Australia wins Gold at the International Wine Challenge

Posted by Josette Dunn on 19th May 2010

The world’s most prestigious and influential independent wine competition – the International Wine Challenge (IWC) – today unveiled the results of its 27th annual blind tasting at the London International Wine Fair (LIWF).

It may be winter down under but Australia is basking in Gold medal success scooping 65 – a 33% Gold medal increase from 2009 and ranking second on the nation scoreboard. Australia gained a total of 602 medals overall, with 238 Silver and 299 Bronze.

Red wine and bottle - Foster’s wine review

Australian and international wine-making legend Peter Lehmann lived up to his title of Lifetime Achievement Award winner by winning two Gold, two Silver and five Bronze medals in this year’s competition.

With a record number of 46 countries entering the competition in 2010, the IWC posted a 15% increase in the number of wines judged. The quality of the entries was higher than ever. Of the 7,726 medals awarded there were 326 Golds (up 14%) 1,445 Silvers (up 14 %) and 2,255 Bronzes (up 9%).

Other nation results included France retaining its number one nation status with 75 Golds and an impressive 947 medals in total. The top three Gold medal-winning countries were the same as in 2009, with Australia second (65) and Portugal third (35). The overall medal count also mirrored the previous year’s results with Australia achieving 602 and Italy 394.

English wines impressed the judges again, taking two Gold medals. Camel Valley winery won for the second year running, this time for its 2008 Pinot Noir Rosé Brut while Nyetimber triumphed with its 2001 Blanc de Blancs.

The Japanese Sake category showed continued growth and success in this year’s Challenge with a 13% increase in entries and 128 medals.

Chris Ashton, IWC Event Director, says: “Wines carrying the IWC logo and medal recognition enjoy significant commercial advantages. IWC award-winners feature in the global media coverage generated by the competition, which enhances the wine’s credibility among consumers internationally and drives up sales.

“The competition’s unique judging format and the quality and experience of its judges undoubtedly makes the IWC the most credible competition of its kind. This is reflected in the competition’s continued expansion and growing interest from other countries and markets.”

The winning wines were each tasted by panels drawn from almost 400 experienced judges including many Masters of Wine. The Co-Chairmen – Tim Atkin MW, Sam Harrop MW, Charles Metcalfe and Derek Smedley MW were joined by global wine expert and TV personality Oz Clarke, making it a formidable judging team. This year’s International Guest Co-Chairman was Victor de la Serna, Deputy Editor of Spanish national newspaper El Mundo and that country’s leading wine commentator.

The 2010 medal winners will also be featured on the second version of the IWC’s iPhone App, released shortly. This recently launched App is the first of its kind to provide consumers with access to information on competition winners at the touch of a screen. Wine enthusiasts can download a free trial version of the IWC Wine App focusing on the IWC’s 2009 Australian winners, while the full App is available for £4.99.

The IWC’s trophy winners, selected from the 326 Gold medal-winning wines, will be announced in June.