France took 19 of the 114 trophies given to IWC gold medal winners as extra recognitiion of their quality. France beat last year’s top trophy winner, Australia, by one.
Portugal picked up 12 trophies in third place, and the steady rise of English wine was also recognised with Hush Heath’s Balfour Brut rosé 2004 winning the only trophy for England.
Pouilly-Fuissé Vieilles Vignes 2006 was one of the most-awarded wines with four trophies. A Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra and a Pinot Noir from Central Otago also walked away with four trophies a piece.
Argentina recorded its best record to date with six trophies, beating Chile’s five, amongst them the international trophies for Cabernet Franc and Tannat.
This year, 376 judges tasted wines from 38 countries in the world’s largest blind tasting, with 267 given gold medals after three blind tastings.
The gold medal winners were then put through a further test by IWC co-chairmen Tim Atkin MW, Sam Harrop MW, Charles Metcalfe and Derek Smedley MW who decided which wines should receive the top accolade.
Metcalfe said: “The judges responded to an even wider range of entries than ever before, not only with 35 regional trophies, 26 national trophies and 18 international trophies, but also by awarding trophies to all the grapes you can think of, and then some - examples being Aglianico, Fiano and Tannat.”
The complete list of trophy winners can be found at www.internationalwinechallenge.com from 11am on June 20.