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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > New World: Other White Varietals & Blends, including Koshu

Winner Details

New World: Other White Varietals & Blends, including Koshu

2017 Gold: 5 Silver: 7 Bronze: 4 Commended: 11
2016 Gold: 5 Silver: 4 Bronze: 4 Commended: 5

Typically, this section is where winemakers go to run free; to frolic, like labradors on a beach, without a care in the world; and to have a bit of fun with less-typical varieties that might or might not go on to be the Next Big Thing.

Ten years ago, this was all about weird blends (perm any three from Chardonnay, Riesling, Vermentino, Sauvignon and Viognier) but it looks like producers are starting to hone their craft somewhat.

Over the past decade we’ve seen a steady growth in Rhône whites and, more recently, the arrival of some lighter sexpot styles such as Albariño. We don’t get vast numbers of the latter, but it does seem to be getting rave reviews. This was the second year on the trot that the variety has found a place on the Gold List, with the succulent version from Garzon following hot on the heels of Te Awa, which contented itself with a Silver this year.

There were a few negatives, of course – over-oaking and too much alcohol were both mentioned in dispatches, though both rather less than would have been the case a few years back.

For next year? More Koshu and more Albariño, please!


‘The lighter wines were an interesting selection. Fresh and easy, with lovely textures. These are easy to sell, easy to understand and show a new face of the New World to guests. And price-wise they’re attractive.’ Antoine Cabre, Spring Restaurant

‘The Uruguayan Albariño was really interesting.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘The richer wines were the worst flight I tasted of the two days. There was bad winemaking, the alcohol was all over the place, and acidity was low…’ Andre Luis Martins, Cavalry & Guards Club

‘The best richer wines were the most expensive ones – the rest weren’t well balanced.’ Jade Koch, team teader

‘I think this category is gradually getting better every year. This year there was some value at the lower end.’ Lionel Periner, team leader


Award winners

Found 34 wines

New World: Other White Varietals & Blends

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

Gold medal winner

‘A fruit-driven style with ripe tropical fruits, creamy texture and warmth on a medium-bodied palate,’ began Jacopo Armenio of Vinarius in praise of this Gold winner, with Charles Pashby-Taylor of Dabbous finding a ‘good balance of acidity and residual sweetness, and a fresh palate with good length’. ‘A layered, off-dry style, but also balanced and crisp – a match for lemon chicken,’ thought team leader Simon Woods.

£11.58 Matthew Clark

Garzón, Reserve, Albariño 2016, Maldonado, Uruguay

Gold medal winner

As this Albariño was led to the Gold podium, team leader Annette Scarfe MW praised its ‘complex, rich, ripe and weighty style, with a spritz on the palate and cooked quince and pear skin notes’, with Jonathan Giffrin of Claude Bosi @ Bibendum noting ‘ripe lemon and grapefruit aromas – a zesty, refreshing and easy-drinking style’. Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte liked its ‘bright acidity with tropical fruit, acacia honey, violet notes and minerality’, while team leader Laurent Richet MS described ‘delicate juicy pear and white-pepper spice’.

£11.11 Bibendum

Grande Provence, Amphora 2015, Franschhoek, South Africa

Gold medal winner

Taking a second Gold for South Africa in the category, this proved to have a ‘rich and spicy palate, with green apple, clove and nutmeg. A fresh wine with hints of eucalyptus and menthol, and a long, leafy finish,’ thought Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte. Team leader Laurent Richet MS, meanwhile, praised ‘a complex, fruity nose, leading to a fruit medley with a minty finish – delicate yet intense, with an underlying savoury element’. The London Cookhouse’s Michael Moore saw this perfectly matched with foie gras.


Catena, Pasarisa, Torrontès 2015, Salta, Argentina

Gold medal winner

Versatile and fragrant, this Gold winner had, according to Jacopo Armenio of Vinarius, layers of ‘intense peach and apricot aromas, hints of saffron and honeysuckle complexity, with good freshness on a light-bodied palate’, while Giancarlo Cuccuru of The Ned Hotel felt it was ‘good value, with aromatic tropical fruit’. ‘Round and voluptuous, with some sharp, juicy acidity,’ thought Hakkasan Group’s Olivier Gasselin. A match for goats’ cheese, according to team leader Simon Woods.

£9.96 Bibendum

Swinney, Tirra Lirra, White Blend 2015, Western Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

This complex blend was a clear Gold winner. ‘Riesling character with mineral and lime on the nose and some development, off-dry on the palate, nice balance on the finish,’ said team leader Lionel Periner, while Gaetano Giangaspero of Coya Mayfair enjoyed its ‘apricot and pear fruit on nose and palate, and a long fresh finish’. Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte appreciated its ‘notes of bay leaf, eucalyptus and pear, with a really lovely mineral finish – a match for langoustines’.

£13.06 Bibendum

Oveja Negra, Winemaker's Selection, Chardonnay/Viognier 2015, Maule Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

Gentle and beautifully balanced, our judges had no doubts about awarding this Gold. ‘Delicate grassy notes on the nose with a herbaceous, citrus fruit character on the palate,’ began Michael Fiducia of Coworth Park Ascot, while Cavalry & Guards Club’s Andre Luis Martins enjoyed its ‘light tropical notes and fresh peach aromas with light herbal, leafy character to taste’. Team leader Laurent Richet MS was taken with its ‘delicious texture, with a complex and long finish – a match for creamy dishes’.

£7.69 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

The Three Foxes, Gnarly White 2014, Coastal Region, South Africa

Gold medal winner

Living up to its name, this Gnarly White might have been unusual, but it was easily deserving of a spot on the Gold List. ‘A little funky, and tending towards the natural style, with some skin contact,’ began team leader Laurent Richet MS, who thought this ‘extremely well made, with cinnamon and golden apple, and an earthy finish’. Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte found ‘stewed pear and touches of cream and toast – bright and balanced, with nutmeg to finish’, while Michael Moore of The London Cookhouse saw this best matched with ‘pork fillets on a bed of honey risotto’.

£15.87 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Emiliana, Signos de Origen, La Vinilla, Chardonnay/Viognier/Marsanne/Roussanne 2015, Casablanca Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

A ‘fresh and clean’ style for Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club, who found ‘green apple fruit aromas, light, sweet pear and spicy notes with floral hints’, while Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia noted its ‘elegant, softly oaked tropical notes, and nicely rounded, toasty palate’.

£8.97 Boutinot

El Porvenir de Cafayate, Amauta, Absoluto, Torrontés 2016, Cafayate, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Charles Pashby-Taylor of Dabbous found it a ‘light and airy style with a slight spritz on the palate’, and team leader Martin Lam found it ‘less obvious, with creamy notes on the nose, a very floral palate and lower acidity than others’.

£8.06 Boutinot

Te Awa Collection, Left Field, Albariño 2016, Gisborne, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘A polished white wine,’ began Jonathan Giffrin of Claude Bosi @ Bibendum, highlighting its ‘white peach fruit, very delicate character with simple white fruits and lovely balance, dominated by its vibrant acidity’.

£10.78 Hatch Mansfield, Matthew Clark

Deakin Estate, Artisan's Blend, Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio 2016, Victoria, Australia

Silver medal winner

Gaetano Giangaspero of Coya Mayfair found ‘notes of herbs and grass, with a richness on the palate and good length’, while team leader Lionel Periner enjoyed its ‘citrus and candied lime aromas, dry and fruity palate with a fresh finish’. ‘Good, straightforward, value by the glass,’ added Charles Pashby-Taylor of Dabbous.

£6.25 Berkmann Wine Cellars

d'Arenberg, The Money Spider, Roussanne 2016, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘With tropical fruit notes, mango, this is quite rich with a touch of residual sugar,’ said Gaetano Giangaspero of Coya Mayfair, while Charles Pashby-Taylor of Dabbous found ‘melon and white peach fruit’ and team leader Lionel Periner noted ‘aromatic style but dry on the finish’.

£10.44 Enotria&Coe

Chalmers, Vermentino 2016, Heathcote, Victoria, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘A more stony character on the nose, fruity and quite complex with more minerals on the palate, and a lovely finish,’ said Spring Restaurant’s Antoine Cabre. ‘Delicate, with attractive lees work, a green style with a creamy mid-palate and lovely fruit character,’ added team leader Annette Scarfe MW.

£13.04 Enotria&Coe

Berton, Winemaker's Reserve, Vermentino 2016, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

Spring Restaurant’s Antoine Cabre highlighted its ‘very pale white colour, and lovely mineral freshness and fruitiness on both nose and palate’, with team leader Annette Scarfe MW noting ‘a delicate spritz, slightly evolved style and a little textured from lees work’.

£9.09 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Grace, Kayagatake, Koshu 2015, Yamanashi, Japan

Silver medal winner

Antoine Cabre of Spring Restaurant found it ‘fresh, with good acidity and easy, green apple fruit’, while Jonathan Giffrin of Claude Bosi @ Bibendum noted ‘flint, lime and floral aromas, elegant lightness, and zesty lemon peel notes’.

£14.30 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

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

Bronze medal winner

‘Dry and ripe, with amazing acidity for this varietal, and great value for money,’ said Charles Pashby-Taylor of Dabbous, while Typing Room’s Fred Marti enjoyed its ‘rich and flamboyant character’.

£6.11 Boutinot

Waterkloof, Circle of Life, White 2013, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

‘Bright and attractive sweetness, contrasted by a little tartness on the palate,’ began team leader Jade Koch, with Gabriel Liotta of Hakkasan Hanway Place noting its ‘rich texture and aromatics on the nose’.

£10.04 Boutinot

Château Tanunda, Newcastle, Barossa, Marsanne/Viognier/Roussanne 2014, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

‘Promising nose with slight undertones of petrol,’ began Charles Pashby-Taylor of Dabbous, who liked its ‘peachy fruit and apple skin on the palate, with honeyed richness and texture’.

£9.58 Boutinot

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

Bronze medal winner

‘Value for money for a house wine,’ began Giancarlo Cuccuru of The Ned Hotel, who found it ‘easy to drink with pleasant aromas’, while team leader Martin Lam noted ‘an intensely floral nose with good acid balance on the palate’.

£6.56 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Chapel Hill, Verdelho 2016, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Annette Scarfe MW found an ‘oily texture and hints of white pepper and stone fruits’, while Jonathan Giffrin of Claude Bosi @ Bibendum noted its ‘citrusy palate and zesty, creamy, medium-weight texture’.

£10.20 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Terroir Sonoro, El Cerruco, Moscatel 2015, Itata Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

‘Very aromatic style with notes of spice and perfume, peachy fruit on the palate and a touch of pithy bitterness on the finish,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, with Jonathan Giffrin of Claude Bosi @ Bibendum noting ‘mandarin, distinctive character with elements of honey, herbs and dried citrus’.

£12.71 Enotria&Coe

Ashbrook, Verdelho 2016, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Susana Balbo, Signature, White Blend 2015, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£10.17 Las Bodegas

Calabria, Private Bin, Vermentino 2015, Griffith, New South Wales, Australia

Commended medal winner

£7.00 Fuller's

Vuurberg, White 2015, Western Cape, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£11.04 Boutinot

The Rude Mechanicals, Ephemera, Viognier/Pinot Gris 2016, South Eastern Australia , Australia

Commended medal winner

£7.44 Boutinot

The Drift Farm, Bonfire Hill, Extreme Vineyards, White 2015, Paarl, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£6.45 Alliance Wine

Morandé, Reserva, Gewürztraminer 2015, Casablanca Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Springfield Estate, Miss Lucy, Blend 2015, Robertson, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£11.51 Bibendum

El Esteco, Don David, Torrontés 2016, Cafayate, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£8.63 Enotria&Coe

Mother Rock, White NV, Swartland, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£11.40 Indigo Wine

Coopers Creek, Select Vineyards, Bell Ringer, Albariño 2015, Gisborne, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Ulithorne, Dona, Blanc 2016, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Thelema, Sutherland, Viognier/Roussanne 2013, Elgin , South Africa

Commended medal winner

£9.95 Enotria&Coe


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