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Shopper’s guide: award-winning wines from Waitrose

Supermarket of the Year at the Decanter Retailer Awards 2021 and runner-up in specialist categories Champagne & Sparkling and England & Wales Retailer of the Year – Waitrose continued its winning ways at this year's Decanter World Wine Awards.

Well worth seeking out from Waitrose’s varied selection is Craggy Range Syrah 2020, from Gimblett Gravels in New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay. Fruit-forward yet nuanced and perfumed, this wine won Best in Show at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2022. Just 50 wines (0.27% of entries) received this top accolade, with this wine representing one of the very best across the entire competition.

A consistent top winner, claiming a coveted Platinum medal was Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 from Napa’s Oak Knoll district – a powerful, ripe and complex wine lifted by notes of menthol.

Given Waitrose’s recognised excellence in the category, it comes as no surprise that Champagne and sparkling were strong performers. Winning Silver were three of Waitrose’s own-label Champagnes: Waitrose Blanc de Noirs Brut, Waitrose Rosé Brut and Waitrose No. 1 Special Reserve Brut 2015. Waitrose & Partners No. 1 range is designed to highlight classic wines with ‘typicity’, and this vintage Champagne certainly fits the bill.

Waitrose’s English sparkler, Leckford Estate Brut 2018, is made from grapes grown on the supermarket’s own five-hectare farm in Hampshire and produced at Ridgeview estate in the South Downs. It’s creamy, biscuity and fresh character earned it 92 points.

This wine specialist has long been committed to introducing shoppers to quality Sherry across all styles. The Sherries in Waitrose’s ‘In Partnership’ range are made exclusively for the supermarket by Emilio Lustau, a producer with whom the retailer has collaborated for decades.

There were four Silver medal-winning Sherries from the In Partnership range this year: Manzanilla Pasada, Palo Cortado, Amontillado and Cream. Each selection demonstrates quality and typicity – and at £11.99 per bottle, these classic wines are brilliant value.

Waitrose is a creative-thinking retailer that goes from strength to strength. The below list of award-winning wines is well worth a look before your next shop.

Shopper’s guide: award-winning wines from Waitrose

Best in Show

Craggy Range, Syrah, Gimblett Gravels, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand 2020
Best in Show, 97 points
£21.99
The Gimblett Gravels endeavour is a model for terroir research outside traditional regions, and recent generous vintages have really begun to pay off for this disciplined private association of Hawke’s Bay wine growers. This is glorious Syrah: deep, dense and black-red in colour, with classic varietal aromas which combine inner urgency with sweet seduction. On the palate the wine offers a cascade of fruit, with tempered acidity and shy tannins. It’s the grain to that fruit which impresses so: primary (plum, currant and sloe) yet nuanced, too, perfumed to the last drop and with a sense of stone behind the fruit to lend it dignity and keep you coming back to the glass for more. Alc 13.5%


Platinum

Trefethen, Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, California, USA 2019
Platinum, 97 points
£49.99
Dark, sleek cassis fruit, ripe and layered, with notes of tobacco leaf, coffee bean, mocha and dried violet. Pretty, floral palate with a slightly smoky character. Ripe tannins, refreshing acidity and lovely eucalyptus and menthol on the lingering finish. A great example of the power and freshness of Cabernet Sauvignon. Plenty of time ahead. Alc 14.1%


Gold

Robert Oatley, Craigmoor Estate Sauvignon Blanc, SE Australia 2021
Value Gold, 95 points
£8.99
A wine with nice typicity, good acidity and some ripe fruit flavours. A very nice wine for the price. Alc 12%

Henriques & Henriques, 15 Year Old Verdelho, Madeira, Portugal NV
Gold, 95 points
£24.99 | 50cl
Muscovado sugar and hazelnuts on the nose with touches of leather and bursts of lemon peel on the palate. The fruit shines through with the appley acidity and sweetness perfectly aligned. A stunning example of an extensively aged Verdelho. Finishes lengthily too; a true classic. Alc 19%


Silver

Waitrose, Blanc de Noirs Brut, Champagne, France NV
Silver, 92 points
£25.99
Rich and complex, with refreshing notes of green apple, tarragon, almonds, gingersnap, lemon peel and filo pastry. Well knit. Alc 12.5% 

Waitrose, Leckford Estate Brut, Hampshire, England 2018
Silver, 92 points
£26.99
A pleasing, balanced wine with fruit flavours, yeasty flavours and cream. Red apples, strawberries, honey and summer flowers. Biscuit notes, creamy mousse and a fresh finish. Alc 12%

Waitrose, No1 Special Reserve Brut, Champagne, France 2015
Silver, 92 points
£36
Stone fruits and a fresh minerality with pastry and honey notes coming through. Balanced and long finish on the palate. Alc 12.5%

Waitrose, Rosé Brut, Champagne, France NV
Silver, 90 points
£26.99
Bright and fresh strawberry, cherry and citric aromas. Palate with good complexity and a delicate zesty finish. Alc 12.5%

Kaapzicht, Bush Vine Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2021
Silver, 91 points
£13.99
Fig and dried pear with nectarine on the nose. A crisp, dry palate of white pear, stonefruits, and lime. Alc 13%

Great Heart, Red Blend, Swartland, South Africa 2019
Silver, 92 points
£14.99
Bright appealing nose, plum and cherry vibrance. Similar palate but with a deeper, silky, saline note and intense black fruits. Alc 14%

Astrolabe, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, NZ 2018
Silver, 90 points
£18.99
Developed, meaty notes on the nose with savoury dried herbs and touches of flowers and toasty oak. Dry, with firm tannins. Alc 13.5%

Waitrose, In Partnership with Lustau Don Gaspar, Amontillado, Jerez, Spain NV
Silver, 91 points
£11.99
A very lively expression of Amontillado. Dough, apple and treacle aromas are all well aligned. Tangy freshness and well-integrated alcohol on the palate and a long nutty, savoury finish. Alc 18.5%

Waitrose, In Partnership with Lustau El Benito, Manzanilla Pasada, Jerez, Spain NV
Silver, 92 points
£11.99
Extraordinary example. Fabulous typicity with a marked salty and bready styling. Fresh and luxurious with a long, powerful, bone dry, almond finish. Alc 17%

Waitrose, In Partnership with Lustau Tomás Abad, Cream, Jerez, Spain NV
Silver, 90 points
£11.99
A bright wine with a dense texture and flashes of mahogany, charcuterie, subtle raisin and really lovely umami/PX richness on the finish. Superb value! Alc 20%

Waitrose, In Partnership with Lustau Torre del Oro, Palo Cortado, Jerez, Spain NV
Silver, 90 points
£11.99
Lovely combination of roundness of body with yeasty notes. Salted caramel, coffee and peanut notes. Long length. Alc 19%


Bronze

Waitrose, No1 Sauvignon Blanc by Astrolabe, Awatere Valley, NZ 2021
Bronze, 86 points
£11.99
Very attractive bouquet with a fine savoury quality. Juicy palate with a lovely acid line. Alc 13.5%

Waitrose, No1 Chianti Classico Riserva, Tuscany, Italy 2017
Bronze, 89 points
£15.99
Morello cherries with a dash of vanilla oak scents. A pleasant palate with refreshing acidity. Alc 14%

Waitrose, Blue Print, Côtes du Rhône Villages, France 2020
Bronze, 88 points
£7.99
A rich, deep and focused example. Plenty of blackberry fruit leaps from the glass. It has well-mannered tannins and fair persistence. Alc 14%

Waitrose, No1 Viña Lorea Reserva, Rioja, Spain 2017
Bronze, 87 points
£13.99
Spice and red fruit nose and palate, medium tannins and a lovely finish. A good food wine. Alc 14%

Waitrose, No1 in Partnership with Lustau Real, Oloroso, Jerez, Spain NV
Bronze, 87 points
£11.99
Nutty nose with a bright and salty palate, plus a little richness from just a touch of sugar. Drinks well. Alc 20%


Search all DWWA 2022 results


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