Last week almost 300 international wine experts evaluated close to 18,500 wines at the 19th edition of the Decanter World Wine Awards, but the judging doesn’t stop there.
As part of the rigorous DWWA judging process, wines are re-tasted up to five times before receiving their medal, and this week a selection of Regional Chairs and the four Co-Chairs are re-tasting all Gold medal winners to promote the best wines to Platinum.
Later this week all Platinum medal winners will again be re-tasted by the Co-Chairs who will determine the top 50 wines of the competition – the Best in Show.
Describing the importance of winning a Platinum medal, Co-Chair Michael Hill Smith MW commented, ‘Winning a Platinum medal at Decanter is quite important because it’s not just a Gold medal-winning wine, which is hard enough to win. It’s one of the very best of the Golds in the competition, so I think if you win Platinum it shows that that wine is of exceptional quality.’
Hill Smith added, ‘DWWA is one of the very few competitions where all of the Gold medals are re-tasted, and its that rigour of re-tasting that allows you to make sure that everything that’s got a Gold is fully deserving of that Gold.
‘We don’t want there to be any soft Golds, so the second week of rigorous re-tasting really tightens up the results.’
Alongside the Co-Chairs, the Platinum judging panel is made up of 10 Regional Chairs including:
- Caroline Gilby MW
- Andy Howard MW
- Peter Richards MW
- Justin Howard-Sneyd MW
- Stephen Brook
- Sarah Ahmed
- Matt Walls
- Anthony Rose
- Beth Willard
- Simon Field MW
Commenting on the competition’s top accolade, Best in Show, Co-Chair Andrew Jefford explained, ‘By the time a wine comes to be considered for Best in Show it’s already come through its panel as a Gold, it’s come through the second judging week where we find our Platinums. It’s already Gold to Platinum so it’s a super wine.
‘After that we’re looking for a selection of wines that we really believe are outstanding examples of their style, as well as a well-balanced selection – something from pretty much everywhere, something in pretty much every style, something also for pretty much every budget. And we want to put a lovely selection of those together so that we can offer that to consumers as us saying, this is really the best of the best in our show.’
Newly appointed Co-Chair Ronan Sayburn MS added, ‘DWWA is the most widely accepted and the most prestigious wine awards in the world, and I think that that’s because of the very rigorous process it goes through for awarding the best wines.
‘These wines have been through a lot of hands, a lot of palates so to speak, to get to that level where it’s got a sticker on it – whether that’s a Bronze, a Silver, a Gold, Platinum or Best in Show. A lot of people who work in the wine business, that know a lot about wine, taste these and really give them a thumbs up through many different levels, so if it gets to the point that it’s a Platinum, it really is the best of the best.’
Platinum judging is taking place from 3-5 May and Best in Show from 6-7 May, with results announced on Tuesday 7th June on Decanter.com