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Home Winners > Winners 2016 > HOUSE WINES: White

Winner Details

House Wine: White

2016 Gold: 3 Silver: 8 Bronze: 10 Commended: 23
2015 Gold: 5 Silver: 13 Bronze: 11 Commended: 17

Despite SWA growing year on year, the number of House White medals fell slightly last year – and significantly this year. Increases in duty and currency issues are clearly combining to make the £5.50 cut-off difficult – even for wines with no oak (which was almost all of the whites) – and the increased number of ‘outed’ wines and Commendeds showed that our teams were not getting the same amount of wine for their money as they did here a few years ago.

Stylistically, our tasters mostly went for wines with softness and mouthfeel – with a surprising number of single varietal Chardonnays among the medals. Cono Sur’s lone Gewürztraminer, Los Gansos, deserves a special mention for a second place on the Gold List in three years and a By The Glass Trophy to boot.


‘With the house wine you try to have something you can drink at quantity – one or two glasses with food – and you need to please everyone. So you need to take care. It is a big seller and people need to say “we’ll get it because it is good” not “we’ll get it because it is cheap”.’ Lionel Periner, The Lucky Onion

‘I look for something that’s easy to sell, easy to drink and accessible immediately. Not too complex or a hand sell – something like a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.’ Chantal Serrano, The Cinnamon Club

‘What people have to remember about the house wine category is that you are up against branded beer or gin and tonic, rather than other styles of wine. It’s almost an aperitif.’ Michael Best, WSET

‘There’s no excuse for bad winemaking.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘When it comes to house wines, I would not necessarily have just one of each (red and white) or the cheapest. I count the first three on the wine list as house – and they all fit very different categories. If you have time to talk to a table, you will see if they want clean and fresh, mineral or fruity – and there is more chance to educate people in the wider wines.’ Charles Pashby-Taylor, Dabbous

‘When looking for a house white, avoid Pinot Grigio as it will cannibalise your sales.’ Olivier Marie, team leader

FOOTNOTE: The price limit for House Wine is £5.50 ex-VAT. 

Award winners

Found 43 wines

House Wine: White - <£5.50 ex-VAT

Vistamar, Sepia Reserva, Chardonnay 2015, Casablanca Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

With its well-poised balance between richness and acids, fruit and minerality, Vistamar struck Gold with its modern Chardonnay. 'There's a flinty, smoky finish on the palate, along with grassy herbal notes,' said Bubbledogs' Sandia Chang. 'Noticeable residual sugar, but good flavour,' began Orrery's Gaetano Giangaspero, who also noted its 'aromatic and rich, exotic, passion fruit style'.

£4.78 Kingsland

Cono Sur, Los Gansos, Gewürztraminer 2015, Maule/Casablanca Valleys, Chile

Gold medal winner Pub & Bar

Excellent length, bright flavours and a balanced off-dry palate made this not only Gold but also one of our Pub & Bar Trophy winners, too. 'Grapey, fruity and floral, refreshing with nice acidity, and offering real value,' said James Hocking of The Vineyard Group. 'Tropical lychee fruit and Turkish delight. Great with Thai food,' added team leader Annette Scarfe MW, while Sandia Chang of Bubbledogs felt it was 'the perfect summer picnic wine'.

£4.47 CyT UK

Brian Dominic, Lazy Bones, Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2015, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

Balance, delicacy and a refreshing, broad flavour profile with pretty, lemon fruit notes took this to the top. 'Lovely, approachable fruit, hints of spice with an oily texture. Dry style, but sophisticated and fresh,' said team leader Annette Scarfe MW. 'Good minerals and rich acidity,' added Carlos Ferreira of The Sign of the Don.

£5.39 Crown Cellars

Copestick Murray, Big Bombora, Chardonnay 2014, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

Julian Bicknell of Hawksmoor Air Street found 'ripe pear, melon and grape, hints of lees ageing, good weight and persistence', while team leader Olivier Marie noted 'lanolin, intense herbal, infusion-like green tea notes and camomile flowers'.

£4.71 Majestic Commercial

Zimmerman-Graeff & Müller, Invenio, Chenin Blanc 2015, Western Cape, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Team leader Martin Lam found 'ripe, lifted, peachy aromas, decent acidity and freshness', while Lionel Periner of The Lucky Onion noted 'candied lemon, open and pleasant aromas, dry with a good finish on the palate', and Bubbledogs' Sandia Chang noted: 'Kiwi, goosebery and lime zest, with a lovely, fresh acidity.'

£5.39 Crown Cellars

Bibendum Wine, La Picoutine, Ugni Blanc/Colombard 2014, Vin de France, France

Silver medal winner

'Bone dry with citrusy fruit and a salty, very mineral character,' said team leader Andrea Briccarello, with Laurent Richet MS of Restaurant Sat Bains agreeing: 'Muscadet-like, with crushed stone minerality.' 'The palate is fresh and juicy, generous and textural, with a long length,' said Vincent Pastorello of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester.

£5.11 Bibendum

Bibendum Wine, Moon River, Pinot Grigio 2014, Aszár-Neszmély, Hungary

Silver medal winner

'Interesting fruit, pineapple, peach and dried apricots,' began Emilie Sagot of The Sign of the Don, while team leader Angela Reddin noted 'tangerines, lime zest, good mouthfeel and balance, and' Charles Pashby-Taylor asked: 'Is this suitable for a house wine? For Indian or Japanese food, perhaps yes.'

£5.12 Bibendum

Botter, Oltre Passo, Falanghina 2015, Campania, Italy

Silver medal winner

Notes of green pepper, greengage and citrus. WSET's Mike Best described it as: 'Grapey and fresh on the nose with a touch of peach. Bright and refreshing, with lemon zest character on the palate,' while Charles Pashby-Taylor of Dabbous commented: 'Clean and fresh, would be good for high-volume.'

£5.32 Majestic Commercial

Broadland Wineries, Cawston Cove, Chenin Blanc 2015, Paarl, South Africa

Silver medal winner

'Lovely, attractive, ripe stone fruit with ripe red apple notes on a creamy mid-palate with fresh acidity,' said team leader Annette Scarfe MW. 'Great personality in the mouth,' added Plateau Restaurant's Luca Campi, and Vincent Pastorello of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester said: 'Fruit-driven with floral notes – great value.'

£4.35 Broadland Wineries

Export Union, Basking Lizards, Chardonnay 2015, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

'Well made, well priced, fresh and creamy – does the job,' summarised Xavier Rousset MS of Blandford Comptoir, while Vincent Pastorello of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester found 'lots of citrus and a dry, crisp finish', and team leader Jade Koch said: 'Fleshy and textured, with lots of refreshing crunchy acid and breeziness on the mid-palate.'

£4.25 Molson Coors

Export Union, Pier 42, Chardonnay 2015, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

'Yellow fruit characters, fresh and clean, and would match well with Chinese food,' began Fiona Bastia of Park Chinois, while WSET's Mike Best found it to be a 'pineapple and tropical fruit, unoaked crowd pleaser', and team leader Angela Reddin concluded: 'Fantastic wine by the glass or house wine.'

£4.32 Molson Coors

Niel Joubert, Kleinkloof, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Paarl, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

'Easy-drinking, fruity and well balanced,' began Luca Campi of Plateau Restaurant, with team leader Annette Scarfe MW continuing: 'Slight spritz on the palate, lovely zesty fruit and a creamy mid-palate, with a slightly sweet finish.'

£5.05 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Dona Ermelinda, Branco 2014, Palmela, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'Smoky, meaty, honeyed aromas with rosewater hints and stony minerality, great colour and tension on the palate,' said Julian Bicknell of Hawksmoor Air Street, while Spring's Peter McDaid found 'apple strudel, cinnamon and peas, with green herbs shining through on the palate'.

£5.15 Atlantico UK

Copestick Murray, Five Foot Track, Chardonnay 2014, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

'Characterful,' began team leader Angela Reddin, continuing: 'Quite dense, with yellow stone fruits and caramelised citrus rind. Waxy, leesy texture.' 'Interesting and harmonious,' added The Arts Club's Bart Michalewicz.

£4.71 Majestic Commercial

Winery Exchange, Aires Andinos, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

'Floral notes with honey and confit citrus on the nose,' said Christopher Delalonde MS of Medlar Restaurant, adding: 'Good structure and precision on the finish.' 'Savoury pink grapefruit, whitecurrant and peach stone with a lovely bitter kick, definitely a good food wine,' agreed team leader Angela Reddin.

£5.13 Majestic Commercial

Marco de Pegões, Fonte do Nico, Branco 2015, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

Bart Michalewicz of The Arts Club enjoyed its 'lovely white peach and mango fruit, with a delicate touch of oxidation', while Sunaina Sethi of JKS Restaurants felt it was an 'easy-drinking crowd pleaser, with floral notes and decent length'.

£4.33 Majestic Commercial

Cellers Unió, Clos del Pinell, Garnacha Blanca 2014, Catalonia, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'With fresh aromas of stone fruit, clean floral notes of cut flowers and dandelion, this has good acidity and pleasant lemon fruit complemented by herbal Ricola notes on the palate,' said Peter McDaid of Spring.

£4.21 Buckingham Schenk

Bibendum Wine, Bush Telegraph, Pinot Grigio 2015, Murray Darling, Australia

Bronze medal winner

'Crushed stone minerals on the nose, then an aromatic and herbal palate,' began team leader Martin Lam, while Stefan Kobald of Social Wine & Tapas also found 'lemon and lime, orange peel and blossom floral notes'.

£5.09 Bibendum

O'Neill Vintners & Distillers, Blazing Star 2014, California, USA

Bronze medal winner

'Sweet fruit aromas, very juicy and off-dry,' began Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky London, with Mauro Pirovano of New Street Grill adding: 'Very pleasant lychee and raisin nose, very easy, ripe and grapey, refreshing with mineral notes.'

£4.99 Lanchester Wine Cellars

Ashton Kelder, Spinnaker White 2015, Western Cape, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

'Nice fruit supporting a neutral but clean and fresh profile, salty minerals with fresh acidity and creamy notes. A food wine,' said team leader Annette Scarfe MW.

£4.90 Jascots Wine Merchants

Les Vignes de l'Eglise, Vermentino, Pays d'Oc 2014, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

Chantal Serrano of The Cinnamon Club found grapefruit flavours on a 'long, balanced, fresh, smoky and aromatic palate', while team leader Andrea Briccarello highlighted its 'vegetal, Chinese pear acidity and good, creamy texture, with a perfumed finish'.

£5.30 Liberty Wines

Vistamar , Matinal, Chardonnay 2015, Central Valley , Chile

Commended medal winner

£3.64 Kingsland

Minini, Il Bandiera, Pinot Grigio 2014, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£3.80 Kingsland

Broadland Wineries, Cawston Crossing, Chenin Blanc 2015, Paarl , South Africa

Commended medal winner

Broadland Wineries, Pais de Poetas, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Central Valley , Chile

Commended medal winner

Badet Clément, La Cour des Dames, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£4.66 Molson Coors

Botter, Copia, Grecanico, Terre Siciliane 2015, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£4.10 Molson Coors

Wine Fusion , Fixe, Portuguese Select White 2013, Dão , Portugal

Commended medal winner

£4.40 Greene King

GCF Exclusif, Les Vignerons, Vermentino/Colombard 2015, Vin de France, France

Commended medal winner

GCF Exclusif, Parlez-vous?, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Vin de France, France

Commended medal winner

Cono Sur, Los Gansos, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Maule/Casablanca/Bío Bío/San Antonio Valleys, Chile

Commended medal winner

£4.26 CyT UK

Concha y Toro, Mountain Range, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Central Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£3.96 CyT UK

Les Grands Chais de France , Michel Servin, Blanc 2014, Vin de France, France

Commended medal winner

Winery Exchange, Marques de Calado, Macabeo 2015, Cariñena, Spain

Commended medal winner

LGI-Wines, Cuvée des Familles, Sauvignon/Viognier 2015, Vin de France, France

Commended medal winner

Origin Wine, Bantry Bay, Chenin Blanc 2015, Western Cape, South Africa

Commended medal winner

Denbies, Chalk Valley NV, Surrey, England

Commended medal winner

The Wine People, Frederico, Pinot Grigio 2015, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

Bibendum Wine, Gable View, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Western Cape , South Africa

Commended medal winner

£5.26 Bibendum

Luis Felipe Edwards, Viña Carrasco, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Central Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Los Robles, La Fonda, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Curicó Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£4.17 CyT UK

Félix Solís Avantis, Casa Vista, Chardonnay 2015, Central Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£5.50 Matthew Clark

Export Union , Santiano, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Central Valley , Chile

Commended medal winner

£4.23 Molson Coors


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