We use cookies to operate this website and to improve its usability. Full details of what cookies are, why we use them and how you can manage them can be found by reading our Privacy & Cookies pages. Please note that by using this site you are consenting to the use of cookies.

Accept
Reject
Home Winners > Winners 2017 > NEW WORLD: Other Red Varietals & Blends

Winner Details

New World: Other Red Varietals & Blends

2017 Gold: 4 Silver: 14 Bronze: 13 Commended: 24
2016 Gold: 7 Silver: 17 Bronze: 9 Commended: 17

Made up of oddball blends and less-usual grape varieties, this is the kind of place where winemakers go to play when they’re let out from ‘making £5.99 Merlot’ duty, so it’s not surprising that we get a lot of entries here. The medal count, however, can vary as wildly as a Leonard Cohen live performance: amazing one year (like 2016), meh the next.

This year was sorta kinda average. Our tasters generally detected more freshness and balance at the lower end, before wineries put their pedal to the metal around the £15 mark with wines of serious power and concentration.

On this evidence, Australia is top of the class with this left-field stuff, Argentina near the bottom, with everyone else somewhere in between.

We’d have hoped for a bit more of a showing from Maule, to build on its encouraging performance last year, but it was heartening to see a rare Tannat Gold – the only surprise being that it came from Argentina, rather than Uruguay.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Not many of these wines made me think “Oh my God these need to be on a list somewhere”.’ Jade Koch, team leader

‘There was definitely some good value among them. If you’re looking for a big, bold red it’s a good place to look.’ Neil Tabraham, Paris House

‘Too concentrated and heavy. Not easy to match with food.’ Arnaud Fiol, The Don Restaurant

‘There were signs of real elegance [from Maule]. You get flowers and structure that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from Chile. The wines were either really good or really faulty.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

‘The good ones had a nice balance between boldness and freshness.’ Simon Woods, team leader

‘It’s a wide-ranging category, but overall very pleasing. Value wise, there’s something for everyone, it covers everything. And even on the high prices it delivers.’ Andrea Briccarello, team leader

‘A lot of very good wines, a lot of diversity – some good technical winemaking.’ Corin Ireland, Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms

‘This was a fabulous flight of big, big wines. Such good food wines.’ Richard Brooks, Caroline Catering

 

Award winners

Found 62 wines

New World: Other red varietals & blends

RedHeads, Vin'atus, Series 1 2015, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

A fruity and approachable style earned this blend the Gold. Team leader Martin Lam highlighted ‘notes of white pepper and jammy fruit on the nose, then a perfumed character on a rich and spicy, fresh fruit palate’, while consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates found it to be ‘peppery, with black fruit – bright, bold and very flavoursome’. This needs a dish like lamb shank with onion gravy, thought team leader Laurent Richet MS.

£6.96 Direct Wines Production

Calabria, 3 Bridges, Durif 2012, Griffith, New South Wales, Australia

Gold medal winner

Calabria’s Durif took Gold for its beautiful blend of minerality and fruit. Neil Tabraham of Paris House found ‘plums, blackcurrant and liquorice, a smoky palate with cedar and a pencil lead finish’, while Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels highlighted ‘ripe notes of blueberry, blackcurrant, as well as a menthol, eucalyptus note, a wine with good concentration of flavour complemented by cedar spice, integrated tannins and a lengthy finish’. Team leader Olivier Marie praised its ‘rounded, supple tannins, showing some nice development, and leading to a savoury finish, making this a match for lamb shoulder’.

£8.50 Fuller's

El Esteco, Fincas Notables, Tannat 2013, Salta, Argentina

Gold medal winner

‘This is a big boy, for sure, but there’s lovely blackberry fruit with a bit of spiciness, and it’s quite silky on the palate,’ began Adam Michocki of Chez Bruce in his praise of this Gold winner, while team leader Olivier Marie found ‘quality fruit, ripe and sweet, with fleshy texture, new oak presence and firm, grippy tannins’. Fellow team leader Laurent Richet MS thought it had a ‘lovely, intense and focused nose, with an earthy, iron edge – pair with rack of lamb and lentils’.

£15.18 Enotria&Coe

Chalmers, Sagrantino 2012, Heathcote, Victoria, Australia

Gold medal winner

This Aussie Gold medal winner was ‘quite savoury on the nose with fresh cherry notes, and good structure on the palate, with dry tannins’, said team leader Sam Caporn MW, adding: ‘Feels very classically Italian.’ Fellow team leader Simon Woods thought it ‘supple and lush, plus some floral notes, with a dry finish, but lots of red fruit, too’. A partner for ‘rack of lamb with red wine jus’, concluded Hakkasan Group’s Olivier Gasselin

£17.29 Enotria&Coe

Oveja Negra, Winemaker's Selection, Cabernet Franc/Carmenère 2013, Maule Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

Bold, generous and concentrated, this was led straight to the Gold podium, as Hakkasan Group’s Olivier Gasselin praised it for being ‘juicy and supple – quite broad, but with fine structure, as well as good intensity’. ‘Mint-eucalyptus, bramble fruit and blackcurrant with coffee and chocolate on the palate,’ described consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates, with J Corey Evans of St Swithins Wine Shippers summing up: ‘Big black fruit, nice concentration, with tannins that are meant for food.’ Specifically, team leader Simon Woods saw this working equally well with hard cheeses or steak.

£7.69 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

RedHeads, Return of the Living Red, No4 NV, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Warm red fruits with hints of dark clove spice, some earthy notes on the palate with well-integrated tannins, this would go well with a range of foods,’ said Giancarlo Cuccuru of The Ned Hotel, consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates agreeing that its ‘slightly muted nose, opening to spice on a soft, jammy palate with nice tannins makes for easy drinking’.

£19.02 Direct Wines Production

Akana, Chairman's Collection 2014, Cauquenes, Maule Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘A warming wine that shows spicy black fruits on the nose and elegant, contrasting floral notes, with more attractive floral character on the palate and fresh fruit to finish,’ said team leader Tom Forrest, with consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates adding: ‘Sweet, juicy, mouthwatering and concentrated.’

£21.95 Akana Wines S.A.

Akana, Old Vines 2014, Rapel Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘Juicy and quite roasted character on the nose, round with firm tannins and ripe red fruits on the palate,’ began Jacopo Mazzeo of The Pig Hotel (Brockenhurst), while Corin Ireland of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms was very impressed with its ‘prunes, herbs and black fruit aromas, elegant palate with good integration and structure’.

£15.85 Akana Wines S.A.

Argento, Bonarda 2016, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Team leader Sam Caporn MW found ‘distinct fruits of the forest aromas and a richly fruity palate with touches of baked apple – yum!’ ‘Menthol nose, very oaky, juicy and fresh,’ added Raphael Thierry of Street XO.

£7.32 Bibendum

The Drift Farm, Mary Le Bow 2011, Western Cape, South Africa

Silver medal winner

‘Light, refreshing, lip-smacking wine, very good,’ began consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates, who enjoyed its ‘green pepper and crunchy red fruit’, with team leader Martin Lam noting an ‘evolved, ripe fruit nose, a palate that’s quite soft and balanced, showing signs of bottle evolution’.

£17.48 Matthew Clark

Siegel, Unique Selection 2013, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘Aromatic!’ began Agustin Trapero of Avenue, continuing: ‘Pure cassis with black cherry aromas, opulent body with red flowers and a toasty finish; it needs decanting.’ ‘Huge weight of bottle,’ pointed out Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, ‘big intensity of colour and tears on the glass, overall a big wine, very savoury and warm; love it!’

£13.88 Carson Wines

Valle Secreto, Profundo 2012, Cachapoal Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

Agustin Trapero of Avenue felt it was a ‘superb wine, ripe and jammy black fruit, plums and blackcurrant on the nose, rich and creamy on the palate with notes of cacao and full-fat milk, nice and smooth on the finish’. ‘Juicy and spicy, long and structured, delicious if expensive, but very good’ concluded team leader Laurent Richet MS.

£55.00 EWGA

The Drift Farm, Bonfire Hill, Extreme Vineyards, Red 2014, Western Cape, South Africa

Silver medal winner

‘Appealing ripe fruit nose with mint and cassis, thick texture on the palate, smoky and minerally with an underlying flavour of iron,’ said team leader Laurent Richet MS, who found it ‘lovely value for money, a good wine by the glass’. ‘Tasty, savoury, plummy wine with real depth and warmth,’ said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering.

£6.45 Alliance Wine

Chronic Cellars, Suite Petite 2015, Paso Robles, California, USA

Silver medal winner

‘Juicy, ripe and rounded, this has fresh, vibrant berry and blackcurrant character, slight spice notes, length, though not complex but very fruity,’ said team leader Simon Woods, whereas Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels found ‘strawberry and raspberry, soft but present tannin and lovely refreshing acidity which lingers on the finish’.

£10.85 Majestic Commercial

The Federalist, Honest Red Blend 2014, North Coast, California, USA

Silver medal winner

Team leader Olivier Marie felt this was ‘nicely made, from sound quality fruit, richly textured on the palate, ripe and fat with voluptuous tannins giving an overall opulence’. ‘Easy drinking, with strawberry, cherry and raspberry fruit, and good acidity,’ added Chez Bruce’s Sara Bachiorri.

£16.79 Matthew Clark

Trapiche, Estacion 1883, Bonarda 2014, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Juicy fruit, savoury with spicy oak and ripe tannins, in a mouthwatering style,’ said Raphael Thierry of Street XO, with Alessandro de Angelis of Jamavar finding it ‘smooth and rounded with soft tannins and some balsamic character’.

£9.10 Enotria&Coe

Atamisque, Serbal, Assemblage 2015, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Corin Ireland of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms liked this wine’s ‘rich, ripe fruit with fresh herbs on the nose and minty character on the finish, with integrated silky tannins’, and team leader Andrea Briccarello found plenty of ‘intense, savoury, spicy and earthy complexity, with good notes of tobacco leaf’.

£11.26 Matthew Clark

Montgras, Ninquén, Antu, Cabernet/Carmenère 2015, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘Fragrance, cassis and liquorice, blackcurrant and cherry on the nose, soft with well-polished tannins and a great finish,’ began Avenue’s Agustin Trapero, with Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering finding it a ‘big, opaque colour, clean, fresh and savoury style, terrific for all sorts of beef casseroles to spicy dishes’.

£10.70 Enotria&Coe

Oveja Negra, Winemaker's Selection, Malbec/Petit Verdot 2015, Maule Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘Juicy, sun-drenched fruit style, with slightly stalky tannins but a rich, chocolatey finish,’ said J Corey Evans of St Swithins Wine Shippers, with team leader Tom Forrest finding ‘floral violet perfumes and red fruits, raspberry and strawberry on the palate with a touch of freshness and a juicy finish’.

£7.69 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Pérez Cruz, Chaski, Petit Verdot 2013, Maipo Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

Jacopo Mazzeo of The Pig Hotel (Brockenhurst) found this was ready to drink, showing ‘dark stone fruits and some notes of tropical sweetness, well-integrated oak and soft tannins’, while Corin Ireland of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms was very taken with its range of ‘ripe dark fruit and wild strawberry, very nice texture and tannins, with aromatic white pepper hints and a gamey, herbal finish’.

£20.15 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Fox Gordon, By George, Cabernet/Tempranillo 2013, Barossa Valley/Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Big colour and alcohol, delightful savoury flavours, a good match to game and spicy dishes – a hype wine!’ said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, while Agustin Trapero of Avenue found ‘ripe black fruit, almost dry, with prune and liquorice notes, touches of bitter chocolate and coffee beans’.

£15.41 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Trefethen, Dragon's Tooth 2014, Napa Valley, California, USA

Bronze medal winner

A full and rich style, with Corin Ireland of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms noting ‘gamey character, black cherry, hints of fresh cigars and fine integrated tannins’, and team leader Andrea Briccarello finding an ‘earthy, blueberry, soft, juicy core with a spicy cedar mid-palate character’.

£17.95 Daniel Lambert Wines

RedHeads, Return of the Living Red, No5 NV, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson enjoyed its ‘lovely perfumed nose of flowers and red fruit, sweet and rich palate with strawberry jam and leather notes’, recommending it as ‘lovely with chargrilled meats’.

£21.09 Direct Wines Production

Casarena, Icono 2011, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Lionel Periner found a ‘full, dark, fruity style, with spices and coffee notes on the nose and more developed wood and burnt toast notes; full bodied, but nicely smoothed tannins and good balance on the palate, and more spicy notes on the finish’.

£34.99 Frederic Robinson

Tim Gramp, Tempranillo 2015, Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

‘Peppered meats and berry fruit on the nose, juicy palate with fine tannins and a long finish,’ said Neil Tabraham of Paris House, while Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels picked up ‘ripe dark cherry and red plum, eucalyptus and herbal character, concentrated with purity of fruit and complexity’.

£13.88 Tim Gramp Wines

Garzón, Reserve, Tannat 2015, Maldonado, Uruguay

Bronze medal winner

‘A deep and dark colour, and a savoury nose with a touch of donkey poo aroma,’ specified Vinoteca’s Charlie Young, continuing: ‘Great palate of blue and red fruit, with softish but plentiful integrated tannins and a nice finish.’

£11.11 Bibendum

Don Manuel Villafañe, Gran Reserva 2011, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

Arnaud Fiol of The Don Restaurant found ‘dried flowers on the nose, and a poised palate with well-integrated tannins’, and Vinoteca’s Charlie Young enjoyed its ‘lovely savoury, pure nose, full tannins and concentrated fruit, with acidity keeping the whole thing flowing – big!’

£17.60 Eurowines

Alpha Box & Dice, Enigma, Barbera 2015, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

‘Subtle oak, well handled,’ began team leader Sam Caporn MW, continuing: ‘Fragrant, violets and cherry with blueberry on the palate, a well-made, good wine.’ ‘Smoky nose with floral touches, ripe fruit and cinnamon spice, mouthwatering,’ agreed Raphael Thierry of Street XO.

£13.00 Boutinot

Valdivieso, Caballo Loco, Grand Cru Apalta 2013, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

‘Heavy bottle, mint-flavoured lamb with cumin and charcoal notes, complex,’ began team leader Laurent Richet MS, while Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering found it ‘earthy on the nose with an intense red fruit palate, very suited to gamey dishes and steaks and spice’.

£18.58 Bibendum

Ste Michelle Wine Estates, Motto, Red Blend 2014, California, USA

Bronze medal winner

‘A fruit-basket nose of berries and strawberry, a touch jammy, but very rounded on the palate,’ said Arnaud Fiol of The Don Restaurant, with Marek Rakowski of Harbour Heights Hotel picking up ‘stewed plums and a pinch of cinnamon’.

£12.00 Enotria&Coe

El Esteco, Altimus, Gran Vino 2011, Calchaquí Valley, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

Richard Allen of Adam’s Restaurant found ‘lots of dark spice and liquorice, combining well with the red fruit notes to provide a smoothly balanced and enjoyable wine’. ‘Intense, profound, with a lot of oak spice, a good effort,’ added team leader Olivier Marie.

£20.23 Enotria&Coe

El Esteco, Chañar Punco 2012, Calchaquí Valley, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

A unanimous choice with our judges, this showed ‘big potential’ for Marek Rakowski of Harbour Heights Hotel, with ‘a lot of tannins still needing to be integrated, but rich and complex cherries and plums, lots of brown spices and an appealing jammy character’.

£32.30 Enotria&Coe

Norton, Privada 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

‘Bright, with violets and plums, vanilla and spice, dry on the palate but long and clean with juicy fruit on the finish,’ said Neil Tabraham of Paris House, with Tim McLaughlin-Green of Sommelier’s Choice noting it was: ‘Purple, to say the least! Juicy, bright fruit, and it’s balanced, needs more time to emerge fully or decant well for drinking now.’

£17.40 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Renacer, Milamore 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

‘Very inviting, bright and juicy style,’ began Giancarlo Cuccuru of The Ned Hotel, who found ‘a good bit of body, cooked red fruits, a touch of pepper and plums on the palate’, while consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates noted ‘rose and violet hints on a Morello cherry nose, and quaffably ripe, juicy fruit but with a very good finish’.

£15.64 Liberty Wines

Oveja Negra, Single Vineyard, Carignan 2013, Maule Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

‘Creamy, spicy vanilla oak on the nose with ripe red and black berries,’ began team leader Tom Forrest, who also found some ‘big tobacco tannins and nice red fruits’ on the palate, while J Corey Evans of St Swithins Wine Shippers liked its ‘good meaty greenness and supple roundness – a nice wine that will age nicely’.

£10.68 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Wild Rock, Hawke's Bay Red 2014, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£9.76 Bibendum

Delicato Family Vineyards, Gnarly Head, Petite Sirah 2013, California, USA

Commended medal winner

£11.52 Bibendum

Vistalba, Corte C, Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£10.00 Bibendum

Andeluna, Pasionado, Cuatro Cepas 2013, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

Marcelo Pelleriti, Pelleriti Selection, Grand Reserve 2013, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

Caliterra, Dstnto 2016, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Caliterra, Edición Limitada, A 2014, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£10.04 Hatch Mansfield

Esk Valley, Winemakers Reserve, Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£14.44 Hatch Mansfield

Calabria, Private Bin, Nero d'Avola 2015, Griffith, New South Wales, Australia

Commended medal winner

£7.00 Fuller's

Waterkloof, Circle of Life, Red 2014, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£10.04 Boutinot

Valdivieso, Caballo Loco, Grand Cru, Sagrada Familia 2013, Lontué Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£18.81 Bibendum

Melipal, Blend 2014, Agrelo, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£12.45 Laytons

Morandé, Vigno, Carignan 2015, Maule Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£20.58 Barwell & Jones

Stellenrust, Simplicity, Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2015, Western Cape, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£8.37 Bibendum

Chalk Hill, Luna, Grenache/Tempranillo 2015, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£11.83 Matthew Clark

Salentein, Numina, Corte 2013, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£19.55 Matthew Clark

Finca Decero, Petit Verdot 2012, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

Norton, Lote Negro 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

Guenoc, Petite Sirah 2015, California, USA

Commended medal winner

Masi Tupungato, Corbec, Appassimento 2012, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

Heartland, Dolcetto/Lagrein 2013, Langhorne Creek, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£10.24 Enotria&Coe

Kaiken, Terroir Series, Malbec/Bonarda/Petit Verdot 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£7.89 Liberty Wines

Spice Route, Chakalaka 2014, Swartland, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£11.84 Liberty Wines

Swartland Winery, Idelia 2011, Swartland, South Africa

Commended medal winner

Fox Gordon, The Dark Prince, Nero d'Avola 2015, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

J Lohr, Wildflower, Valdiguié 2015, Monterey County, California, USA

Commended medal winner

£9.75 Enotria&Coe

Outer Limits by Montes, Old Roots, Cinsault 2015, Itata Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£15.54 Liberty Wines

 

Subscribe to the SWA newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest Sommelier Wine Awards news.