The International Wine & Spirits Competition released its 2013 results for South Africa, Argentina and Chile in time for The Beautiful South tasting in London last week.
While South Africa shone with 39 gold and gold outstanding medals, some “testing, uneven vintages” were used to explain the absence of any gold medals for either Chile or Argentina.
South Africa submitted a record number of entries this year, boosted by the decision to hold the preliminary judging once again in Paarl.
Among the country’s gold outstanding medal highlights was the Groot Constantia Grand Constance 2010, a wine recommended by the late 18th century writer Jane Austen as a cure for heartbreak. There was also a clutch of silver medals from UK supermarkets’ own label South African wines.
Despite the frost and hail which affected much of Argentina’s 2012 vintage, the judges reported a “very high consistent standard”, with 41% of entries winning silver medals.
Mendoza Malbec shone in particular, accounting for over half of Argentine wines rated “outstanding”, although the country’s white wines also performed well with 31 medals.
Meanwhile Chile’s medal haul was led by Carmenere, although Concha y Toro showed off the country’s characteristic diversity by winning 33 medals for wines made from Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Syrah.
The IWSC also used the tasting to reveal a growing number of medal winning wines from Brazil’s sparkling wine producers and Mexico, which took home seven awards.
Commenting on the results, Anna Grant, IWSC head of sales & marketing said: “The entries for the IWSC have once again exceeded expectations and the results demonstrate the extraordinary quality and consistency being delivered by the industry.
“Our focus is to equip all the winners with marketing help to ensure they receive the recognition they deserve.”
The full results from this year’s competition will be announced at the IWSC Award Banquet, which will be held at the Guildhall in London on Wednesday 13 November. To keep up to date with medal winners, visit www.iwsc.net.