Nine Trophy & 14 Gold medal winning wines at the International Wine Challenge 2023

IWC Trophies

The International Wine Challenge (IWC) has named its 2023 Trophy winners and we're delighted to see that National Trophies have been awarded to four of our wines, all of which are now in the running for IWC Champion Wine Trophies:

Champagne Trophy: Rare Champagne Millésime 2008 Portuguese White Trophy: Azevedo Vinho Verde Loureiro/Alvarinho 2022 Portuguese Red Trophy: Casa Ferreirinha `Callabriga` Douro Tinto 2020 Australian Red Trophy: Tolpuddle Vineyard Coal River Valley Pinot Noir 2021

The Tolpuddle Vineyard Coal River Valley Pinot Noir 2021 also scooped the Australian Pinot Noir Trophy.

Regional Trophies have been awarded to the Ferreira `Dona Antónia` 30-Year-Old Tawny Port NV (Tawny Port Trophy), Ferreira `Dona Antónia` 10-Year-Old Tawny Port NV (10 Year Old Tawny Port Trophy), Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve NV (Non-Vintage Classic Blend Champagne Trophy), Candover Brook Brut NV (English Classic Blend Sparkling Trophy), and Valdespino Palo Cortado `Viejo C.P.` VOS NV (Palo Cortado Trophy).

IWC Gold medals were collected by a further 14 of our wines from Charles Heidsieck, Ferreira, Henschke, Piper-Heidsieck, Rathfinny Wine Estate, Sandeman, Shaw + Smith, Trinity Hill and Valdespino.

Congratulations to Emilien Boutillat, who has been shortlisted for IWC Sparkling Winemaker of the Year 2023 with both Piper-Heidsieck and Rare Champagne. The Winemakers of the Year Awards and Champion Wine Trophies will be announced at a special evening on 4th July.

Please see full details of our Trophy and Gold medal winners below, including the judges' tasting notes. For more information on the International Wine Challenge, please visit the competition website.


Rare Champagne, Millésime 2008, France IWC Champagne Trophy / Vintage Classic Blend Champagne Trophy 97 points Intoxicating and alluring nose, featuring aromas of fresh baked pastry, apple crumble and Sorrento lemons. Compelling and richly flavoured with restrained intensity and superb balance.

Tolpuddle Vineyard, Coal River Valley Pinot Noir 2021, Australia IWC Australian Red Trophy / Australian Pinot Noir Trophy 96 points Youthful, crunchy and intense with a lovely cool climate focus and zip. Stylish, with plums, pomegranate, and black cherry fruit. Finely balanced with lots of zip and vim.

Ferreira, `Dona Antónia` 30-Year-Old Tawny Port NV, Portugal IWC Tawny Port Trophy / 30 Year Old Tawny Port Trophy 96 points Exemplary 30 year old, mature but not tired red fruit. Herbal spice, toffee and chocolate. Orange rind and raspberry joint flavours. Layered with nuts.

Ferreira, `Dona Antónia` 10-Year-Old Tawny Port NV, Portugal IWC 10 Year Old Tawny Port Trophy 96 points Elegant and aromatic with red cherries, plums and some spice. On the palate. Nice long balance between the cherry and orange peel. Fruity notes with fine spices.

Valdespino, Palo Cortado `Viejo C.P.` VOS NV, Spain IWC Palo Cortado Trophy 96 points Graceful, elegant refined Palo Cortado & Fino end of style with savoury umami character with hint of dried mushroom and hazelnut. Clean spicy intense finish.

Candover Brook, Brut NV, England IWC English Classic Blend Sparkling Trophy 96 points Fresh balanced poised cuvee with gorgeous autolysis and palate weight. Malt and wild strawberries with racy acidity and backbone with nutty twist. Elegantly done.

Charles Heidsieck, Brut Réserve NV, France IWC Non-Vintage Classic Blend Champagne Trophy 95 points Nuanced, hedgerow fruit, with a slightly savoury complexity. Delightfully fruity palate with firm but perfectly balanced backbone and a smooth finish.

Azevedo, Vinho Verde Loureiro/Alvarinho 2022, Portugal IWC Portuguese White Trophy 95 points Fruit salad packed with green fruits, mint and a subtle herbal flavour. Refreshing with a lip smacking minerality.

Casa Ferreirinha, `Callabriga` Douro Tinto 2020, Portugal IWC Portuguese Red Trophy / Douro Red Trophy 95 points A beautifully expressive Douro red offering sweet blackcherry and blackcurrant fruit with spicy structure in a lovely brightness. Has potential for development.


Piper-Heidsieck, Vintage 2014 (Magnum), France Gold Medal 96 points Very poised and pure on the nose, ageing slowly and gracefully. Wonderful resolve on the palate with plentiful lemon zest and wet stones. Chalky minerality with brioche and patisserie right through to finish.

Sandeman, Vintage Port 2018, Portugal Gold Medal 96 points Youthful wine, violets, chocolate and dark fruit. Fine grained tannins and integrated with a long caressing finish. One to hold on to.

Piper-Heidsieck, Vintage 2014, France Gold Medal 95 points Dry hay, mashed apple, creamy mouthfeel with gentle notes of toffee apple and honeycomb. The acid fresh and offsets the excellent tertiary development long impressive.

Rathfinny Wine Estate, Blanc de Blancs 2018, England Gold Medal 95 points Fresh palate with notes of citrus fruits, backed up richer toasty notes. Long, creamy finish.

Charles Heidsieck, Rosé Réserve NV, France Gold Medal 95 points Dry crisp with notes of red berry, pale rose, clean refreshing.

Piper-Heidsieck, Essentiel Cuvée Réservée Extra Brut NV (Magnum), France Gold Medal 95 points Fabulous brioche notes with hints of almond and pie crust. Beautifully creamy with lime edged finish.

Shaw + Smith, `Lenswood Vineyard` Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2020, Australia Gold Medal 95 points Bright yellow fruit, fresh apple, honey, layered vanilla oak, oatmeal. Excellent texture and length. Good potential.

Shaw + Smith, `M3` Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2021, Australia Gold Medal 95 points Lime and apple blossom, orchard fruit. Layers of vanilla and fruit.

Trinity Hill, Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay 2021, New Zealand Gold Medal 95 points Elegant lifted nose of vanilla and ripe nectarine. Savoury weave of mineral acidity. Sweet and spicy finish. Class in a glass.

Henschke, `Henry's Seven` Barossa Shiraz/Grenache/Mataro/Viognier 2021, Australia Gold Medal 95 points Mixed fruit berries on the nose. Dark cherry fruit with cedar and smoky complexity. Balanced tannins with violate length.

Valdespino, Oloroso `Su Majestad` VORS NV, Spain Gold Medal 95 points Glistening amber toasted walnuts, marmalade and mahogany. Good complexities, layered and moreish.

Ferreira, `Dona Antónia` 20-Year-Old Tawny Port NV, Portugal Gold Medal 95 points Sweet, nutty, caramel, run and raisin, rich and velvety, with great intensity, vanilla custard and a long, long finish. Has dried herbal notes.

Sandeman, 30-Year-Old Tawny Port NV, Portugal Gold Medal 95 points Sea salt, sea breeze complemented with honey caramel salts. Lavish edge. Vibrant style.

Sandeman, 50-Year-Old Tawny Port NV, Portugal Gold Medal 95 points Glorious textures and flavours. Rich and luscious. Super complex, Christmas cake, sweet raisins and burnt toffee. Beautifully balanced.