Bacchus wins big at English wine awards

Loire and New Zealand were told to watch out as the aromatic English white grape Bacchus took home five of the main trophies in the English and Welsh Wine awards.

Wines made from the grape, which are often similar in style to cool-climate Sauvignons, also gained five of the 14 gold medals awarded in the competition, proving the quality potential in English still wine, despite the greater attention English sparkling is currently receiving.

News of the variety’s success came with today’s release of the results from the annual English & Welsh Wine of the Year Competition.

From the 263 entries, 14 gold, 88 silver and 113 bronze medals were awarded to producers, many of which were new to the competition.

The average number of entries has grown over the years, with this year numbering the second highest after the bumper line up of last year.

Commenting on the competition, chairman of judges Susan McCraith MW said: “On the still wine front, once again Bacchus confirms itself as a signature grape variety for English and Welsh wines, capable of showing real concentration and finesse.

“Look out Loire and New Zealand, English Bacchus is on its way,” she said.

Meanwhile, in sparkling, the competition highlighted the diversity and expansion in the sector, and this year, a wider number of different and first time entries gained medals, including newcomer in this category Furleigh Estate Classic Cuvée 2009 which scooped The Vintners’ Trophy for “Most outstanding sparkling wine”.

“The results this year endorse the world class quality of our sparkling wines, and sparkling rosé, where the trend seems to be for very pale colours, is catching up with white sparkling and is right on trend for the UK market,” said McCraith.

Awards included:

Still wines

The Wine Guild Trophy and The Tom Day Trophy (Most outstanding single varietal wine)
Chapel Down Bacchus Reserve 2010

The English Wine Producers Dudley Quirk Memorial Trophy (Best Large Production)
Camel Valley Bacchus 2011

Berwick Trophy (Best unchaptalised wine)
New Hall Bacchus 2011

The McNie Trophy (Most outstanding oaked white wine)
Furleigh Estate Bacchus Fumé 2010

Sparkling wines

The Vintners’ Trophy for Most outstanding sparkling wine
Furleigh Estate Classic Cuvée 2009

Most Outstanding Sparkling Rosé Wine
Camel Valley Pinot Noir Rosé Brut 2010

Further awards:

A still rosé from Sharpham Vineyard in Devon – ‘Whole Berry’ Rosé 2011 – scooped two awards: The Waitrose Rosé Trophy (most outstanding still rosé) and The Jack Ward Memorial Salver (most outstanding large production from 2011)

In the red category Pinot Noir dominated the field, and the trophy for reds was awarded to Biddenden Vineyards Pinot Noir 2011.

The Most Outstanding Sweet Wine trophy (The Stefanowicz Trophy) and also the President’s Trophy for Best Small Production were awarded to Denbies Estate Noble Harvest 2011.

A trophy for packaging and design, the Montagu Trophy for best presented wine, was awarded to Knightor Trevannion 2011 from Cornwall.

The overall top awards in this year’s annual competition, McAlpine Winemaker of The Year Trophy and Gore-Browne Trophy (The Wine of the Year) will not be announced until the industry’s awards lunch, taking place on Friday 13th July in London.

The competition, organised by the United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA), took place over two days (Monday and Tuesday 18th and 19th June), hosted in Sussex by the South East Vineyards Association and judged by an experienced panel of six.

Only Masters of Wine judge in this competition and the judges this year were Susan McCraith MW (Chairman), Patricia Stefanowicz MW, Maggie McNie MW, David Bird MW, Anthony Foster MW and Sally Easton MW.

2 Responses to “Bacchus wins big at English wine awards”

  1. This array of awards for Bacchus makes me want to know more about how this wine tastes – no mention in the article. I’m not in England to try any. Thanks

  2. Patrick Schmitt says:

    Dear Nicola, as noted at the outset, the Bacchus grape when grown in England produces wines with similar characters to cool-climate Sauvignons – indeed both grapes tend to produce wines with high thiol concentrations.

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