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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > Sweet Wines

Winner Details

Sweet Wines

2018  GOLD: 3             SILVER: 7         BRONZE: 2       COMMENDED: 8
2017  GOLD: 2             SILVER: 10       BRONZE: 10     COMMENDED: 9

Sweet wines for restaurants. It’ll be all Sauternes, right?

You’d think so, but emphatically not. Only one sticky medal went to France, and that was to a rather well-priced Cadillac, rather than a Sauternes. Nor were we inundated with Eiswein or Tokaji. The big guns, it seems, largely stayed at home.

Their loss, and all that. As a result, there were some really interesting medals in here this year – styles and regions that are somewhat off the beaten path for most somms, and which suggests that if you’re looking to up your after dinner (or after main course) options it might pay to shop around a bit.


‘I thought some of the Eisweins lacked some acidity, but even those were still delicious in their own way.’ Andrés Ituarte, Coq d’Argent

‘In general, sweet wines are out of fashion, so you really need to sell them. But it’s always good to have something for dessert. The sweet reds I found very interesting, too, with herbal, bitter, pine notes. They’re great for lighter, bitter chocolate desserts, and if someone doesn’t like port-style wines, these could go with cheeses too.’ Mikolaj Harmider, Adam’s Restaurant

‘These were exceptionally sweet, although if you’re a sommelier working with your chef, you can potentially have a glass of something like this next to the right dessert. Prices were high, but it doesn’t hurt so much if you’re serving them by the glass. For the tawnies, with a certain kind of cheese this could be an interesting combination.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘You have to judge these on their sweetness vs their acidity. Overall, you could really see the application for these on a wine list, and some that you could have a second glass of.’ Lionel Periner, team leader

Award winners

Found 20 wines

Sweet Wines

Vakakis, Epogdoon, Barrel, Muscat Blanc 2015, Samos, Greece

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

‘Tropical, juicy and clean,’ said Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason of this Gold winner, going on to describe it as ‘refreshing and complex’. Richard Cavagin-Carey of The Harwood Arms described ‘both coconut cream and desiccated coconut’. ‘A great wine to match with blue cheese,’ suggested Core by Clare Smyth’s Timothy Connor, while team leader Annette Scarfe MW saw this ‘beautiful, rich style, with loads of delicious vanilla and cream notes’ matching with apple tart.

£22.12 Size: 50cl Southern Wine Roads

Donnafugata, Ben Ryé, Passito di Pantelleria 2015, Sicily, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Delicious and complex,’ began team leader Annette Scarfe MW as this took its rightful place on the Gold podium, further finding ‘delicious apricot notes, with an amazing freshness and acidity’, and recommending it as a good match for ricotta cheese. For Richard Cavagin-Carey of The Harwood Arms, this was ‘big and unctuous on the palate, with ripe mango notes’, while Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason described a ‘tropical, rich and rounded wine, with pineapple and a herbal note’.

£45.34 Size: 75cl Liberty Wines

Peller, Vidal, Icewine 2015, Ontario, Canada

Gold medal winner

Mikolaj Harmider of Adam’s Restaurant liked everything about this Gold winner, from its ‘beautiful golden colour’, to its ‘baked apple, pineapple and spice notes’, while Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte further noted ‘tangerine, mango and dried peel notes, along with some white flowers, leading to a finish that goes on and on’. This all contributed towards making a wine that was, according to team leader Annette Scarfe MW, a perfect match for blue cheese.

£57.32 Size: 37.5cl Enotria&Coe

Perdeberg, Dry Land Collection, Longevity, Natural Sweet Chenin Blanc 2016, Paarl, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Team leader Lionel Periner liked the ‘candied fruit, toffee and orange notes’ here, while Timothy Connor of Core by Clare Smyth described ‘lovely honey and spice, with soft tannins and fresh but well-integrated oak’. ‘Good body, depth and finish,’ concluded Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason.

£14.68 Size: 37.5cl Boutinot

Liliac & Kracher, Cuvée Eiswein 2016, Transylvania, Romania

Silver medal winner

‘Pineapple aromatics – wow!’ began team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, going on to find ‘an exotic palate, with punchy acidity’. Hakkasan Mayfair’s Jurijs Nemkovs, meanwhile, enjoyed ‘concentrated quince and candied apple notes, with good acidity and a long finish featuring floral notes and Turkish Delight’.

£18.52 Size: 37.5cl Top Selection Ltd

Szepsy, Szamorodni 2013, Tokaj, Hungary

Silver medal winner

‘Ripe tropical fruit, like guava, lychee and passion fruit,’ began Wild Wine Club’s Debbie Warner in her description of this wine, additionally finding ‘glacé ginger’. The Pig Hotel’s Jacopo Mazzeo also noted ‘camomile and dried orange peel’ in his appraisal of this ‘luscious’ wine.

£36.66 Size: 50cl Top Selection Ltd

Berton Vineyard, Reserve, Botrytis Semillon 2015, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Excellent balance of sweetness, exotic fruits and herbs,’ described Coq d’Argent’s Lazaros Engonopoulos, while Wild Wine Club’s Debbie Warner found further notes of ‘cinder toffee, baked apples, as well as some quince’, all leading to ‘a sherbet-like finish’. Price for 37.5cl bottle

£9.78 Size: 37.5cl Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Giesen, The Brothers, Late Harvest, Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Tropical aromas’ were joined by some ‘complex elderflower notes’, said Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club, who went on to describe ‘peach and strawberry candy’ on the palate, while Wild Wine Club’s Debbie Warner found ‘mango and guava notes’ and a ‘silky smooth texture’.

£14.50 Size: 37.5cl H2Vin

Schloss Johannisberg, Rosalack, Riesling Auslese 2014, Rheingau, Germany

Silver medal winner

Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason found this ‘fresh and juicy’, as well as ‘mineral and complex’. ‘A lovely expression of Riesling, with lemon sherbet and taut minerality’ thought team leader Annette Scarfe MW, suggesting this be paired with lemon tart or sorbet.

£84.56 Size: 37.5cl Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Kracher, Zweigelt, Beerenauslese 2016, Burgenland, Austria

Silver medal winner

Team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW liked this ‘sweet, fruity and refreshing’ wine, with its ‘red copper colour’ and ‘stewed red plums, with good acidity’. Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte found ‘plenty of spice, with some redcurrant jelly notes’, while Jurijs Nemkovs of Hakkasan Mayfair identified some ‘rose petals and honey’, too.

£14.69 Size: 37.5cl Top Selection Ltd

Leduc-Piedimonte, Ice Cider 2010, Quebec, Canada

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Angela Reddin first noted this wine’s ‘amber-gold colour’, before highlighting its ‘barnyard, autumn orchard fruits, honeyed nut brittle and caramel character’, rating it a ‘very distinctive and specialist handsell, by the glass’, while it reminded Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia of ‘spiced stewed apples with overtones of caramelised puff pastry, with a very giving palate’.

£19.60 Size: 37.5cl Top Selection Ltd

Famille Helfrich, Château Haut-Mouleyre, Cadillac 2015, Bordeaux, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Fresh peach and honey’ aromas, according to Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club, were followed by ‘complex baked peach’ on the palate, which Debbie Warner of Wild Wine Club thought had a ‘good waxy texture’, and team leader Nigel Lister described as ‘luscious and honeyed’.

£14.13 Size: 50cl Wine Importers

Carole Bouquet, Sangue d'Oro, Passito di Pantelleria 2015, Sicily, Italy

Commended medal winner

£60.17 Size: 50cl Top Selection Ltd

Candido, Aleatico di Puglia, Salice Salentino 2012, Puglia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£23.06 Size: 50cl Enotria&Coe

Peller, Cabernet Franc, Icewine 2015, Ontario, Canada

Commended medal winner

£77.88 Size: 37.5cl Enotria&Coe

Disznókö, Dorgó Vineyard, Tokaji Aszú, 5 Puttonyos 2012, Tokaj, Hungary

Commended medal winner

£21.68 Size: 50cl Champagnes & Châteaux

Denbies, The Brokes, Botrytis Ortega 2016, Surrey, England

Commended medal winner

£76.80 Size: 37.5cl Denbies Wine Estate Ltd

Kracher, Cuvée Auslese 2016, Burgenland, Austria

Commended medal winner

£9.82 Size: 37.5cl Top Selection Ltd

Schloss Gobelsburg, Grüner Veltliner Trockenbeerenauslese 2015, Niederösterreich, Austria

Commended medal winner

£58.08 Size: 37.5cl Clark Foyster Wines

Errazuriz, Late Harvest, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Casablanca Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£12.92 Size: 37.5cl Hatch Mansfield, Matthew Clark


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