Awards see New World wines hot on the heels of Old World

The China Post - - ARTS -

New World wine­mak­ers are fast catch­ing up with skilled Old World vint­ners to pro­duce some of the globe’s finest tip­ples, De­canter mag­a­zine’s prized an­nual awards showed Sun­day.

Re­leased in France’s wine cap­i­tal Bordeaux at the kick­off of the world’s big­gest wine fest, Vin­expo, De­canter’s 35 in­ter­na­tional tro­phies went to 18 wines from Europe, the re­main­ing 17 for star new­com­ers Australia, South Africa, Ar­gentina, Chile and New Zealand.

The win­ners were picked from al­most 16,000 bot­tles af­ter lengthy blind tast­ings in Lon­don by more than 200 masters of wine and mas­ter som­me­liers.

“It is not enough for a wine to be ex­cel­lent, it has to be the best of its kind,” tak­ing in the grape, soil, price and re­gion, said Steven Spurrier, chair­man of the De­canter World Wine Awards.

While France, the world’s lead­ing wine pro­ducer, took home the most tro­phies with eight, De­canter high­lighted the fact that a Span­ish wine by Miguel Tor­res won the award for high-end Red Bordeaux, with a blend of Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, Caber­net Franc and Mer­lot grapes.

The “victory in a Bordeaux cat­e­gory is a fur­ther ex­am­ple of Spain’s grow­ing rep­u­ta­tion for qual­ity,” De­canter said.

Spain won five tro­phies, fol­lowed in Europe by three for Italy and one each for Por­tu­gal and Slove­nia.

Slove­nia won its prize for a sweet wine sold at over 20 eu­ros, while an­other sur­prise was UK re­tailer Marks & Spencer who scored global best for a Chardon­nay un­der 20 eu­ros un­der its own la­bel.

More and more good wine was be­ing pro­duced in un­ex­pected places, said Spurrier at a news con­fer­ence, where a new red wine from Turkey was sin­gled out for praise along with Swiss wines made of lit­tle- known grapes.

A much-lauded Moroc­can wine was pro­duced from an older vine­yard, but showed that the coun­try’s wines “are now more el­e­gant,” Spurrier added.

In the new world, Australia and South Africa picked up five tro­phies, Ar­gentina three, Chile and New Zealand two.

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