no guarantee they would taste like one. Note to producers (yet again) … must do better.