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DWWA wines delight in Los Angeles

A special wine pairing dinner at The Four Seasons Beverly Hills hosted by Clive Pursehouse, Decanter's North American editor and DWWA judge, showcased top American award winners.

This year (2024) marks the 21st iteration of the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA). Already the world’s largest wine competition, the latest edition includes over 18,000 wines from 57 countries, cementing the competition’s standing as a globally recognised gold standard for wine quality.

This spring, just before judging at the 2024 DWWA, where 250 international wine experts from 33 countries have convened in London to evaluate all entries, Decanter held a special wine pairing dinner in Beverly Hills with a selection of 2023 award-winning wines, including a number of Platinum medal-winning wines, to demonstrate the calibre of wines awarded medals to the Los Angeles market.

As I made clear to the dinner’s attendees, ‘DWWA is in a league of its own when it comes to the world’s wine competitions,’ said Pursehouse.

‘The level of expertise and regional experience of the judges and Regional Chairs is unparalleled in the world of wine. The meticulous approach to scoring and re-scoring wines shows a real commitment to awarding top medals to only the best of the best.’

For 2024, there are 65 Masters of Wine and 20 Master Sommeliers among the judges, which also include Decanter’s Regional Editors and deeply experienced members of the wine trade.

The full line-up of the night.

The 2023 results illustrate the rigour of the DWWA judging process. Of the 18,250 wines judged, only 125 Platinum medals were awarded, which translates to a mere 0.68% of the total wines tasted.

The evening showcased a range of American wines which came from up and down the West Coast. The wines were paired with multiple courses from the Four Seasons restaurant, Culina Ristorante, and Executive Chef Mark Pollard. Pollard’s approach is heavily influenced by Mediterranean cuisine, with the focus being on the fresh ingredients found in Southern California.

Below, discover the six medal-winning wines showcased at the DWWA dinner in Beverly Hills paired with a multi-course meal.

Domaine Serene, Récolte Grand Cru Blanc De Blancs Brut, Dundee Hills, Oregon, United States, 2014                                     

Silver, 91 points
100% Chardonnay
Attractive pear and subtle toasty notes with nuances of bruised apple on the nose. Very long finish, racy and fresh. Alc 12%

Clos du Val, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 2021

Platinum, 97 points
82% Sauvignon Blanc, 18% Sémillon
Heavenly ripe lime, grapefruit and ginger shrouded in herbaceous fennel and nettle aromatics and underpinned by a supremely fresh mineral character. Layered with enriching oak and structure, the fine vein of acidity cuts through perfectly. Utterly fabulous. Alc 13.5%

Atelier, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, California, United States, 2021 

Silver, 94 points
100% Chardonnay
Bright minerality and petrichor aromas, full of lemon zest and candied orange peel character. Zippy and resinous on the palate. Alc 13.5%

Archery Summit Winery, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Oregon 2021

Best in Show, 97 points
100% Pinot Noir
No one is naïve about the difficulties and challenges of growing Pinot Noir away from its home in Burgundy (even there, of course, it isn’t easy). Pinot has taken to Oregon’s Willamette Valley with remarkable success, though, and especially to the red-soiled Dundee Hills. This 2021 wine is a fine example of the charm, balance and satisfaction that fine Dundee Hills Pinot can provide. Translucent scarlet in colour, with magnetically attractive raspberry scents, once on the palate the wine is soft-contoured yet energetic, with arresting intensity of fruit. Here the raspberry shades into something more curranty and tenacious, and there are refreshing bitter notes in the finish, too, with a hint of earthiness perhaps derived from the clays of volcanic origin in which the vines grow. The warm edge of cool climate? Perhaps – and it makes for beautiful drinking. Alc 13.5%

Newton, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder, California 2018

Gold, 96 points
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Cooling mint-infused ripe black fruits on the nose, with hints of tobacco and aromatic herbs, with a charred cedar oak frame and a long, perfumed finish. Stunning!. Alc 14%

Bledsoe Family Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, Washington State 2020

Platinum, 97 points
100% Cabernet Sauvigonon
Aspirational wine is densely packed with cassis, dark plum and menthol and enfolded in smoky, charred oak, with a rich chocolate texture and a bracing acidity which surrounds and cleanses. Impressively long and very well made. Alc 14.7%

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