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Winner Details

FRANCE: Alsace

2019 GOLD: 1      SILVER: 1      BRONZE: 0      COMMENDED: 3
2018 GOLD: 3      SILVER: 2      BRONZE: 0      COMMENDED: 5 

You have to hand it to the Alsace producers. Just when you thought this category couldn’t get any more depressing, it somehow manages to find a new low. It’s like watching Theresa May’s attempts to orchestrate Brexit.

There are nowhere near enough wines entered from east of the Vosges, and not enough of those that are sent in are any good. Are these wines restaurant-friendly? Hell yeah. Should they be pinning their hopes on the on-trade in the UK? Absatively. So why the paucity of entries? Lord only knows.

Interestingly, given that the Alsatians themselves spend so much time talking about how good their Rieslings are, this was the second year on the trot that their star grape has been outpointed by its tartier rose-and-lychee-scented sister.

If the French flute-bottle kings want to show off what their region is capable of, they’ll need to do better than this.


‘Gewürztraminers have great application. We have such diversity of cuisines here in the UK, and the cliché of Gewürz with spicy food – it really does work. These wines were grand cru prices, but only the Gewürz was grand cru quality.’ Martin Lam, team leader

‘The Rieslings were all dry, but they weren’t as complex for the prices as you’d want.’ Carolina W Seibel, Moio Restaurant

‘Now they’re more focused on making bone-dry styles it makes them easier to match with foods.’ Shane McHugh, Adam Handling

Award winners

Found 5 wines

France: Alsace

Domaine Barmès-Buecher, Gewürztraminer, Grand Cru Steingrubler 2015, Alsace, France

Gold medal winner

‘Very pretty,’ began impressed team leader Andres Ituarte on encountering this Gold-worthy Alsatian Gewürz, going on to describe ‘rose water with a touch of saline, and lots of lychee and mandarin, not to mention lots of zippy acidity’, while Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club appreciated its ‘gentle peach aromas and tropical notes – an elegantly balanced, refreshing wine’. ‘This is very gastronomic,’ concluded team leader Martin Lam.

£19.50 Wine Source UK

Emile Beyer, Eguisheim, Gewürztraminer 2015, Alsace, France

Silver medal winner

‘Classic nose of rose and lychees with a pleasing hint of honey,’ said team leader Martin Lam. ‘The palate is quite sweet but not vendange tardive; this is spicy, characterful and well done.’

£16.62 Matthew Clark

Jean Becker, Grand Cru Froehn Riesling 2015, Alsace , France

Commended medal winner

Domaine Rémy Gresser, Brandhof Pinot Gris 2016, Alsace, France

Commended medal winner

£15.54 Top Selection

Emile Beyer, Riesling Tradition 2017, Alsace, France

Commended medal winner

£11.66 Matthew Clark