Sherry and Croatia were two of the success stories of the Decanter World Wine Awards this year.
Croatia took an amazing eight gold medals, and of the 35 entries for Sherry, every wine won a medal, with Sherry taking the International Trophy for Dry Fortifed Over £10.
With 27 medals in all – eight Gold, five Silver, 11 Bronze and three commended – the quality of wines from Croatia delighted the judges.
Angela Muir MW, the regional chair for Central and Eastern Europe, said, ‘Croatia really was the discovery of this year: some great white wines, both dry and dessert, with bags of character and a whole bouquet of varieties and styles.’
She was entranced by the sweet wines: ‘the truly beautiful moment of the three days was a whole flight of Gold-medal-winning dessert wines: eight wines from five different grapes.’
The deluge of Gold medals for the sweet wines has ‘re-confirmed their mastery’ in that area, Slovenian journalist Robert Gorjak told decanter.com, ‘and we can see the level of dry white wines is increasing too.’
Sherry took a raft of medals, including the International Trophy for Bodegas Fernando de Castilla Antique Amontillado, a Regional Trophy for the Emilio Lustau Añada 1990 Oloroso, and a Gold for Emilio Lustau Almacenista Pasada de Sanlucar Manzanilla.
Sarah Jane Evans MW, Sherry regional chair, notes that one of the most pleasing aspects of the Awards this year was the success of Amontillado.
After decades of being ‘the preserve of elderly ladies,’ she writes in Decanter magazine, ‘now at last it’s creeping back into fashion.’
Evans added that the versatility of Sherry was the key to its success at the Awards. ‘It’s a unique style, very food-friendly, a wine that is elegant without being weighty, dry and fresh but with a delicate roundness.
‘The judges selected styles that are seriously food friendly. Not just a light Fino, or raisiny Pedro Ximenez, but Amontillados to charm casseroles and cheese, for instance. Our intention is that the medals will give consumers the confidence to take the Sherry from the Siberia of the sideboard to centre stage on the dining table.’
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Written by Adam Lechmere