Home Winners > Winners 2018 > NEW WORLD: including Torrontés, Gewürztraminer, Viognier & Koshu

Winner Details

New World: including Torrontés, Gewürztraminer, Viognier & Koshu

2018 Gold 2       Silver 9                 Bronze 7              Commended 14
2017 Gold 7       Silver 8                 Bronze 6              Commended 13

Over the past few years, this section has narrowed down as the likes of Gewürz, Torrontés and Viognier picked up good numbers of medals and were given their own sections in the book. But all three of these categories under-delivered this year and were rolled back into this section as a result.

Whether or not that’s an eloquent comment on the future of white aromatics in the New World, it means that these few pages are a riotous hotchpotch of single varieties and oddball blends. Everything from Albariño to Koshu via Roussanne, Fiano and Semillon/Chenin mash-ups.

None of these (even the single varieties, interestingly) were thought of as wines that were going to walk off the list, so our tasters were looking for bottles that the sommelier could recommend with both passion and a clear conscience. Sadly, there weren’t as many as we’d hoped.

Gewürz and Torrontés we know can be a bit Marmite for tasters. But the Mediterranean white grapes seem to be taking their own sweet time in making much of an impression in the Sommelier Wine Awards, which is surprising. As for Viognier, it’s had more comebacks than Cher, and shows about as much class and restraint.


‘Aromatic grapes – you like it or you hate it.’ Lionel Periner, team leader

‘It’s less important where the Viogniers are from, but rather whether they’re showing that varietal typicity. The cooler climate were the most successful.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘We sell international cuisine, with a West Midlands touch – meaning curry. These aromatic styles go well with oriental spices.’ Mikolaj Harmider, Adam’s Restaurant

‘It was a masterclass in how not to make wine. Here’s fruit, here’s sugar and never the twain shall meet. If we hadn’t known what the grape varieties were we wouldn’t have been able to guess.’ Nigel Lister, team leader

‘Gewürztraminers are always a bit of a hard sell. People never know if they’re getting a sweet or a dry wine.’ Andrés Ituarte, Coq d’Argent

Award winners

Found 32 wines

New World: Other White Varietals & Blends

Boutinot, The Tea Leaf 2016, Piekernierskloof, South Africa

Gold medal winner

More Gold for South African Chenin, this time in blended form along with some Grenache Blanc and a dash of Palomino. Street XO’s Raphael Thierry praised this excellent rendition’s ‘lovely camomile aroma, good concentration and ripe fruit with steely freshness on the palate’, while team leader Tom Forrest spoke highly of its ‘rounded oak and stewed apple notes, and a waxiness, leading to some spiciness on the finish’. Manuel Ribeiro of The Bybrook at The Manor House Hotel concluded that it was ‘complex and smoky with toast and vanilla, and a mineral-fresh finish’.

£9.29 Boutinot

Kaiken, Terroir Series, Torrontés 2017, Salta, Argentina

Gold medal winner

Chalking up a Gold for Torrontés, Kaiken’s entrant was ‘beautiful and delicate’, according to Leonie Loudon of Mediterroenean – Wines of the Mediterranean, who found it ‘enticingly fragrant on the nose, with rose and incense notes, leading to Turkish Delight and coriander on the palate’. Adding his praise, Winexponent’s Simon Cassina found it ‘aromatic and medium-bodied, and not too oily in texture, with rose-petal floral notes’, and further described it as ‘clean and intense, packed with tropical flavour, high acidity with a touch of salinity and a note of bitterness’.

£8.00 Liberty Wines

Simonsig, Roussanne 2015, Stellenbosh, South Africa

Silver medal winner

A wine that transported team leader Angela Reddin to ‘dried flowers in churches, dusty in a good way, showing beeswax and quince jam with some glacé fruits and a good dry finish, long and fine’. ‘Floral and delicate, clean citrus and peach with green apple, and fresh, steely acidity,’ added Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason.

£16.78 Jascots Wine Merchants

Dr Konstantin Frank, Gewürztraminer 2016, Finger Lakes, New York State, USA

Silver medal winner

Team leader Lionel Periner enjoyed this wine’s ‘floral, lime, fruity, creamy and full’ style, while Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte found it ‘a touch medicinal, but nice weight with a residual bump, tropical and delicate on a really elegant palate’.

£17.96 Matthew Clark

Noble Hill, Viognier 2015, Simonsberg, South Africa

Silver medal winner

‘Well balanced and attractive, generous use of French oak bringing cedar, supported by ripe stone fruit,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, while The Don’s Carlos Ferreira noted ‘vegetal with stone fruits on the nose, big and grassy, mineral with green apple on the palate’.

£9.07 Frederic Robinson

Masi Tupungato, Organic, Passo Blanco 2017, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Generous and fruity, a great blend,’ said impressed team leader Angela Reddin, adding: ‘Torrontés character on the nose, lots of fruit in a characterful Pinot Grigio background.’ ‘Tropical, oriental, floral, stone fruit, aromatic and complex, bright and easy and good with a curry,’ thought Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason.

£8.31 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Bogle, Viognier 2016, California, USA

Silver medal winner

Tatiana Mann of The Vine Eno Gastro Pub enjoyed this Viognier’s ‘aromatic, greenish spicy character and herbal grassy spectrum, very refreshing with notes of asparagus and stone fruit’, while team leader Annette Scarfe MW found it ‘textured, with a slight phenolic grip making it food-friendly’.

£12.77 Enotria&Coe

Siegel, Special Reserve, Viognier 2017, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

A ‘very characterful’ wine, began Hakkasan Mayfair’s Jurijs Nemkovs, finding it ‘high intensity, with acacia and white floral notes, full body with very ripe fruits’, while The Don’s Carlos Ferriera alighted on ‘red apple, asparagus and a bit of peach on the nose, with a fresh and long palate’.

£9.44 Carson Wines

Distell, Nederburg, The Beautiful Lady, Gewürztraminer 2016, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte was very much impressed with this wine’s ‘great value, hints of oolong tea, pear juice and melon heart with a mineral finish’, while Edgaras Kazokaitis of Roka Aldwych thought it was an ‘amazing wine, with gingerbread, rose, lychee and guava notes balanced by refreshing acidity’.

£12.55 Distell Europe

Calera, Viognier 2015, Central Coast, California, USA

Silver medal winner

‘Ideal with grilled salmon on a summer’s day,’ began The Don’s Carlos Ferreira, admiring of its ‘clean green and stone fruits, very good level of acidity and slight saltiness, with citrus fruit on a long finish’.

£17.19 Top Selection Ltd

Shirayuri Winery, L’Orient, Katsunuma, Koshu 2016, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan

Silver medal winner

‘Delicate and floral, with green fruits forward on the nose,’ began Sumilier’s Sumita Sarma, who enjoyed its ‘green apple, lemon, herbaceous pear fruit and jasmine flower notes’, finding it ‘textured, showing impressive acidity, a great summer white or pairing for salads’.

£20.00 Japan at UK

Vuurberg, White 2016, Western Cape, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

A wine that left an impression on Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason, with its ‘rich, complex nose, bundles of oak, toast, roasted nuts and corn, herbal too, then a very savoury palate, creamy and smoky, good tropical fruit and concentration, deep and balanced with great intensity’.

£11.13 Boutinot

Alpha Box & Dice, Golden Mullet Fury, Semillon/Viognier 2015, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Simon Woods approved of this wine’s ‘rich, honeyed, nutty-salty style’, and thought it ‘good and honest if slightly phenolic, though it’s an interesting wine, bright and bracing on the finish’.

£13.09 Boutinot

Robert Oatley, Hancock & Hancock, Fiano 2017, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

‘Delicate pale colour and good nose of exotic fruits, lemon and white flowers, a slightly smoky palate with good balance,’ began Janusz Pawel Sasiadek of Bottles & Battles, and team leader Angela Reddin declared it ‘classy, exciting, with Mirabelle plum fruit, lovely depth of flavour, ripeness and sustained length’.

£8.56 Hatch Mansfield

Bouchard Finlayson, Blanc de Mer 2017, Cape South Coast, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

‘Clean and ripe, but has an edge of apple and citrus tension, good body and fruit,’ said team leader Simon Woods, with Beaverbrook’s Euan McColm highlighting ‘lots of Riesling character, fresh and zippy with very clean pear and citrus’.

£8.00 Lea & Sandeman

Fairview, Viognier 2016, Coastal Region, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Annette Scarfe MW found it a ‘cool-climate expression with delicate oak and a lovely fresh acidity, well balanced and integrated’, with The Vine Eno Gastro Pub’s Tatiana Mann picking up its ‘refreshing mineral style with grassy herbal character’.

£10.34 Liberty Wines

Pine Ridge, Chenin Blanc/Viognier 2016, California, USA

Bronze medal winner

Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club noted ‘charming mandarin and orange zest aromas, followed by intense floral and peach character with a long finish’, while team leader Simon Woods found it ‘ripe, musky with honeyed edges, good fruit and guava on the finish’.

£12.95 Liberty Wines

Garzón, Reserve, Albariño 2017, Garzón, Uruguay

Bronze medal winner

A fresh and juicy style, our judges picking up on notes of lime and peach with light touches of wet stone minerality; crisp and dry on the palate with good length – a nice match with prawns in a herby tomato sauce.

£13.27 Bibendum

Via Wines, Oveja Negra, Reserva, Chardonnay/Viognier 2017, Maule Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Emiliana, Adobe, Reserva, Gewürztraminer 2017, Rapel Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£6.20 Boutinot

Blank Canvas, Grüner Veltliner 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£11.53 Liberty Wines

Larry Cherubino, Laissez Faire, Field Blend 2016, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Lismore, The Age of Grace, Viognier 2016, Western Cape, South Africa

Commended medal winner

Deakin Estate, Viognier 2016, Victoria, Australia

Commended medal winner

Morandé, One to One, Estate Reserve, Gewürztraminer 2017, Casablanca Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Olifantsberg, Blanc 2016, Breedekloof, Western Cape, South Africa

Commended medal winner

Cape Barren, Funky Goose, Grüner Veltliner 2016, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Berton Vineyard, Winemaker's Reserve, Fiano 2016, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Left Field, Albariño 2017, Gisborne, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Chateau Changyu Moser XV, Helan Mountain, Blanc de Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Ningxia, China

Commended medal winner

£12.85 Bibendum

Huia, Gewürztraminer 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£10.52 Bibendum

Swinney, Tirra Lirra, White Blend 2016, Frankland River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£14.65 Bibendum


Subscribe to the SWA newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest industry news.