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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > ITALIAN VARIETIES

Winner Details

New World: Italian Varieties

2017 Gold: 1 Silver: 2 Bronze: 1 Commended: 3
2016 Gold: n/a Silver: n/a Bronze: n/a Commended: n/a

If you’d told us when the Sommelier Wine Awards started back in 2007 that we would have a ‘New World Italian Varieties’ category 10 years later, we’d have laughed at you… and we’d have been wrong. The fact that we’ve been able to create it tells you where the New World is looking next; the fact that our tasters were so surprised by it tells you that your average sommelier is still some years behind them.

Mixed results this year, but the alliance of natural sunshine and high-structured grapes suggests we could expect good things in the years to come here.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘I really liked them. They were really fruity, but a little bit different. I liked the balance to them. They had better lift and acidity, and I think they would be good for the on-trade.’ Sam Caporn MW, team leader

‘It’s good to have something different to show the customer, to say “you know Sangiovese from Tuscany? This is from Australia”. There’s some very high quality winemaking, often at good prices.’ Alessandro de Angelis, Jamavar


Award winners

Found 59 wines

New World: Malbec

Casarena, Roble, Malbec 2016, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner Pub & Bar

This great-value Malbec was led to the Gold podium, and handed a Pub & Bar Trophy, amid praise from our judges. ‘Spicy, gamey and meaty,’ began Nelio Pinto of Candlesticks, while Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club found ‘light liquorice notes, with an elegant, gentle, herbal palate’. ‘Approachable, soft and rounded, a gluggable house style,’ summarised Mike Best of the WSET, who felt its ‘nice balance makes it easy to say yes to another glass with burgers or barbecue’.

£5.99 Frederic Robinson

Vistalba, Tomero, Reserva, Malbec 2014, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner

‘Blackcurrant jam, eucalyptus and peppermint on the nose keeps you coming back for more,’ began J Corey Evans of St Swithins Wine Shippers in his praise of Vistalba’s Gold, noting its ‘smooth and slick, classic palate that’s restrained but nice on the finish’. Chez Bruce’s Sara Bachiorri praised notes of ‘liquorice, plums and dark cherries on a punchy nose, and a long, lingering finish that is still showing bright fruit’, while team leader Laurent Richet MS recommended it be paired with spiced baby back ribs.

£15.00 Bibendum

Cadus, Appellation, Gualtallary, Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner

A full, complex Malbec easily deserving of Gold. ‘A toasted style, with balsamic and black olive notes,’ began Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky, continuing: ‘Fruit and vanilla on the palate, with a savoury finish that’s very moreish.’ ‘Full-bodied and packed with dark fruit, with a spicy bite to the finish,’ thought Chez Bruce’s Sara Bachiorri, while team leader Laurent Richet MS felt it was ‘juicy, ripe and elegant, with ripe plum notes – perfect for a juicy rib-eye with garlic butter’.

£10.61 Boutinot

Trapiche, Terroir Series, Finca Ambrosía 2011, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner

‘A blockbuster,’ began team leader Martin Lam in his praise of this big, bold Gold winner, continuing: ‘Dark, spiced plum and oak on the nose, leading to a big and structured palate, with black fruit and a salty, savoury note.’ Sumilier’s Sumi Sarma appreciated its ‘savoury and sweet edge, with a lot of richness, as well as elegance and maturity’, while Hakkasan Group’s Diana Rollan was enamoured with its ‘earthy, meaty, plum and cherry aromas’, noting that it was ‘big and bold on the palate, showing sweet spices, plum and violets with nice concentration, and full in body and tannins’.

£22.44 Enotria&Coe

Trapiche, Terroir Series, Finca Orellana 2011, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner

This drew generous praise from our judges, with team leader Simon Woods describing it as ‘dark, sweet, plump, plush and plummy’, while Sexy Fish’s Julien Sahut highlighted its ‘deep chocolate and black fruit character, and a big, rich and spicy palate with nicely ripe tannins’. Paris House’s Neil Tabraham thought it ‘deep, intense and broody, with good concentration’, while team leader Sam Caporn MW found it ‘young, modern and polished’.

£22.68 Enotria&Coe

Alpasión, Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner

‘Full-bodied, old style of wine, concentrated with good structure,’ began Piotr Artur Tomaszewski of Buddha Bar, as Alpasión took Gold, further describing ‘plum, ripe cherry and blackcurrant fuit, balance and elegance, very characteristic of Malbec’. ‘Soft, unctuous, excellent balance – a star!’ said consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates. Team leader Laurent Richet MS saw this as a perfect accompaniment to a ‘beef burger with Stilton and crispy bacon’.

£8.45 Matthew Clark

Kaiken, Ultra, Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner

An enjoyably open style took Kaiken to the Gold podium, with team leader Sam Caporn MW finding ‘deep fruit and spicy oak flavours, good extraction and a polished style with sappy oak’, while Street XO’s Raphael Thierry enjoyed its ‘spicy nose with vanilla and coconut, big tannic structure and juicy plum and cinnamon’. ‘Distinctly bold and peppery in style, there’s an elegance to the fruit – mostly blackcurrant – with nutmeg and a hint of tobacco, leading to a lingering finish,’ concluded Sumilier’s Sumi Sarma.

£11.14 Liberty Wines

Altos Las Hormigas, Clásico, Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Meaty, earthy aromas with good depth, and a nice savoury palate that draws you back for another sip,’ said Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky, adding: ‘Quite light, with balsamic notes.’ ‘Such a serious, big wine, and value for money with an intense palate and complexity,’ agreed team leader Laurent Richet MS.

£9.05 Liberty Wines

Argento, Selección, Malbec 2016, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Lovely pungent spices with secondary oak aromas,’ began Alessandro de Angelis of Jamavar, who was impressed by its ‘sour cherry fruit palate, well-defined, crunchy mouthfeel, and clean and fruity finish’.

£7.33 Bibendum

Vistalba, Tomero, Malbec 2015, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Juicy, with gorgeous fruit, bold yet still approachable,’ said an enthused Mike Best of the WSET, continuing: ‘This is a crowd-pleasing style, but still has intrigue for the customer – you can see why this style is such a popular choice in the on-trade.’

£10.00 Bibendum

Gauchezco, Pilke, Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Dusty aromas with plum fruit and bacon notes,’ began Portland Restaurant’s James Fryer, continuing: ‘Sweet plum on the palate with pepper, drying tannin and meaty character with clove spice hints.’ ‘Good red fruits and a juicy style,’ added Timothy Connor of Bread Street Kitchen.

£6.27 CellarVino

Bressia, Monteagrelo, Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Some floral notes on the nose, good balance on the palate with red and dark fruit; there’s lots of alcohol but freshness, too,’ said Chez Bruce’s Sara Bachiorri, while Nuno Pereira of New Street Grill noted ‘meaty character with some warm spices and mint notes’.

£13.17 Boutinot

Caliterra, Tributo, Pétreo, Malbec 2015, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘Very ripe black fruit on the nose, then soft ripe tannin on a rounded, easy-drinking, straightforward palate,’ said Jonathan Giffrin of Claude Bosi @ Bibendum, while team leader Annette Scarfe MW found it ‘a little green, but fresh with an aromatic lift giving elegance’.

£8.15 Hatch Mansfield

Rutini, Cruz Alta, Grand Reserve, Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Meaty, gamey with violets and black fruit on the nose,’ began team leader Laura Rhys MS, continuing: ‘Good intensity of fruit, highish alcohol but it’s in balance.’ Giuseppe Longobardi of The 3A Pub Company noted ‘fruit and spice, nice balance and velvety texture on the palate’.

£7.50 Fuller's

Catena Alta, Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Impressively ‘complex and rich’, began Alessandro de Angelis of Jamavar, who enjoyed its ‘notes of leather and savoury new oak’, and found it ‘interesting, with a lot going on, still young on the palate but full of intense spices and blueberry fruit’.

£25.28 Bibendum

Catena Zapata, Nicasia, Malbec 2011, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Delicately scented on the nose, roses and violets, beautiful soft tannin with concentrated blueberry and blackcurrant, and a great long finish,’ said consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates. ‘Ready for drinking, with outstanding structure,’ added Buddha Bar’s Piotr Artur Tomaszewski.

£38.26 Boutinot

Trapiche, Terroir Series, Finca Coletto 2011, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Noting its ‘dark beetroot colour’, consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates found ‘perfumed aromatics with violet and rose floral notes and touches of oak, soft polished tannins on a palate with leather, chocolate and coffee complexity’.

£22.68 Enotria&Coe

Salentein, Barrel Selection, Malbec 2015, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Dark plum and cherry, ripe and full aromas, good richness on a full, plummy palate. Excellent,’ said an impressed Kelvin McCabe of Yauatcha. ‘Good freshness and purity, with a clean finish,’ added Xabier Alvarez of Trangallán.

£11.74 Matthew Clark

Salentein, Portillo, Malbec 2016, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Some good dark fruit, dry and textured on the palate with a touch of bitterness making it a food-friendly option,’ said Xabier Alvarez of Trangallán, with team leader Simon Woods finding it ‘ripe and juicy with lovely dark, plump fruit character’.

£8.09 Matthew Clark

Doña Paula, Selección de Bodega, Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘A good choice for Malbec lovers,’ suggested The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira, noting its ‘spicy red and black fruit, good body and acidity with a touch of tannin’, while Giuseppe Longobardi of The 3A Pub Company highlighted its ‘cherry, blackcurrant and cranberry fruit with dusty, sweet fruit character and a warm finish’.

£26.75 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Matias Riccitelli, Vineyard Selection, Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Really deep purple in colour, with elegant floral aromas of violets, roses, redcurrant and raspberry fruits,’ began team leader Tom Forrest, who found the palate ‘cool, elegant and perfumed, fresh and juicy with great length’. ‘Needs more time in the bottle, but has lots of potential,’ felt Buddha Bar’s Piotr Artur Tomaszewski.

£23.33 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Matias Riccitelli, República del Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Well balanced, soft tannins, full bodied, powerful, rich, leafy and stony, with peppery and floral violet notes and lavender hints,’ said an impressed Ivan Ruiz of Wright Brothers, with Portland Restaurant’s James Fryer noting ‘oak, juicy black fruits, eucalyptus and black pepper’.

£32.26 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Pérez Cruz, Limited Edition, Cot 2014, Maipo Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

Team leader Annette Scarfe MW highlighted ‘creamy oak on the palate, along with very ripe fruit, almost confected, for a jammy fruitiness and a crowd-pleasing, full-bodied style’.

£14.25 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Casarena, DNA, Malbec 2011, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

An ‘intense and powerful expression of Malbec’, began Hakkasan Group’s Diana Rollan, who found ‘big, ripe, round and savoury aromas of cherry, plum and fragrant violets, good concentration and structure on a toasty, spicy and savoury palate, with good ripeness and freshness’.

£34.99 Frederic Robinson

Altos Las Hormigas, Reserve, Malbec 2014, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Simon Woods noted a difference in style, with its ‘spicy, floral, earthy and dainty appeal, good intensity but never over the top’, while Yauatcha’s Kelvin McCabe noted its ‘red plum, fragrant and ripe aromas, and floral rose notes on the palate’.

£17.04 Liberty Wines

Argento, Malbec 2016, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

Hakkasan Group’s Diana Rollan enjoyed its ‘fragrant and floral aromas with cherry, liquorice and plum notes, then a palate of nice concentration, dry and long, rich, with structure, berries and tobacco hints with sweet spices’.

£7.05 Bibendum

Vistamar, Sepia Reserva, Malbec 2015, Maule Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

Antoine Cabre of Spring Restaurant enjoyed this wine’s ‘lovely, discreet nose, peppery and smoky fresh palate with good spice notes and freshness’, with Jonathan Giffrin of Claude Bosi @ Bibendum picking out notes of ‘jammy black fruit, coffee and oak, in a great value, rich fruit-bomb style’.

£4.80 Kingsland

Alta Vista, Premium Estate, Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

‘Fresh and easy drinking, but firm tannins and acidity make it a good food wine, too,’ said M Wine Store’s Harry Crowther, with team leader Angela Reddin noting its ‘mulberry and plum with a shot of cassis, smooth tannin and surprisingly medium body’.

£7.63 Cockburn & Campbell

Alta Vista, Single Vineyard, Temis, Malbec 2012, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Olivier Marie noted ‘graphite mineral complexity with lovely earthy, chalky tannins’, while Timothy Connor of Bread Street Kitchen found it ‘rich, with some chocolatey character, crispy acidity with great length’.

£21.29 Cockburn & Campbell

Mendoza Vineyards, R&B, Malbec 2013, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Simon Woods found it ‘dense and dark, with chocolatey richness and grippy tannic character, lovely complexity on a palate that’s vibrant, earthy, yet fresh’.

£40.33 Mendoza Vineyards SA

Emiliana, Adobe, Reserva, Malbec 2016, Rapel Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

‘The nose is expressive, with pepper notes, mineral and lovely bark berry freshness in the mouth,’ began Antoine Cabre of Spring Restaurant, with Jonathan Giffrin of Claude Bosi @ Bibendum noting ‘precise fruit flavours, not overripe and has elegant expression in the mouth, with roundness and structure’.

£6.11 Boutinot

Kleine Zalze, Vineyard Selection, Malbec 2016, Western Cape, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

A ‘simple and clean style’, said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, highlighting its ‘pleasing purity of fruit on the palate, giving a good value wine that’s not trying too hard’.

£8.36 Hatch Mansfield

Caliterra, Tributo, Single Vineyard, Malbec 2014, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Annette Scarfe MW enjoyed its ‘elegant, medium-bodied, vibrant style, showing damsons and violets with a delicate aromatic lift and clean fruit’, with Spring Restaurant’s Antoine Cabre finding ‘fresh Malbec style, cassis and plums with nice balance and quite a long finish’.

£7.59 Hatch Mansfield

Catena, Appellation, Vista Flores, Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

Ivan Ruiz of Wright Brothers found ‘earthy, tertiary elements, full-bodied style with big flavours, balanced with soft tannins’, while Portland Restaurant’s James Fryer enjoyed its ‘intense, juicy character, almost Cabernet black fruit jam along with white pepper and sweet spice, vanilla and chalky tannin’.

£11.42 Bibendum

Salentein, Capilla de Barro, Malbec 2015, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

Tobias Brauweiler MS of Sake No Hana found ‘rich fruit, cherry and blackberry on the nose, high tannin with nice cinnamon spice and caramel notes, touches of vanilla oak on the finish’, while Tanya Mann of Linden House Stansted enjoyed its ‘refreshing style, meaty and leafy with violet notes and good complexity’.

£6.74 Majestic Commercial

Melipal, Nazarenas Vineyard, Malbec 2014, Agrelo, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

‘Dark fruit and crushed berries on the nose,’ began Sake No Hana’s Tobias Brauweiler MS, who found it ‘rounded and creamy on the palate with ripe tannin, medium length and dark chocolate mocha notes on the finish’. ‘Lashings of layers of fruit, oak and spice, benign tannins and great oak,’ added team leader Angela Reddin.

£18.11 Laytons

Salentein, Primus, Malbec 2013, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

Harry Crowther of M Wine Store was impressed with its ‘great complexity and softness on the nose, rich mouthfeel, great length and integration of tannins’, while team leader Angela Reddin noted its ‘touch of framboise and vanilla cream, svelte and smooth mouthfeel with cashmere tannins’, rating it ‘elegant and classy’.

£28.80 Matthew Clark

Norton, Privada, Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

‘Cherry, berry and spice, some bright fruit and complexity here, though it needs some time,’ began team leader Laura Rhys MS, with Mike Best of the WSET advising: ‘A wine to keep for at least two years. Its concentration, spicy-floral blueberry fruit and enormous tannin and structure suggest it can last at least a decade.’

£17.40 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Humberto Canale, Selección de Familia, Malbec 2014, Patagonia, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

For WSET’s Mike Best, this was ‘juicy, bold and powerful, needs a lot of time so decant for at least an hour if possible’, but he was impressed with its ‘floral character, which is so key to freshness’, adding that it was ‘deserving of a premium price point on a wine list’.

£14.01 Enotria&Coe

Casarena, Reserva, Malbec 2013, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

Familia Schroeder, Saurus, Barrel Fermented, Malbec 2014, Patagonia, Argentina

Commended medal winner

Timothy Connor of Bread Street Kitchen found it ‘punchy with red fruit on the nose, with a punchy palate too, good for roast venison’, while Ivan Ruiz of Wright Brothers was impressed with its ‘full-bodied, big blackcurrant-dominant style, herbaceous richness and amazing balance’.

£14.90 Ellis of Richmond

Argento, Reserva, Organic Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£16.34 Bibendum

Don Manuel Villafañe, Reserva, Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£11.15 Eurowines

Viu Manent, Gran Reserva, Malbec 2015, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Viu Manent, Secret, Malbec 2015, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Susana Balbo, Signature, Malbec 2014, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£14.87 Las Bodegas

Mendoza Vineyards, MV, Gran Reserva, Malbec 2014, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

Boutinot, Turno de Noche, Malbec 2016, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£6.65 Boutinot

Nieto Senetiner, Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£7.14 Boutinot

Caliterra, Aventura, Malbec 2015, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Rutini, San Felipe, Roble, Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£6.00 Fuller's

Valle de la Puerta, Las Olas, Malbec 2016, Famatina Valley, La Rioja, Argentina

Commended medal winner

Sogrape, Finca Flichman, Caballero de la Cepa, Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£8.50 Liberty Wines

Trapiche, Estacion 1883, Malbec 2014, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£9.10 Enotria&Coe

El Esteco, Malbec 2013, Calchaquí Valley, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£11.15 Enotria&Coe

Luis Felipe Edwards, Los Romeros, Malbec 2016, Central Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£5.45 Matthew Clark

Norton, Finca La Colonia, Colección, Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

Norton, Finca La Colonia, Malbec 2016, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

Piattelli Vineyards, Grand, Malbec 2014, Cafayate Valley, Salta, Argentina

Commended medal winner

 

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