Statistics galore in new 400-page Decanter World Wine Awards issue

  • Wednesday 5 September 2012

The most successful grape at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2012 was Chenin Blanc – and the most successful region was the UK, calculating the percentage of entries winning a medal.

Oct12 cover

Ninety-one percent of Chenin Blanc wines entered, and 89% of English and Welsh wines, won a medal in the competition, which attracted 14,120 wines this year.

This is just one of the nuggets of information about the Awards to be revealed in the 400-pageDecanter World Wine Awards issue of Decanter magazine, out now.

With the full results of the 14,120 wines to be judged this year, the Awards issue contains detailed profiles of the 28 International Trophy winners, and the 118 Regional Trophy winners.

While France triumphed with six International Trophies, closely followed by Chile with five, China is again on the winner’s podium with the Red Bordeaux Varietal Under £10 Trophy for Chateau Reifeng-Auzias Cabernet 2010.

The Cabernet Franc-dominated blend, described as ‘wonderfully ripe and elegant’ by the five-strong panel that judges the top 0.2% of wines that win an International Trophy, comes from a small Chinese-French partnership in Shandong province in northeastern China.

This Under £10 win follows the Over £10 trophy won by He Lan Qing Xue’s Jia Bei Lan 2009 Cabernet blend last year.

Overall, the Decanter World Wine Awards remains remarkable for its consistency, as chairman Steven Spurrier points out in his introduction.

Since the Awards’ debut in 2004 there has been little, or no, variance in the percentage of wines winning medals.

In 2004 there were 4,500 entries, a number that has increased by an average 20% every year. In the first four years of the Awards the average medal-winning tally was 61% of total entries; this year, 69% of wines won an award.

Over the last three years the percentage of Gold medal winners has varied by fractions of a percent: 1.8% this year, 1.9% in 2011 and 2% in 2012, while the percentage of Silver medal winners has remained at 12% for three years.

The most-entered grape is – unsurprisingly – Chardonnay, with 1,338 wines. That is followed by Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.

France and Australia dominate the Chardonnay winners, while New Zealand heads the list of the most successful mainstream regions with 92% of entries winning a medal.

When it comes to Pinot Noir, the top five countries, by International and Regional trophies won, are Chile, New Zealand, South Africa, USA and Burgundy.

The top Pinot Noir, winning the Over £10 International Trophy, is the Undurraga TH Pinot Noir 2010 from Leyda, which judges labelled ‘superb’ and lauded for its ‘loads of crushed red fruit… and well-defined, slightly earthy palate.’

In another intriguing statistic, Decanter reveals that 71% of entries to the DWWA are from family-owned wineries.

‘I am astonished and awed by how the wine world is still, at the top end, a family affair,’ Awards founder and Decanter publishing director Sarah Kemp said.

The October issue of Decanter Magazine - the Decanter World Wine Awards 2012 - is on sale now

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