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Winner Details

New World: Cabernet/Shiraz Blends

2019 Gold 2      Silver 1      Bronze 0      Commended 3
2018 Gold 0      Silver 1      Bronze 0      Commended 1

In the early days of the Sommelier Wine Awards, this was one of the more interesting categories: a source of good, reliable bistro wines with occasional flashes of brilliance; of decent value and cheery bonhomie.

Over the past few years, however, it’s been a shadow of its former self. Last year, in fact, the numbers were so small that we just included them in the Australian Cabernet section.

This year, happily, was better. We got a broader spread of entries (Chile, Australia, South Africa) and even managed two Gold-Listed wines, which is the best we’ve had for several years. The value for money is pretty good, too. When done properly, these are very much wines with mass-market appeal at prices that can allow for a decent margin, too.


‘These used to be big fruit-bomb bruisers, but they’re generally more restrained in style these days, less jammy and more fragranced. It’s a welcome change.’ Dave Cushley, Prestonfield House

‘I don’t think it’s easy to produce fine wines with this blend, but these are definitely good as everyday wines.’ Sylwester Piasecki, Zuma

‘I think people expect these to be jammy, sweet and fruity, and there’s not a snobbery about it. You get good fruit, and they go well with a steak or a burger. They’re generally quite food-friendly wines – like a good tool in your toolbox.’ Jade Koch, team leader

‘They’re two varieties that don’t necessarily need oak to work, as Shiraz has lovely fruit and natural spice, while Cabernet has the tannins to structurally build the wine.’ Timothy Connor, Heddon Street Kitchen

Award winners

Found 6 wines

New World: Cabernet/Shiraz Blends

Sur Valles, Patagón, Grand Reserve, Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

There was clearly much to admire in this Gold Lister, and Timothy Connor of Heddon Street Kitchen summed it up, saying that with its ‘bright red fruit and spice and soft touch of oak’ it had ‘everything to love in New World spiced, varietals’. ‘There’s lots of juicy tannin and good fruit concentration,’ added Raphael Thierry of Street XO, noting ‘plum, berry, chocolate and mint’ and ‘some nice earthy notes towards a good long finish’. For Dave Cushley of Prestonfield House, the wine’s qualities were to be found in its ‘fragrant, perfumed, lifted nose’, describing it as ‘a very cool, calm, elegant wine’.

£9.50 Survalles

Berton Vineyard, High Eden, The Bonsai, Shiraz/Cabernet 2016, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

‘Concentrated and powerful with a long finish’ was Adam Michocki of The Glasshouse’s assessment of this Gold Lister, adding: ‘There’s a good, ripe fruit profile with cassis, blueberry, black cherry and plums, with some nice smoky and toasty notes.’ Team leader Laura Rhys MS praised the ‘juicy and rich, bright jammy fruit’ that had ‘meaty, spicy and leathery notes’, leading to ‘silky, polished tannins’. With its ‘elegant touches of cedar with black cherry’, Lucie Kalertova of Sexy Fish recommended pairing this wine with ‘steak or mushroom dishes’.

£20.91 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Viña Requingua, Toro de Piedra, Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Curicó Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘With generous black fruits and green pepper, what’s not to love about this rich, full and inky wine,’ said team leader Laura Rhys MS of this Silver medal winner. Impressed by its ‘bold juiciness’, she described it as ‘a lot of wine for under £10’.

£9.85 Survalles

Sur Valles, Santa Alba, Grand Reserve, Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£9.50 Survalles

Imbuko, Fat Barrel, Cabernet/Shiraz 2016, Western Cape, South Africa

Commended medal winner

Via Wines, Chilensis, Lazuli, Red Blend 2015, Maule Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner