Home Winners > Winners 2017 > NEW WORLD: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Bordeaux Blends: Rest of the New World

Winner Details

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Bordeaux Blends, Rest of the New World

2017 Gold: 3 Silver: 9 Bronze: 4 Commended: 9
2016 Gold: 3 Silver: 8 Bronze: 5 Commended: 7


Typically, this section is a two-way battle between California and Argentina, but the Americas didn’t have things all its own way this year. It was heartening to see a rare Kiwi Gold here (yet another for Saint Clair, which has carried out a single-handed assault on the New World section of this year’s competition), and also our first-ever Chinese medals, with a couple of Lenz Moser’s venture in Ningxia. The straight Cab looks very good value at under £10.

Argentina performed creditably, though with such an enviable climate and so many slopes, soils and orientations to play with we might have expected more. There’s a feeling that the country is becoming rather over-obsessed with Malbec and could be guilty of underplaying its hand with Cab.

As for California, while our tasters did find some good wines here, in general this is perhaps the wine style where the cultural divide between Europe and the US is at its deepest. Those that did best tended to have a bit of balance along with the turbocharged fruit.


‘We saw a few problems with oak and alcohol from Argentina, but others excelled well into restaurant quality – more fragrance and better tannin.’ Kelvin McCabe, Yauatcha

‘The style is a bit greener in New Zealand, a bit more vegetal, but not in a bad way. In Bordeaux you get more dark fruit.’ Olivier Gasselin, Hakkasan Group

‘The quality was good in the £10-£14 area – and we had long conversations about the more expensive wines, some of which really delivered. They have the chance to make great wines in Argentina, and now some of them are doing it.’ Sara Bachiorri, Chez Bruce

‘In the last five years oak use has been toning down in California. People will drink a bottle – but only one. I don’t want my customers to order only one bottle of wine.’ Lionel Periner, team leader

‘You’ve really got to pick and choose which ones you’re going to go for [from New Zealand]. The Cab Franc tended to be more successful. Sometimes the Cab Sauv was just a bit too green.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘A few really fantastic wines. Well made, concentration, well structured. Very good value.’ Charles Van Wyk, FJB Hotels


Award winners

Found 14 wines

New World: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Bordeaux Blends: Rest of the New World

Saint Clair Family Estate, Pioneer Block 17, Merlot 2014, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Team leader Annette Scarfe MW described this Gold winner as an ‘ambitious wine with lashings of new oak’, and also felt it was ‘very sleek and polished, with ripe tannins, nice approachability, and it will be suitable for spicy foods’. ‘Supple, juicy and broad, and made in a modern style,’ was Hakkasan Group’s Olivier Gasselin’s conclusion, while team leader Simon Woods described it as ‘concentrated, with earthy berry fruit’.

£17.02 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Mendoza Vineyards, MV, Gran Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner

Taking Gold for its complex yet very approachable style, this Cabernet was described by Hakkasan Group’s Olivier Gasselin as ‘juicy and crunchy, yet velvety, too’. Team leader Tom Forrest was intrigued by the ‘light floral and redcurrant notes with hints of rose petal’ he found on the nose, also enjoying its ‘soft red and black fruits, cherry and currants on the palate, with soft, refined tannins and nice balance’. Gasselin saw this pairing beautifully with Springbok tartare.

£12.32 Mendoza Vineyards SA

Changyu Moser XV, Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Ningxia, China

Silver medal winner

Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels was impressed with this wine’s ‘intense aromas of blackberry, clove, black pepper, blackcurrant leaf, with added notes of liquorice and vanilla’, adding: ‘Fantastically concentrated, with complex dark fruit and spicy notes all round. Great wine, great value.’

£9.54 Bibendum

Babich, Rongopai, Merlot/Cabernet 2015, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘With cassis fruit and a slight herbal streak, this is ripe with well-structured tannins, representing good value for money,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, while Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels highlighted its ‘dark plum, mint and sour cherry notes’.

£7.50 Molson Coors

Casarena, DNA, Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Lifted red and black cherry fruit, some leafiness and spice on the nose,’ began team leader Tom Forrest, who also enjoyed its ‘well-balanced tannins and juicy character, with light spice and chocolate notes, and perfume on the finish’. Sara Bachiorri of Chez Bruce added that it was ‘richly textured and generous on the palate, with earthy, smoked cured meat character and coffee notes on the finish’.

£34.99 Frederic Robinson

El Esteco, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Cafayate, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Team leader Tom Forrest found ‘dark berry and currant fruit, slightly hot’ aromas, then a ‘soft palate with earthy spice and big, chewy tannins, raspberry fruit on the finish’. ‘Big and bold, concentrated, cassis and rich liquorice,’ added Chez Bruce’s Sara Bachiorri.

£11.15 Enotria&Coe

El Esteco, Fincas Notables, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Calchaquí Valley, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Nice fruit, nice balance, with fresh and well-integrated oak and a touch of spice,’ said an impressed Mattin Larraburu of Sexy Fish, while Chez Bruce’s Sara Bachiorri noted its ‘sweet spices from the oak, liquorice and bramble fruit, with a long finish’.

£15.18 Enotria&Coe

Man O' War, Estate, Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec 2011, Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Hakkasan Group’s Olivier Gasselin found this ‘leathery and earthy, with mature notes on the nose, followed by mixed spices, notes of green pepper and tomato, balanced by dry tannins, a little under-ripeness and a touch of smoke’.

£14.72 Enotria&Coe

Changyu Moser XV, Grand Vin, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Ningxia, China

Bronze medal winner

Though he felt it would benefit from ‘a year or two more in the bottle’, Buddha Bar’s Piotr Artur Tomaszewski still found this ‘very good quality, and will work very well with the grill’, adding: ‘Smooth, well balanced and elegant, with plums, cherry stones and blackcurrant on the palate, rounded oak and freshness.’ ‘Outstanding concentration,’ agreed Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels.

£44.77 Bibendum

Kaiken, Ultra, Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

‘Floral aromas with notes of cassis,’ began Sara Bachiorri of Chez Bruce, adding: ‘Full body, with high alcohol and tannins, but good acidity, cloves and sweet spices cutting through, then a long finish with appealing dark chocolate richness.’

£11.14 Liberty Wines

Salentein, Barrel Selection, Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£11.74 Matthew Clark

Changyu Moser XV, Family Second Vin 2013, Ningxia, China

Commended medal winner

£23.67 Bibendum

Trinity Hill, The Gimblett 2014, Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£15.79 Liberty Wines

El Esteco, Don David, Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Cafayate, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£8.63 Enotria&Coe


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