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Argentina sweeps the board at Decanter World Wine Awards

Argentina has triumphed at the Decanter World Wine Awards, winning the most International Trophies of any single country in the history of the competition.

 The Decanter World Wine Awards were presented at a dramatic dinner and ceremony in the Paul Hamlyn Hall at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden last night, attended by the cream of the world’s wine industry.

Of the  25 International Trophies, chosen from over 12000 entries, more and more of the top prizes went to Argentina as the evening went on.

First Pernod Ricard-owned Etchart won Dry Aromatic Under £10 for its Privado Torrontes, then Terrazas de los Andes – owned by Moet-Hennessy – won the same award in the Over £10 category, for its Seleccion Torrontes.

The Red Bordeaux Varietal Trophy Under £10 went to Viñalba for its Patagonian Cabernet-Merlot – a third triumph for a winery that was only founded in 2008 and has already won two International Trophies.

Co-owner and winemaker Herve Joyaux Fabre, a Bordelais, told Decanter.com he was ‘happy to have made a different blend, European in style but with Argentinian character.’

Then both Red Single Varietal Trophies – in the Under and Over £10 categories – went to Argentinian wineries: Argento for its Bonarda 2010 and Bodegas Dos Andes for its Chalten Malbec Coleccion 2009. Martias Bambach, CEO, said, ‘this has happened in a special moment. We’re going through changes; I arrived as CEO just five months ago; all of these things give us an extra push to keep moving forward.’

Lastly, the Red Blend Over £10 Trophy was won by Mendoza’s Finca Sophenia, for Synthesis.

  • The winners of the Decanter World Wine Awards Retailer Awards were also announced last night.

Waitrose scooped Supermarket of the Year for the third year running, the judges praising such innovations as its new cookery school as well as its ‘astonishingly broad, well-chosen and sometimes rarefied list of wines’ and ‘the sheer quality and interest level of their list’.

Picking up the award was buyer Andrew Shaw, who explained the driving force behind their commitment to wine, ‘we are a supermarket and have to balance our commitment to the masses and legacy to continue to push the boundaries so that the consumer experiences the specialisms of wine through the supermarket and our mail order and internet sales.’

In the National Wine Merchant of the Year Award, The Wine Society was a clear winner. From its 110,000 members to its iPhone app, its promotional material and well-tuned offers, the judges were unanimous.

One summed up: ‘The reassuring sight of The Wine Society’s delivery van has today become just that bit more comforting.’

London’s The Sampler won London Wine Merchant of the Year – a companion trophy to the Best Small Wine Merchant it won last year.

Owner Jamie Hutchinson said, “Winning this award is just fantastic. Looking forward, providing something different and challenging will eventually die. The ongoing test for us will be variety; it’s not about the sampling, it’s about accessibility to a good range.”

Regional Wine Merchant was taken by Tanners, a country company ‘that never fails to innovate,’ as the judges said.

Other winners were Les Caves de Pyrene for Specialist Wine Merchant of the Year and Hanging Ditch for Innovative Wine Merchant of the Year.

The Retailer Awards were judged by a panel chaired by Anthony Rose, with wine journalists Tom Cannavan and Stephen Brook, consultant Allan Cheesman, and Decanter tastings director Christelle Guibert.

See full coverage of the DWWA presentation dinner.

Written by Adam Lechmere

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