Home News > May 2018 > SWA announces two Producers of the Year for 2018 competition

Jean-Luc Colombo and Kleine Zalze have been awarded Producers of the Year for 2018 with a combined total of 20 medals.

The Rhône had a superb Sommelier Wine Awards in 2018, and right at the heart of it was Cornas-based legend Jean-Luc Colombo.

A regular entrant into SWA down the years, he often picks up several medals, but it was the lift in class this year that secured him his first ever European Producer of the Year award.

Along with his daughter, Laure, via the Colombo & Fille label, he bestrode the section like a colossus, with four Golds (including both of the whites) and two Silvers. With a Critics Choice and a By The Glass Trophy as well, this was a superb haul of medals – and Trophies – that in terms of price and style covered Gastropub to the finest of Fine Dining.

It proved, too, that with prices rising across France Cornas is well worth considering as a classy cru that is a lot more affordable than the likes of Hermitage and Cote Rotie.

Kleine Zalze regularly picks up medals in the competition, and has even won New World Producer of the Year before now. And it was right back on form again this year, rounding off a particularly good competition for Hatch Mansfield/Matthew Clark – both of our Producers are in their stable.

To pick up seven medals is, in itself, impressive enough. But to do it with wines that are this cheap is little short of remarkable. Five out of their seven medal winners were under £10, suggesting that if you’re looking for £30 wines for your list they’re probably a great place to start.

But it was also really interesting to see them pick up Golds with a pricey (£15) Sauvignon Blanc and a classy Stellenbosch Shiraz. These are not wines that habitually walk onto our Gold List, so the fact that they did tells you everything you need to know about how good they are – and that’s exactly why they are New World Producer of the Year for 2018.

See all 2018 medal winners here