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Winner Details


Other European Sparkling Wines

2016 Gold: 8 Silver: 6 Bronze: 9 Commended: 13
2015 Gold: 2 Silver: 6 Bronze: 9 Commended: 12

Given how much sparkling wine is produced outside of Champagne and the UK, it might seem patronising to be heartened by a Gold medal count that surpasses the latter and almost equals the former. But for all its sizable production, this ‘other EU sparkling’ part of the Sommelier Wine Awards has been profoundly disappointing in the past, so given that it rarely takes more than a couple of places on the Gold List it was heartening to see an impressive eight Golds on our final list this year.

Moreover, it was a genuinely interesting area of the competition, with a fascinating range of styles – from joyously frothy (and Food-Match winning) Italian frizzantes to serious, elegant Italian and Slovenian sparklers. Cava and cremant under-performed somewhat, but our tasters showed that they’re happy to reward good fizz outside of Champagne and the UK when they find it. So maybe next year…


‘It’s time for cava to move away from the cheap image they have created – to give people a reason to pay more.’ Zigmars Grinbergs, Vinoteca

‘You have to think out of the box with the Italian sparklers, but they are balanced, interesting and fun.’ Laurent Richet MS, Restaurant Sat Bains

‘The French sparklers were a good advertisement for Champagne!’ Peter McDaid, Spring

‘If you had an all-Italian list, these Italian sparklers would fit in very well.’ Scott Levy, Smith and Wollensky London

‘From cava I was looking for a compromise between prosecco and champagne – something easy to list, but that justified the price.’ Maurizio Palomba, Sushi Samba

‘You can find fantastic value for money outside of Champagne in France, but not today. At the higher end it was almost embarrassing.’ Julian Bicknell, Hawksmoor Air Street

‘When the non-EU wines start to compete price-wise with methode traditionelle there is less of a reason to stock them.’ Jonathan Kleeman, Social Eating House

Award winners

Found 27 wines

Sparkling: Other European regions

Château de Rhodes, Méthode Ancestrale, Gaillac NV, South West France, France

Gold medal winner

This had baked apple notes aplenty. 'Clean and commercial, but rich, ripe and enticing on the nose,' said team leader Olivier Marie, continuing: 'Shows a generosity of fruit with a balanced, off-dry style, a little autolytic character and fresh brioche notes. Fantastic with Indian or other spicy dishes.'

£11.00 Boutinot

1701, Satèn, Franciacorta NV, Lombardy, Italy

Gold medal winner

Versatility, elegance and complexity were just a few of the reasons 1701's Satèn took Gold. 'It has green apple and lemon aromas alongside pastry and toast notes, and hints of bruised apple,' said team leader Tom Forrest. A good match for sole meunière or butter sauce dishes, suggested Laurent Richet MS of Restaurant Sat Bains, or on its own as an aperitif, with its 'forward, hazelnut aromas and clean, balanced palate'.

£17.43 1701 srl

Szigeti, Steinterrassen Spitz, Riesling Brut 2013, Burgenland, Austria

Gold medal winner

Richness, a great price and fine food friendliness brought Szigeti its second Gold. 'Yeast notes mix with ripe tropical fruit on a balanced palate,' said Erik Simonics of The Savoy. Devon Pryor of Blandford Comptoir found 'aromatic, bitter orange fruits' and a palate of 'considerable concentration', while The Ledbury's Mya Brown noted 'tropical, green pineapple, melon and lemongrass acidity'.

£10.75 Grays & Feather

Szigeti, Cuvée Prestige, Brut NV, Burgenland, Austria

Gold medal winner

Delicacy and restraint won Szigeti the first of its two Golds. 'A real mouthful of strawberry fruit,' said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, continuing: 'An appealing summer wine to drink on the lawn or pair with chicken salad-style dishes.' 'Notes of rosewater, melon and cranberry,' said Hakkasan Group's Tobias Brauweiler MS, adding: 'Fresh, crisp acidity on the palate leading to touches of spice on a long finish.'

£10.35 Grays & Feather

Radgonske Gorice, Zlata Radgonska Penina, Brut 2012, Stajerska, Slovenia

Gold medal winner

An exciting find, this Slovenian Gold. Tobias Brauweiler MS of Hakkasan Group found complex aromatics of 'floral, lavender, orange blossom and hazelnut', followed by an 'open, dry palate with fresh acidity, good phenolics and light bubbles', while consultant Sunaina Sethi noted: 'Stewed apples and pears on a rounded, elegant palate, with a great, bright acid structure.'

£20.02 Radgonske gorice

Bouvet-Ladubay, Bouvet, Saphir Vintage 2013, Loire, France

Gold medal winner

'A bright, easy, balanced wine,' said Caroline Catering's Richard Brooks, adding: 'It's an easy-drinking style and versatile enough to drink solo or with a range of foods. Develops well in the mouth with a pleasant lemony finish.' Team leader Olivier Marie said: 'Palate shows elegance and depth of bright fruit and a saline, nautical character.'

£9.25 Majestic Commercial

Ferrari, Perlé, Trentodoc 2009, Trentino, Italy

Gold medal winner

'Elegant and classy,' said Lois Dufouleur of 28°-50° Maddox Street, summarising why Ferrari's Perlé took Gold. Team leader Andrea Briccarello enjoyed its 'clean, intense, ripe pineapple aromas and guava hints, dry, crisp and complex' character, while Laurent Richet MS of Restaurant Sat Bains also found 'intense aromas of hazelnut pancakes with a note of ginger'.

£22.13 Enotria&Coe

Félix Solís Avantis, Pigalle, Mousseux, Brut NV, Vino de Mesa, Spain

Silver medal winner

Mya Brown of The Ledbury enjoyed its 'light nose of pineapple and tropical notes, with red apple on a fresh, fairly balanced palate', finding it 'good value', while Devon Pryor of Blandford Comptoir noted its 'apples and honey, vibrant off-dry palate and candied finish'.

£5.88 Matthew Clark

Costaripa, Mattia Vezzola, Metodo Classico Brut NV, Lombardy, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Honeyed fruit, nutty and complex butterscotch notes, lots of flavour on the palate with acidity well balanced,' said team leader Andrea Briccarello, while Chantal Serrano of The Cinnamon Club noted 'thick foam, brioche and white flower notes, fresh, peachy fruit on the palate'.

£15.26 Alivini

Antinori, Marchese Antinori, Tenuta Montenisa, Cuvée Royale, Franciacorta Brut NV, Lombardy, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Creamy aromas, elegant in the mouth with soft fruit notes,' began Mauro Pirovano of New Street Grill, with Smith & Wollensky London's Scott Levy adding: 'Forward nose, rich and biscuity, with pronounced mouthfeel, a light sparkle and just a hint of bright fruit.'

£15.50 Berkmann Wine Cellars

B-Bak Gıda Tarım, Vinkara, Yaşasın 2013, Kalecik, Ankara, Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Really lovely, with delicate bubbles, clean, fresh flavours of green apple, lemon rind and kiwi fruit tropical hints, with a long finish,' said Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant, while Sunaina Sethi of JKS Restaurants noted: 'Mineral and steely, with nice green fruit on the finish, and a good length.'

£14.52 Taste Turkey

Szigeti, Welschriesling, Brut NV, Burgenland, Austria

Silver medal winner

'Light but structured, aromatic style,' began consultant Sumita Sarma, noting: 'White flowers, blossom and green apple notes, crisp acidity for a mouthwateringly zingy yet elegant glassful.' 'A versatile wine, with good length, to drink on its own or with a range of dishes,' said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering.

£9.65 Grays & Feather

Paul Buisse, Clos de Nouys, Vouvray Brut NV, Loire, France

Bronze medal winner

Spring's Peter McDaid found this a 'forward but attractive' sparkling wine, showing 'persistent mousse, warm apples and yellow pear on the palate with some residual sugar and orange meringue notes on the finish'.

£10.61 Bibendum

Ceci, Linea Otello 1813, NerodiLambrusco NV, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Vinoteca's Zigmars Grinbergs found this 'rather pleasant, like an alcoholic summer punch', while team leader Tom Forrest highlighted its 'deep purple colour, floral perfume and confected red fruits with violets and cherry bubblegum notes'.

£10.10 Eurowines

Rosarubra, Khaos, Vino Spumante di Qualità, Brut NV, Abruzzo, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'With pretty aromas of sugar candy, this is crisp and juicy, full of vanilla and patisserie flavours, with a touch of quince and a long finish,' said Hakkasan Group's Christine Parkinson, concluding: 'Bright, cheerful and delicious.'

£19.87 Rosarubra

Barone Pizzini, Animante, Franciacorta Brut NV, Lombardy, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Light biscuity notes on the nose, with a bright, refreshing dryness on the palate, sharp apple notes and a good finish, giving sophisticated value,' said Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky London.

£13.25 Vintage Roots

Cavit, Altemasi, Trentodoc, Brut Millesimato 2011, Trentino, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'A little shy on the nose, but good pear and apple fruit flavours with a creamy texture,' began Laurent Richet MS of Restaurant Sat Bains, while Chantal Serrano of The Cinnamon Club found it 'medium intensity, delicate, toasty and fresh, good value'.

£10.50 Boutinot

Sieur d'Arque, Aimery, Crémant de Limoux, Brut NV, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

'Clean and bright with a pale core, aromas of youthful primary fruit with floral notes,' began team leader Olivier Marie, continuing: 'Attractive and pleasant, lively and zesty on the finish.'

£6.99 Crown Cellars

GIV, Cavicchioli, Lambrusco Emilia, Rosso Amabile NV, Emilia-Romagna , Italy

Commended medal winner

£6.32 Bibendum

Cave de la Côte-Uvavins, Auguste Chevalley, Brut Mousseux NV, Vaud, Other

Commended medal winner


£13.95 Alpine Wines

1701, Franciacorta, Brut NV, Lombardy, Italy

Commended medal winner

£15.68 1701 srl

Szigeti, Grüner Veltliner, Brut NV, Burgenland, Austria

Commended medal winner

Szigeti, Söllneräcker Pamhagen, Traminer 2013, Burgenland, Austria

Commended medal winner

£10.75 Grays & Feather

Szigeti, Gols, Prestige Brut 2012, Burgenland, Austria

Commended medal winner

£16.95 Grays & Feather

Radgonske Gorice, Zlata Radgonska Penina, Brut Nature 2007, Stajerska, Slovenia

Commended medal winner

Jeanjean & Ormarine, J&O, Sparkling Piquepoul NV, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

Ferrari, Maximum, Trentodoc Brut NV, Trentino, Italy

Commended medal winner

£18.38 Enotria&Coe


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