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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > NEW WORLD: Other Red Varietals & Blends

Winner Details

New World: Other Red Varietals & Blends

including Spanish & Italian varieties

2018 Gold 6      Silver 12      Bronze 13      Commended 24
2017 Gold 5      Silver 16      Bronze14       Commended 27

This section used to be a random hotch-potch of weird stuff – oddball blends or varieties that winemakers were experimenting with but clearly didn’t properly understand. Too often the only thing that united them was a fatal addiction to big fruit and over-oaking.

But things are changing. Yes, there’s still a tendency to throw too much wood at the most expensive wines, but when the egos were kept in check, our tasters were surprised to find fresher fruit and a more deft touch in the winery.

The arrival of Italian/Spanish/Portuguese varieties – both as single varietal wines and in blends – has been a definite factor here, but more than that there seems to have been an attitude shift.

New World winemakers, it seems, are not so much seeing these blends/unusual varieties as weird experiments any longer, but rather wine styles to get excited about, and that will be taken seriously by tasters if they’re made sensitively.

And in a world awash with single varietal Cabernet and Syrah, that really is a good thing.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘[Mediterranean varieties] is a massive trend. In the New World these varieties produce wines with different tannins, acidity, body and structure.’ Tatiana Mann, The Vine Eno Gastro Pub

‘The Maule wines were polished, consumer-friendly, drink-me-now wines. If there wasn’t a sommelier present in a restaurant, and you had to choose, these would be a safe bet.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘We were generally more positive about the cheaper, simple end, but as they went into heavier bottles, with more and more oak splashed on to them, the wines became more disjointed.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘The Syrah-based blends did really well. In previous years these were quite blowsy, but this year seemed more restrained.’ Charles Pashby-Taylor, consultant

‘Nero d’Avola from Australia would come in at 50% more than from Sicily. Domestically you can see whey they’d make these, but to export to Europe, generally it’s a hard ask.’ Martin Lam, team leader

‘Quite a lot of these forgot that wine is meant to be drunk – too many “cleavage” wines or “six pack” wines; they tried to show off instead of trying to be drinkable.’ Simon Woods, team leader

‘Rich styles, but more freshness and purity of fruit than you would have found five years ago. It was nice to taste some New World Grenaches made in a style with some elegance – not deeply coloured, more classically minded in their approach.’ Hamish Anderson, Tate Catering

Award winners

Found 53 wines

New World: Other red varietals & blends

Heirloom, Anevo, Grenache/Touriga/Tempranillo 2016, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

Michael Moore of The London Cookhouse was very taken with this accomplished Gold medallist’s ‘perfumed nose with a rich cocoa taste, finishing on wild summer berries’, finding it a ‘very special wine’, while Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson picked up on its ‘lovely, expressive, pure fruit-driven nose, leading to a fresh mixture of red and black fruits on a young, mid-weight and dusty palate with notes of lavender, spice and blueberry’.

£34.65 Heirloom Vineyards

Via Wines, Oveja Negra, Single Vineyard, Carignan 2015, Maule Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

‘I really like the finesse and light oak here,’ began Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte in his praise of this Gold winner, further describing a wine that was ‘soft, fruity and balanced’. Hakkasan Mayfair’s Jurijs Nemkovs appreciated its ‘interesting nose full of mixed wild forest berries, with ripe tannins and good acidity to make for a tightly structured wine’. ‘Juicy, warm and full of red fruits,’ summarised team leader Jade Koch, who thought it an ideal match for shepherd’s pie.

£10.76 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Bogle, Petite Sirah 2015, California, USA

Gold medal winner

‘Ripe, rich, round and very good value,’ began team leader Nigel Lister as this noteworthy Petite Sirah was elevated to Gold, adding praise for its ‘soft notes of toffee and caramel – an opulent, velvety style with dark chocolate notes and crushed raspberry, and fresh acidity’. ‘Lots of chunky blackberry, violets and rose with good structure,’ thought team leader Andrea Briccarello, while Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia highlighted its ‘savoury, crispy bacon’ character.

£12.77 Enotria&Coe

Finca Decero, Mini Ediciones, Petit Verdot 2013, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner

This Petit Verdot took home a well-deserved Gold medal with what Gymkhana’s Valentin Radosav described as ‘a nose of blackberry and gamey notes, leading to a charcoal-granitic minerality on the palate with ripe, dark fruit at the core, along with espresso and chocolate notes, and well-balanced tannins’, with team leader Annette Scarfe MW highlighting its ‘more rustic style, packed with dark bramble fruit, fresh acidity and big but ripe tannins’.

£10.83 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Finca Decero, The Owl & The Dust Devil 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner

A ‘full-bodied and fresh’ addition to the Gold List, began an impressed Mattia Scarpazza of Petersham Nurseries, going on to describe ‘sweet baked notes of spiced black cherry and raspberry’. Carolina Seibel of Portland Restaurant noted signs of ‘development, with red and dark fruits, some leafy and orange peel notes on the nose, leading to candied lingonberry fruit with very fine, intense tannins’. Enamoured of its ‘complex layers of cigar box, tobacco and earthy notes’, Sahar Gharai of La Dolce Vita Wine Lounge (California) saw this as a perfect match for grilled entrecôte.

£16.25 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Appelsdrift Farm, Mary Le Bow, Red Blend 2014, Western Cape, South Africa

Gold medal winner

‘Yes please,’ was the reaction of Beaverbrook’s Euan McColm to this Gold-worthy red blend, praising its ‘lovely fruit concentration and powerful, characterful tannins’, while Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia went on to find ‘blackberry and dark cherry aromas, with sandalwood notes’. ‘Ripe and rich, showing dark red fruits with earthy notes,’ added Jonathan Kleeman of Four Degree, who found it ‘full-bodied with cooking spice and black pepper character – definitely a meat wine’.

£21.00 Matthew Clark

SC Pannell, Grenache/Shiraz/Touriga 2016, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Soft, ripe and very enjoyable,’ said Mattia Scarpazza of Petersham Nurseries, showing ‘white chocolate richness and red berries, plums on the palate with good intensity and medium body’. ‘Deep, concentrated, very juicy wild berries and jammy blueberry,’ added team leader Andrea Briccarello.

£14.08 Liberty Wines

Zonte's Footstep, Canto di Lago 2016, Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘A dark, spicy and aromatic nose’ led, according to team leader Martin Lam, to a ‘generous fruit palate with black plum compote and spices’, while Glasshouse’s Arletta Mala enjoyed notes of ‘dark fruit and eucalyptus, with dark cherries on the tart palate, with some good potential for ageing’.

£11.52 Zonte's Footstep

Dorrance, Rouge 2016, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason highlighted ‘blackberry aromas then juicy, ripe, rounded fruits on the palate, good tannin structure and body, sweet spice notes on a long finish’, while L’Enclume’s Pierre Brunelli also picked up ‘lightly smoky, gamey character and a soft palate’.

£9.82 Top Selection Ltd

De Trafford, Elevation 393, Cabernet/Merlot/Shiraz 2011, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Team leader Nigel Lister indulged in its ‘crushed blackcurrants, dense cassis, tar and mint with dark chocolate character, soft and velvety fruit’, concluding: ‘Decant. Has its place on a list – feels luxurious.’ ‘Clean and structured, complex nose of herbs and black forest fruit,’ said team leader Andrea Briccarello, also noting ‘fine balance, cherry compote and Christmas pudding spices’.

£36.50 Bibendum

Emiliana, Coyam 2014, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘Lovely purity of fruit with a hint of spearmint,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, finding it ‘a good example of a Chilean top wine, with lovely freshness and great length’, while for Gymkhana’s Valentin Radosav it was a ‘rich and concentrated, fruit-driven style, with black pepper and cardamom spice notes and bay leaf herb’.

£13.52 Boutinot

Martin Meinert, Synchronicity 2013, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Silver medal winner

A ‘mid-weight, old-school feel’ here for Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson, who enjoyed its ‘mature, attractive nose, lovely complexity of mint, tobacco and blackcurrant, good grip and a fine, long finish’, with team leader Angela Reddin also praising it for its ‘elegance and great length’.

£16.12 Enotria&Coe

Ventisquero, Vertice, Apalta Vineyards, Carmenère/Syrah 2014, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

Team leader Laura Rhys MS approved of this wine’s ‘blackcurrant and black cherry yogurt nose, rich tannic structure on a bold, youthful palate with spice and meaty notes’, while Pierre Brunelli of L’Enclume picked up on ‘blueberry and violets, and a very fresh palate that’s leafy, velvety and mineral’.

£15.75 Davy's Wine Merchants, Soho Wine Supply

Spice Route, Chakalaka 2015, Swartland, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Gymkhana’s Valentin Radosav felt there was good value here, with ‘ripe black fruit, cured meat and black olive tapenade aromas, sweet spices and clove with a smoky, vanilla, well-balanced aftertaste’, and Matteo Furlan of The Ritz London found it ‘very spicy and peppery, with jammy red and black fruit and lots of cherry, fresh balance and a little dried herb’.

£11.95 Liberty Wines

Garzón, Reserve, Tannat 2016, Garzón, Uruguay

Silver medal winner

Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason had a message to convey: ‘Big, bold, ballsy, beefy, brash, black fruit, bold tannins, big, big, big wine! But,’ he added, ‘great with food, as the acidity is cleansing on the finish.’ It would ‘B’ a pleasure.

£13.63 Bibendum

The Drift Estate, Moveable Feast, Estate Red Blend 2015, Overberg Highlands, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Manuel Ribeiro of The Bybrook at The Manor House Hotel highlighted ‘cherry and plum aromas, with a juicy and fruity palate, good balance of tannin and oak, toasted and smoky chocolate notes through to the finish’, with Christoph Hons of Park Chinois noting ‘spices, slightly sharp and earthy, with meaty leather and coffee-cacao notes, some overripe Morellos and red fruit on a crisp palate’.

£20.86 Alliance Wine

Alpha Box & Dice, Enigma, Barbera 2015, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘A juicy wine with black cherries, blackberries and sweet spices,’ described Glasshouse’s Arletta Mala, while team leader Martin Lam summed this up as ‘a big, spicy mouthful of wine that is crying out for food, like a rich, gamey stew’.

£13.09 Boutinot

Caliterra, Edición Limitada A 2016, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘Liquorice on the nose’ was the first thing Kai Mayfair’s Elisa Soggia picked up, leading to an ‘aromatic, fruity wine, woody and tannic but very balanced in body’, while for team leader Angela Reddin there was ‘creamy sweet vanilla and underlying sweet forest berries, a rich and juicy palate with low-key tannins, and it’s ready to drink now’.

£10.18 Hatch Mansfield

SC Pannell, Tempranillo/Touriga 2016, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson enjoyed the ‘dark, brambly, powerful nose’ of this Tempranillo blend, finding it ‘richly fruited, with stewed plum and blackberry and lots of Asian spice, firm structure but excellent, and needs food’.

£14.08 Liberty Wines

Outer Limits By Montes, Old Roots, Cinsault 2017, Itata Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Simon Woods highlighted this wine’s ‘juicy, ripe, taut and spicy’ character, with a palate that was ‘intense and balanced with fresh berry and sandy notes and good vibrancy’.

£11.75 Liberty Wines

RedHeads, Nobs & Snobs 2016, Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

A ‘floral and aromatic’ style, said Portland Restaurant’s Carolina Seibel, with its ‘light violets, barnyardy hints, Szechuan pepper spice and dried fruits, concentrated on the palate with white pepper and smooth tannins’.

£7.96 Direct Wines Production

Valdivieso, Caballo Loco 16 NV, Maule Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW found this a ‘fleshy, plump wine, full of plum juice, but with a savoury layer as well, and a fine tannic grip’. ‘A nice bouquet on the nose, leading to smooth tannins on the palate, with dark cherries and spice,’ added Hakkasan Mayfair’s Jurijs Nemkovs.

£29.63 Bibendum

Via Wines, Oveja Negra, Reserva, Cabernet Franc/Carmenère 2017, Maule Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

‘An inviting nose with some blackberries and spices, as well as some good acidity,’ began Hakkasan Mayfair’s Jurijs Nemkovs, with team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW going on to describe ‘a polished, great value wine, with juicy redcurrants and a rasp of tannin, leading to a ripe finish’.

£7.77 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Via Wines, Oveja Negra, Reserva, Malbec/Petit Verdot 2017, Maule Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

Mikolaj Harmider of Adam’s Restaurant described notes of ‘blackberry and blackcurrant, as well as baking spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice’ on this ‘full-bodied wine’, while team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW found it to be ‘sumptuously aromatic, with red berries and light tannins, and good value too’.

£7.77 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Norton, Lote Negro, Malbec/Cabernet Franc 2015, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

Bleeding Heart Group’s Chris Delalonde MS found ‘berries, cooked fruit, spices and oak, jammy lingonberry on the nose, then a sweet tone on the palate but good structure and vibrant balance, brought by the Cabernet flavour, finishing long with delicate primary fruit’.

£17.24 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Garzón, Estate, Cabernet Franc/Tannat 2016, Garzón, Uruguay

Bronze medal winner

‘Deep, dark and inky with rich fruit on the nose,’ began team leader Laura Rhys MS, finding it ‘savoury on the palate with spice and herbaceous notes and good tannic structure’. ‘Great balance and depth, dark, brooding fruit and earthy chocolate notes,’ added Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason.

£11.33 Bibendum

Alpha Box & Dice, Dead Winemaker's Society, Dolcetto 2016, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

This was ‘medium to light in colour’, began team leader Angela Reddin, revealing ‘lovely summer berry fruit with a smoky, tannic backbone, elegance and presence, with lovely length’.

£13.09 Boutinot

Thelema, Mountain Red Blend 2014, Western Cape, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

‘A well-priced Aussie Bordeaux blend,’ began consultant Charles Pashby-Taylor, noting ‘good structure of dark fruit and gentle oak’, while for Gymkhana’s Valentin Radosav there was ‘black cherry, dark plum and slightly earthy, savoury hints on the nose, good integration of tannins and oak on a medium-bodied palate’.

£8.25 Enotria&Coe

Salentein, Numina, Gran Corte 2015, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

‘Rich and voluptuous, complex and jammy, with violet floral notes and cherry fruit notes,’ said team leader Andrea Briccarello, while Le Cordon Bleu London’s Matthieu Longuère MS found it ‘well made – peppery and spicy, with some vanilla notes, and quite chocolatey on the palate’.

£22.43 Matthew Clark

Atamisque, Serbal, Assemblage 2017, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

Pierre Brunelli of L’Enclume enjoyed the ‘fresh palate with fruit and savoury herbal notes’, and team leader Laura Rhys MS was equally keen on its ‘bright, juicy, fruit-driven style with soft plum, blackberries and cherry, elegant and velvety on the palate’.

£12.48 Matthew Clark

Some Young Punks, The Squid's Fist, Sangiovese/Shiraz 2016, Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

‘Elegant and fine,’ began Christoph Hons of Park Chinois, with ‘strawberry and cassis aromas, leather and cedar with notes of cappuccino and dairy’, while team leader Lionel Periner picked up ‘tomato leaves and red berries, floral notes and a well-balanced, medium-bodied palate’.

£13.54 Bibendum

Ojo de Vino, Puro, Corte 2017, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£10.09 Las Bodegas

Pérez Cruz, Chaski, Petit Verdot 2014, Maipo Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Matias Riccitelli, The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree, Bonarda 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

Chocalan, Vitrum, Blend 2014, Maipo Costa, Chile

Commended medal winner

£11.78 D&V Wines

RedHeads, Vin'atus 2016, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

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

Commended medal winner

£7.00 Fuller's

Calabria, Three Bridges, Durif 2015, Riverina, New South Wales, Australia

Commended medal winner

£8.50 Fuller's

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

Commended medal winner

£20.92 Matthew Clark

Man O'War, Ironclad 2012, Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£21.29 Enotria&Coe

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

Commended medal winner

£20.02 Bibendum

Via Wines, Oveja Negra, The Lost Barrel 2015, Maule Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Trefethen, Dragon's Tooth 2015, Napa Valley, California, USA

Commended medal winner

Vistalba, Corte C 2016, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£11.19 Matthew Clark

Vistalba, Corte A 2015, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£31.29 Matthew Clark

Vistalba, Corte B 2015, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£17.52 Matthew Clark

Garzón, Balasto 2015, Garzón, Uruguay

Commended medal winner

£45.00 Bibendum

Chalk Hill, Grenache/Tempranillo 2016, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£12.69 Matthew Clark

Caliterra, Dstnto 2017, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Morandé Adventure, Creole 2017, Itata Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Haras de Pirque, Reserva de Propiedad 2016, Maipo Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Asara, Vineyard Collection, Cape Fusion 2015, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Commended medal winner

Ojo de Vino, Puro, Malbec/Cabernet 2017, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£11.83 Matthew Clark

 

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