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Winner Details


Well, this was interesting. The sun-drenched 2018 vintage had given the UK’s winemakers a LOT of ripe fruit to play with – and play with it they did. Given this was widely recorded as the ‘vintage of a generation’, we were expecting our judges to fall in love with what they were seeing here, but in fact the messages were, surprisingly, rather mixed.

Some of the reds still, perplexingly, suffered from underripeness, and, as for the whites, while three Golds (and seven medals) was a decent performance, it’s not markedly better than any other recent years in this competition, when the entries came from supposedly inferior vintages. Our tasters generally quite liked the (usually cheap) young, fresh, lifted styles, but they weren’t always sure about the more ambitious, expensive, oakier versions.

Still, any category that manages both a Critics’ Choice and a By The Glass Trophy must be doing something right… Weirdly, this part of SWA managed a very British paradox of being both exciting and average at the same time.

From The Tasting Teams

‘I was expecting the red wines to be slightly better than they were. It’s better for producers to go for lighter styles at the moment and get that fine-tuned.’ Carolina W Seibel, Comptoir Cafe and Wine

‘You can tell [in the reds] that they’re pushing the grape varieties to their limit. Some of the fruit is underripe, and there were some green tannins coming through. At the moment there’s too much vintage variation, so the question is whether the consumer will have confidence.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

‘They should stick with gin. It’s a climate suitable for crisp, light, aromatic wines, but they’re trying to make something with oak for richness and complexity. The result is just unbalanced.’ Erik Simonics, Annabel’s

‘They’re trying to make more than what the grapes can give them. They’re trying to drive a Rover with an Aston Martin engine. It doesn’t work.’ Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London

‘A very difficult tasting. You could see the cool climate of Great Britain. These wines were very acidic, light, delicate – and quite often unbalanced because of that. It’s a region that will benefit from rising temperatures.’ Andres Ituarte, team leader

‘I really enjoyed the reds. There was good value and style. One of the strong skills of these wines is their elegance. And the prices weren’t bad at all.’ Mattia Tabacco, Oeno

‘The whites had acidity but not complexity. In some, the oak gave complexity, but then there wasn’t any fruit.’ Alonso Abed, Trivet

‘I think there is a market for still English wines, but maybe they need to think about what they’re doing.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

Award winners

Found 15 wines


Danebury Vineyards, Danebury Reserve 2018, Hampshire, England

Gold medal winner By the glass

'An exuberant nose with a floral component, leading to a palate that's sharp with bright acidity.' Tanguy Martin, Blandford Comptoir. 'A dry wine with bright acidity, lemon, lime and green apple skin notes and a limestone finish.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'A good wine for the price point, with salinity and grassiness, with notes of lemon peel and candied orange.' Michael Driscoll, Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa.

£7.00 Wine Utopia, Wineservice

Simpsons Wine Estate, Derringstone, Pinot Meunier 2018, Kent, England

Gold medal winner

'With its floral notes of white blossom and green apple, this is a great aperitif wine with balanced acidity.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London. 'Very enjoyable, with pineapple and mango on the creamy nose. A lovely wine overall.' Michael Driscoll, Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa. 'Notes of honeysuckle and lemon juice leading to a mineral, leafy finish with some light spicy notes.' Tom Forrest, team leader.

£11.00 Roberson Wine, Simpsons Wine Estate

Litmus, White Pinot 2016, Surrey, England

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

'Brilliant, with vanilla and cream, Starburst strawberry and some salty, saline notes.' Harry Crowther, Grape Times UK. 'This has minerality and citrus fruits, and a fantastic palate with good acidity.' Michael Driscoll, Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa. 'A plush wine with some well-integrated toasty elements, and toffee, vanilla and pear notes. This can go with heavier dishes, and will develop over time.' Alonso Abed, Trivet.

£22.81 Bibendum

Lyme Bay, Bacchus Block 2018, Devon, England

Silver medal winner

'With some green fruits on the first approach, this is shining on the palate, with acidity that's high and very zingy.' Tanguy Martin, Blandford Comptoir. 'This opens with some aromatic, floral chamomile notes, along with some saline crushed-stone notes.' Laurent Richet MS, team leader.

£10.26 Lyme Bay Winery

Three Choirs, Willow Brook 2018, Gloucestershire, England

Silver medal winner

'Quite aromatic on the nose, yet refreshing and mineral on the palate, with an exotic note to the finish.' Laurent Richet MS, team leader. 'Very aromatic, with tropical and stone fruit notes as well as pear drops, and a palate that's fruity but light.' Michael Driscoll, Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa.

£6.13 Three Choirs Vineyards Ltd

Albourne Estate, Bacchus 2018, West Sussex, England

Bronze medal winner

'Fresh-tasting, with white blossom scents, crisp apple and lime flavours, and just a twist of delicate spice on the finish.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London. 'Grassy, with green apples and wet-stone minerality, and a fresh lemon finish with a hint of sherbet.' Tom Forrest, team leader.

£10.66 Sheridan Coopers / The Winehouse, Hennings Wine

Bolney Wine Estate, Lychgate Bacchus 2018, West Sussex, England

Bronze medal winner

'Youthful, fresh and fruity, with notes of lemon juice - this is easy-drinking, and should be served super-cold.' Erik Simonics, Annabel’s. 'With notes of green apple and citrus, everything's in good balance here. This would be good on a restaurant wine list.' Gianluca Provenzani, Belmond Cadogan Hotel.

£15.70 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Three Choirs, Ravens Hill 2018, Gloucestershire, England

Bronze medal winner

'Some upfront juicy cherry here, with a herbaceous note, and some moderate concentration, with green tea tannins and a dry finish.' Claire Love, Loves Consultancy. 'This has lively and bright acidity, with a peppery note on top, along with some blackberry fruit.' Jurijs Nemkovs, StreetXO.

£7.90 Jascots Wine Merchants, Three Choirs Vineyards Ltd

Biddenden Vineyards, Gribble Bridge White 2018, Kent, England

Commended medal winner

Lyme Bay, Chardonnay 2017, Devon, England

Commended medal winner

£12.32 Lyme Bay Winery

Camel Valley, Bacchus Dry 2018, Cornwall, England

Commended medal winner

Albourne Estate, Estate Selection 2018, West Sussex, England

Commended medal winner

The Bolney Estate, Pinot Gris 2018, West Sussex, England

Commended medal winner

The Bolney Estate, Pinot Noir 2018, West Sussex, England

Commended medal winner

Litmus, Element 20 2014, Surrey, England

Commended medal winner

£17.65 Bibendum