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Winner Details

France: South & South-West – White

2019 GOLD: 3      SILVER: 6      BRONZE: 4      COMMENDED: 7
2018 GOLD: 6      SILVER: 5      BRONZE: 4      COMMENDED: 8

Going through our teams’ comments on these wines was like reading the start of A Tale of Two Cities. It was the best of flights, it was the worst of flights; it was exciting, it was boring; it was full of useful wines, it was wines that you probably can’t sell… Polarising barely covers it.

In terms of sheer numbers of medals, this was the category’s worst performance since 2015, which is disappointing. On the plus side, once the bad entries had been weeded out (and there were plenty of those) there was no shortage of decent wines (across all colours of medal) under £8, which is a real rarity this year.


‘If you’re not a French restaurant I don’t think these have potential to generate big volumes, but they are food friendly.’ Olivier Gasselin, Hakkasan

‘These were fantastic, and great value for money. There was a good array here, all the way from the cheapest, which seriously overdelivered. These are very useful for UK lists, and it would probably be a shock to some, getting that much flavour at those prices.’ Michael Harrison, CuVée VIII

‘This was a very exciting flight – one of the best flights of the day. They were all so different, but all had a sense of place. They would appeal to almost all palates, and texture-wise were very food friendly, too.’ Melania Bellesini, The Fat Duck

‘A bit flabby, a lot of bitterness, nothing memorable.’ Clément Loubeyre, The Cross Kenilworth

‘There were a couple of standouts for me here, and they would all be under £40 on the list. At the lower mid-range there were lots of good options.’ Jim Bass, Scarlet Hotel

‘They had acidity and freshness, but no length or depth.’ Michael Fiducia, The Royal Automobile Club Club

‘The flight was really poor on personality. Most I would have a glass, but I wouldn’t reorder.’ Lionel Periner, team leader 

Award winners

Found 20 wines

France: South & South-West, White

Grands Chais de France, Les Vignerons Vermentino Colombard 2017, France, France

Gold medal winner

‘Excellent,’ proclaimed team leader Nigel Lister on encountering this Gold winner, describing it as ‘floral and honeyed – off-dry with a lovely freshness’, while an impressed Melania Bellesini of The Fat Duck thought it ‘aromatic, fruity and mineral, with a long, fresh finish’. Bottles Group’s Chiara Sieni spoke highly of its ‘tropical nose and palate’, finding it ‘very rich, but balanced with acidity’, while CuVée VIII’s Michael Harrison added that it was ‘lovely and textural, with rich lemon notes’.

£5.95 Les Grands Chais de France

Direct Wines Production, La Voûte, Sélection Terroir 2017, Vin de France, France

Gold medal winner

As this was elevated to Gold, Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin described it as ‘oaky and juicy, in a modern style, with roasted almond notes’, while team leader Nigel Lister praised its ‘lovely, rich and tropical fruit, with vanilla oak and pineapple on the nose’. Paola Giraldo of Wiltons, meanwhile, found it ‘warm and ripe on the nose, with a touch of honey, leading to a full-bodied, rich and intense palate’, making it ‘great for glazed pork’.

£8.19 Direct Wines Production

Badet Clément, La Cour des Dames, Viognier, Pays d'Oc 2018, Languedoc, France

Gold medal winner

Adding a Gold to Badet Clément’s collection of medals this year, and amid praise for its value for money, this Viognier was ‘elegant and mineral, with juicy pear and apricot’, according to team leader Laurent Richet MS, while Giorgio Scarsella of The Stafford found it ‘quite grassy, with lemon, apricot and lychee notes too, and well-balanced minerality’. The Royal Automobile Club’s Michael Fiducia particularly enjoyed its ‘structured, mouthwatering palate, with subtle pear and rose water notes’.

£6.25 Molson Coors

LGI-Wines, Chemin de la Serre, Marsanne Viognier 2018, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

Jim Bass of Scarlet Hotel found ‘a very floral, herbaceous nose with great freshness’. ‘It’s a lovely clean wine with notes of angelica and sweet pastry; excellent length and great value, too,’ added team leader Angela Reddin.

£6.22 Davy's Wine Merchants

Mas Janeil, Le Traou de l'Ouille Blanc 2015, Roussillon, France

Silver medal winner

‘Buttered toast and lemon meringue pie with a powerful texture on the palate. There’s a lot of tropical fruit with mango, pineapple and banana, and it’s all well rounded and balanced. There is a bright, freshness, I could match it with turbot,’ said Stefano Barbarino of Chez Bruce Restaurant.

£15.61 Enotria&Coe

Plaimont, Les 3 Chevaliers Blanc 2016, Saint Mont, South West France, France

Silver medal winner

‘Lovely aromatic, floral wine,’ said Mondrian London’s Francesca Turra, adding: ‘The palate balances tropical fruit notes with a mineral acidity that helps with the elegance.’

£8.49 Bibendum

Domaines Auriol, Les Flamants, Picpoul de Pinet 2017, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

‘Bright and floral,’ said Olivier Gasselin of Hakkasan, ‘very ripe and generous with soft, fleshy peach and apricot notes and quite grapey, too. It’s quite a full palate and nicely textured with a tingle of acidity to finish.’

£9.55 LWC Drinks Ltd (Merchant and Shippers)

Gérard Bertrand, Château La Sauvageonne, Grand Vin Blanc 2017, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

‘This is a stunning and complex wine,’ said Annamaria Juhasz of The Fat Duck, adding: ‘The nose shows very floral apple blossom notes, with ripe nectarine, mango, pineapple and grapefruit. The palate is rich and complex with spicy new oak and a waxy, mouthcoating finish.’

£20.59 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Chateau d'Aydie, Odé d'Aydie 2016, South West France, France

Silver medal winner

‘Bright and clear, with a lemon and lime, sweet and sour note,’ thought The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones. ‘Nice, creamy texture and a lovely finish,’ added team leader Lionel Periner.

£11.55 Enotria&Coe

Domaine de la Baume, La Baume 2018, Languedoc Roussillon, France

Bronze medal winner

‘With its fresh grapefruit and passion fruit aromatics this feels very well made. It’s juicy, fresh and lively,’ said team leader Nigel Lister.

£8.30 Les Grands Chais de France

Château de Campuget, Le Campuget, Grenache Viognier 2018, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Bright and bouncy,’ mused team leader Nigel Lister, adding: ‘Nicely perfumed with yellow plum and pear; this is fairly rich and full bodied; it’s very good value.’

£6.86 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Château de Campuget, 1753, Viognier 2018, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Aromatic notes of apricot and peach with acacia and jasmine notes. Nicely balanced, elegant food wine,’ said Giuseppe Longobardi of The Cross Kenilworth, Simpsons & Edgbaston.

£10.91 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Domaine Grauzan, Sauvignon Blanc, Pays d'Oc 2018, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

‘This would be good by the glass,’ said team leader Nigel Lister, with its ‘intriguing nose of slate, minerals and gunpowder – quite a lot going on for the money. I like the peppery spiced pear palate.’

£6.90 Eurowines

Domaine de Morin Langaran, Picpoul de Pinet 2017, Languedoc - Roussillon, France

Commended medal winner

£8.58 Enotria&Coe

Château Coupe-Roses, Champ du Roy, Minervois 2016, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£9.20 Bibendum

Foncalieu, Le Versant, Viognier 2018, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£8.48 Bibendum

Cave les Costieres de Pomerols, Mas Puech Picpoul de Pinet 2017, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£8.41 Bibendum

Advini, Plo d'Isabelle, Picpoul de Pinet 2018, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

Domaine de Bila-Haut, Les Vignes de Bila-Haut, Blanc 2016, Roussillon, France

Commended medal winner

Caves de l'Ormarine, Picpoul de Pinet Les Prades 2017, Languedoc - Roussillon, France

Commended medal winner

£8.71 Enotria&Coe