20th May, 2013 by Gabriel Stone
The US laid down a firm challenge to traditional French supremacy as the International Wine & Spirit Competition unveiled its 2013 northern hemisphere wine results.
Revealed at this week’s London International Wine Fair, the results showed that 15.2% of all US wine entries were awarded a Gold or Gold Outstanding medal, compared to 3.8% of French entries.
Overall however, France retained its place at the top of the league table by winning 833 medals to the US’s 164.
Particularly notable within this strong US performance were wines from the Sonoma vineyards belonging to film director Francis Ford Coppola, who took home no fewer than 26 medals overall, including two out of the country’s 10 Gold Outstanding medals.
Outside California, the US enjoyed gold medal success with a Michigan Gewürztraminer and an Oregon Riesling.
This is the third year that the Competition has held an initial judging round in the US, incorporating a number of US judges, although all wines in contention for the top awards continue to undergo further tasting and the IWSC’s rigorous chemical analysis back in the UK.
Among the other northern hemisphere countries, Italy won 643 medals, followed by Spain with 566 and Portugal with 312.
There was also notable success for the UK’s supermarket own label wines, with Waitrose winning Gold Outstanding medals for its Barolo and blanc de blancs NV Champagne, while Sainsbury’s won Gold medals for its Taste the Difference 12 Year Old Pedro Ximenez Sherry and its 2012 Pouilly Fumé. Meanwhile Tesco scooped a Gold for its Finest Barolo 2009, as did Marks & Spencer for its Oudinot brut NV Champagne.
Among the less high profile wine producing nations, Japan took home 48 medals, while a Saperavi from Georgia won a Silver Outstanding medal and a Chinese Cabernet Sauvignon took home a bronze.
For further information on these northern hemisphere results, as well as a series of masterclasses featuring previous medal winners, visit the IWSC on stand Q10 at the London International Wine Fair or the Competition’s website: www.iwsc.net