A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
Eighten trophies were awarded to wines that the panel of Asian and Chilean judges considered to the best in their category after a three-day blind tasting of more than 00 wines that took place in Santiago.
The top award went to Viña Errazuriz. The winery won the Best in the Show trophy for its icon wine Don Maximiamo Founder’s Reserve 2010: a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Carmenere and Cabernet Franc.
Owner Eduardo Chadwick commented: “It’s really a great honour - we are trying to show finesse and quality from Chile and our winemaker and the team are key in doing that. I am really pleased that their efforts have been recognised in this way.”
The same wine also won one of the most coveted new trophies to be added this year - Best Super Premium Red Wine.
The Best Super Premium White Wine was awarded to the Casa Marín Cipreses Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011.
Two wines were awarded the Best Value Trophies: Oveja Negra Cabernet Franc- Carmenere 2011 for Best Value Red, and Santa Carolina Reserva Moscato 2012 for Best Value White.
A further 15 trophies were awarded to the best wines in each category. Colchagua Valley-based winery Cono Sur struck gold three times as it took away the Best Pinot Noir medal for its 20 Barrels 2010 and the winery also won two trophies for the Best Syrah as both its 20 Barrels Syrah 2010 and Single Vineyard Syrah 2011 produced a tie in the blind tasting.
This year saw a record number of entries at 615 wines and also the highest number of medals in the awards’ 10-year history: 10% receiving gold medals, 28% receiving silver and 41% receiving bronze, resulting in 79% of entrants receiving a medal.
Wines of Chile says the Asia region is one of Chile’s most important and growing consumer wine markets and so for this landmark tenth year of the awards, a specialist panel of wine experts from Japan, China, Korea and Chile was selected to blind taste the wines that entered the competition.
The Judges were: Fongyee Walker (China), Tersina Shieh (Hong Kong, - Yumi Tanabe – Japan - Walker Kei – Hong Kong - Marcelo Pino – China), Young-Jin Yoo (South Korea), Masaharu Oka (Japan), Hector Vergara and Patricio Tapia (both Chile).
The trophy winners in Annual Wines of Chile Awards 2013 are:
· Best Red Blend – Sideral 2009, Viña Altaïr
· Best Cabernet Sauvignon – Arboleda 2010, Viña Arboleda
· Best Carmenere – Marchigue Private Collection 2011, Viñedos
· Best Chardonnay – Aconcagua Costa 2011, Viña Errazuriz
· Best Late Harvest – Erasmo 2008, Viña la Reserva de Caliboro
· Best Pinot Noir – 20 Barrels 2010, Viña Cono Sur
· Best Sauvignon Blanc – Outer Limits 2011, Viña Montes.
· Best Syrah – joint winners - Single Vineyard 2011, Viña Cono Sur and 20 Barrels 2010, Viña Cono Sur
· Best ‘Other’ Red – Vigno Garcia Schwaderer 2009, Garcia & Schwaderer
· Best ‘Other’ White – Santa Carolina Reserva Moscato 2012, Viña Santa Carolina
· Best Rosé - Litoral Rosé of Pinot Noir 2012, Viña Ventolera
· Best Sparkling - Santa Digna Estelado 2012, Miguel Torres Chile
· Best Premium Red - Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve 2010, Viña
· Best Premium White - Cipreses Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Viña Casa Marín
· Best Value Red - Oveja Negra Cabernet Franc–Carmenere 2011, VIA Wines
· Best Value White - Santa Carolina Reserva Moscato 2012, Santa Carolina
· Best in the Show - Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve 2010, Viña