This year's Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for the Best in Show Sweet over £15 went to Inniskillin, Vidal Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada 2012 (9.5%)
- Béres, Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos, Tokaj, Hungary 2008
- Capezzana, Riserva, Carmignano Vin Santo, Tuscany, Italy 2007
- Château de Rayne Vigneau, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France 2011
- Château la Varière, Les Guerches, Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru, Loire, France 2011
- Chateau Ste Michelle, Eroica Gold Riesling, Columbia Valley, Washington State, USA 2012
- Dveri-Pax, Sipon Slamno Vino, Stajerska, Podravje, Slovenia 2012
- Jean Geiler, Gewurztraminer, Grand Cru Mambourg, Alsace, France 2012
- Jean-René Germanier, Mitis Amigne de Vétroz Réserve, Valais, Switzerland 2011
- Kutjevo, Traminac, Continental,Croatia 2012; Miguel Torres, Nectaria, Curicó, Chile 2009
- Monemvasia Winery, Malvasia, Peloponnese,Greece 2010
- Nederburg, Winemaster’s Reserve NobleLate Harvest, Western Cape, South Africa 2013
- RoletPère & Fils, Vin de Paille, Arbois, France 2005
- Seifried,Winemakers Collection Sweet Agnes Riesling, Nelson,New Zealand 2012
- Vignalta, Alpianae Passito, Fiord’Arancio Colli Euganei, Veneto, Italy 2011
- WinzerSommerach, Katzenkopf WeissburgunderTrockenbeerenauslese, Franken, Germany 2012
This year, 16 sensational stickies were in the running for this Trophy, but it was Canada’s most famous producer of icewine that triumphed. Immediately recognising quality, the birds ate the grapes destined to become Inniskillin’s first icewine vintage in 1983.
In 1984, netting secured, and almost a decade after the winery was founded by Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser in Niagara-onthe- Lake, the icewine cometh. Iniskillin is now synomymous with this sweet style, winning its first major award in 1991 and now its only export, distributed to 80 countries.
In 2006 Ziraldo and Kaiser left Inniskillin and Bruce Nicholson, former winemaker at Jackson Triggs, took the helm. Nicholson, who has completed 19 icewine harvests in Ontario and British Columbia, says the optimum picking temperature in Niagara is -10°C.
Vidal, a hybrid variety of Ugni Blanc and Seibel, has thick skin (necessary protection in the severe winters) and naturally high acidity (essential to balance the sweetness) and is the perfect vehicle in making these lychee- and peach-scented wines. Some 11,500 cases of the Trophy-winning 2012 were made, from a total production of 150,000.
Written by Decanter