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Wine world out in force for Decanter Awards

The cream of the wine world gathered in London last night at a glittering presentation of the second annual Decanter World Wine Awards.

Over 300 winemakers, producers and proprietors from a dozen countries celebrated 72 regional trophies – and the keenly anticipated International Awards.

In all over 5,500 wines were entered, and from these Decanter’s judging teams selected 31 International Awards.

Winners included KWV’s Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay, which took the International Chardonnay Under £10 trophy, Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc in the International Sauvignon Blanc Over £10 category, and Chateau Rauzan-Segla 2001 in the International Red Bordeaux Varietals Over £10 trophy.

In his opening speech, Awards chairman Steven Spurrier said consistency is vital to the judging process – and cited the fact that almost exactly the same percentage of wines won Awards this year as in 2004 as evidence of that consistency.

A handful of producers scooped International Trophies for a second time. Bodegas Luis Cañas won International Spanish Varietal for its Hiru 3 Racimos 2001 last year, and its 2002 this year. In New Zealand the Saint Clair 2003 won last year, the 2004 this year.

And Zonte’s Footstep from Langhorne Creek won the International Australia Rhone Varietal Under £10 this year for its 2004 – a step up from last year when the 2003 won Regional in the same category.

After warming up with glasses of Champagne Jacquart Cuvée Allegra 1999, the Awards were presented during dinner: a monkfish starter paired with the Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc and Antinori’s Cervaro della Sala white, and wood-roasted duck breast paired with the Rauzan-Segla and Finca Sophenia’s Altosur Malbec from Argentina.

Steven Spurrier said the evening showed how ‘the Awards are considered a quality concept by the wine trade.’

‘People came from all over the world to be at the ceremony – it’s a very cohesive event with the wine trade right behind it.’

This year the Decanter World Wine Awards will be sole sponsors of a specific project run by the charity Wateraid in Burkina Faso. Decanter has committed to three charity auctions with Christie’s and all profits from last night’s dinner will go to this cause.

The full list of International Awards will be published in Decanter magazine’s November issue, on sale 5 October, and on decanter.com on 5 October

Written by Adam Lechmere

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