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Winner Details

New World Sparkling Wine

2019  GOLD: 6     SILVER: 2              BRONZE: 0           COMMENDED: 3
2018  GOLD: 2     SILVER: 3              BRONZE: 3           COMMENDED: 6

With sparkling wine so much in the ascendance but prices generally high, we said last year that this category was ‘an opportunity waiting to be seized’. And this year, for the first time, the New World’s fizz producers did just that.

We’ve never had more than a couple of Golds here, so this year’s six signalled a real step up. Moreover, they came from all over the New World and in a fascinating – and sometimes head-spinning – array of styles.

Usually this section is dominated by South Africa and New Zealand, but this year we saw great examples from Canada to Colchagua and Argentina to Australia, as well. In fact, New Zealand was conspicuous by its absence.

What really made this flight stand out was the value for money – particularly exceptional in a year where prices were generally high. All our Golds were under £21, with many of them around half that price. Whether well-priced Cap Classiques, an ice wine sparkling, the sublime Lehmann ‘Black Queen’ red fizz (for the second year) or the Schroeder frizzante, there was a lot to get excited by here.


&‘There was quite a range here in terms of price and style, from very simple ones with fresh acidity and citrus notes, right up to oaky ones with yeasty notes. It’s always interesting to see how New World wineries produce their sparkling wines compared to the Old World, and champagne in particular.’ Markus Dilger, Dilger Sommelier Selection

‘The entry level was good value for money, but at a certain price point, above £15, you reach a breaking point, where you need to be as good as champagne. Above champagne’s price point you need a sommelier to push it, or use it as a pairing.’ Julien Sahut, Sexy Fish

‘Sometimes the less expensive wines with honest and open winemaking, that aren’t trying too hard, can be the way to go.’ Nigel Lister, team leader

‘The [Peller Ice Wine] had great concentration, a touch of residual sugar, and zingy acidity. At £80 you could put it on the list and showcase it, as it’s so unique – even if you lost out a bit on GP.’ Mattia Mazzi, The River Cafe

‘In the last few years these have mellowed, and become more approachable, with fewer of those herbal, vegetal notes. It puts them in a good position. I don’t think it’ll surpass champagne, but it could become on a par with it.’ Gabriele Bertotti, Maze by Gordon Ramsay

Award winners

Found 11 wines

Sparkling: New World countries

Luis Felipe Edwards, Vado de Nilahue, Brut NV, Colchagua Costa, Chile

Gold medal winner

A well-deserved Gold medal for a wine praised by Julien Sahut of Sexy Fish for its ‘floral, fruity nose, leading to quite a delicate mousse, with well-balanced fruity acidity, and notes of pear, citrus and a hint of yeast’. An impressed Mattia Mazzi of The River Cafe described it as ‘an elegant aperitif, with savoury notes on the nose, and some tension on the palate, with gentle, chalky grip’.

£10.90 LFE Wine Group

Clos Cabriere, Pierre Jourdan, Brut 2017, Western Cape, South Africa

Gold medal winner Pub & Bar

This great-value Gold medal-winning South African fizz stood out for our judges, with ‘baked spicy apple, pear and cinnamon on the soft nose, leading to some balanced acidity’, according to team leader Nigel Lister. Markus Dilger of Dilger Sommelier Selection added praise for its ‘fresh aroma of citrus and pineapple, with a spiciness too’, while Maze by Gordon Ramsay’s Gabriele Bertotti appreciated its ‘good texture, with some herbal notes, and a long finish’.

£8.87 Hard To Find Wines

Peter Lehmann, Black Queen, Sparkling Shiraz 2013, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

‘A gorgeous wine!’ was Jim Bass of Scarlet Hotel’s first reaction on encountering this impressive Gold winner. He went on to speak highly of its ‘balsamic sweetness with singing black cherry fruit – a richer, interesting style with incredible spicy, peppery fruit’. ‘An interesting style that would need some food,’ echoed Manor House Hotel’s Anita Vighova, describing ‘an intense nose with rosemary and basil, with a eucalyptus and tar element that follows on to the palate, and with some plum notes, too’.

£18.04 Liberty Wines

Graham Beck, Brut NV, Robertson, South Africa

Gold medal winner

As this sparkling wine took its rightful place on the Gold List, Sexy Fish’s Julien Sahut spoke highly of its ‘pear, apple and citrus aromas, leading to a fresh and mineral palate with good acidity, some apricot notes and a hint of vanilla’. Meanwhile, team leader Hamish Anderson added praise for its ‘open and appealing style, with a soft, creamy and elegant palate, following some pretty floral and gentle spice aromas’.

£13.07 Bibendum

Familia Schroeder, Deseado 2018, Patagonia, Argentina

Gold medal winner

‘Refreshing, with a floral bouquet, pear drop and some honey, leading to a creamy, vanilla palate,’ began an impressed Chiara Sieni of Bottles Group as this Patagonian sparkling wine took Gold, while Janusz Sasiadek of Bottles & Battles complimented its ‘fine and delicate aromas of grapes, peaches and white flowers’. Suave Wine’s Joseph Lunn commented on its ‘lemon and lime notes, along with some nicely balanced sweetness’, describing it as ‘one for light meringue dishes’.

£10.95 Ellis of Richmond

Peller, Ice Cuvée, Sparkling NV, Ontario, Canada

Gold medal winner

‘Fantastic, with great acidity and citrus fruit notes, as well as hints of elderflower, and a buttery note too,’ according to Cliveden House’s Francisco Macedo, was just some of the high praise that won this wine a place on the Gold List. ‘Floral and perfumed on the nose, leading to some residual sugar intensity, but it finishes dry and savoury, making this a great option for Asian food,’ concluded team leader Hamish Anderson.

£20.64 Enotria&Coe

Emiliana, Organic Sparkling NV, Casablanca Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

Team leader Hamish Anderson appreciated this wine’s ‘attractive, warm nose of toast and butter’, going on to describe a palate that ‘kicks in with lemon zest and brioche, and finishes fresh. Lovely for the price.’

£10.90 Boutinot

Graham Beck, Blanc de Blancs 2014, Robertson, South Africa

Silver medal winner

‘Broad and rich, but poised’ was team leader Hamish Anderson’s summary, describing ‘an interesting nose of hazelnuts, cream and fig, leading to a delicious and beautifully textured palate that’s savoury, with warm bread, and some lemon curd, too’.

£15.38 Bibendum

Akarua, Brut NV, Central Otago, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£17.84 Liberty Wines

Valdivieso, Brut NV, Curicó Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£9.66 Bibendum

Ken Forrester, Sparklehorse 2015, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£15.32 Enotria&Coe