11 Golds at the IWSC 2021 Northern Hemisphere round


The International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) has published this year’s Northern Hemisphere results and we’re delighted that Gold Medals have been awarded to 11 wines from Sandeman, Rare Champagne, Piper-Heidsieck, Nyetimber, Ca' dei Frati and Inniskillin.

The IWSC judging panel of leading wine experts from every sector of the drinks trade awarded Gold medals to “superb wines with great personality, character and complexity”.

Please see full details of our IWSC 2021 Northern Hemisphere Gold medal-winning wines below, including the judges’ scores and tasting notes. The Southern Hemisphere results and Trophies will be announced in October and more details on the competition can be found on iwsc.net.


IWSC 2021 Northern Hemisphere Gold Medal Winners

Sandeman, 20-Year-Old Tawny Port NV, Portugal
97 points – Gold Medal
Amber hued, heavy aromas of toffee and caramel. Sweeter on the palate with orange and raisin combining with vanilla and cinnamon. This all develops a strong presence. Finish develops nutty characteristics leaving a long concentrated delicious finish. Superb example.

Nyetimber, Blanc de Blancs 2013 (Magnum), England
97 points – Gold Medal
Elegant, complex and giving nose in a classic Blanc de Blanc style. The mousse is fine, the palate rich yet vinous with tantalising biscuity and lemon shortbread characters and zesty lemon acidity. Complex, harmonious, beautifully balanced and very long. Bravo!

Rare Champagne, Millésime 2008, France
97 points – Gold Medal
An expressive buttered brioche nose, gun smoke reduction, red fruit and toasted almond and pistachio notes. This very precise and elegant Champagne has a piercing acidity that underscores the long finish of lime zest, quince and apple.
(Available from June) Current vintage: 2006

Rare Champagne, Rosé Millésime 2008, France
96 points – Gold Medal
Following elegant toast, nut and brioche aromas, bright red berries burst on the palate underpinned by the smoky savouriness of flint. A long, lingering finish and fine, generous mousse make for a superlative gastronomic experience.

Inniskillin, Niagara Cabernet Franc Icewine 2019, Canada
96 points – Gold Medal
Serious pronounced nose with strawberry, cherry, pastry and toffee notes. Lots of mouth-watering acidity keeps the luscious barley sugar, cherry and plum fruits firmly in check. A beautiful wine with excellent complexity.

Inniskillin, Niagara Riesling Icewine 2019, Canada
96 points – Gold Medal
The nose shows honeysuckle, pineapple and ripe stone fruits. Very concentrated palate of marmalade, pineapple and floral elements; creamy and richly textured but with good acid balance. Fantastic length, and vibrant, fresh finish.
(Available from June) Current vintage: 2018

Sandeman, 40-Year-Old Tawny Port NV, Portugal
95 points – Gold Medal
Bright red colour with amber edges. Concentrated opulent aromas of dried cranberry, cinnamon, nutmeg and cedar spices. Powerful and impressively complex nose and palate. Great length, beautifully spiced with warming alcohols. Shows great elegance and character. Extremely moreish.

Nyetimber, `Tillington` Single Vineyard 2013, England
95 points – Gold Medal
Opens to a lovely lemon shortbread nose with citrus blossom and yellow apple characters. Fresh, focussed, gentle and seamless. Fine mousse with incisive acidity and harmonious dosage. Delicate yuzu and sherbet drops and the long finish.

Rare Champagne, Millésime 1998 (Magnum), France
95 points – Gold Medal
This stunning Champagne reflects the vintage with spicy notes of gingerbread, orange and tropical fruit. The palate is full, creamy and toasty. Smoky notes add freshness and allow the complex flavours to hold in a long finish.

Piper-Heidsieck, Cuvée Brut NV, France
95 points – Gold Medal
Toasty richness on the nose. Great complexity with notes of brioche and red fruit alongside the savoury umami character of parmesan crackers on a weighty palate. With excellent balance and a long finish, this really packs a punch.

Ca' dei Frati, `Brolettino` Lugana 2019, Italy
95 points – Gold Medal
Instantly aromatic and alluring, ripe lychee, peach and restrained lemon notes are delivered on the nose. A gorgeous note of cantaloupe melon is highlighted by a smoky, stony character on a rounded and richly textured palate. A superb expression.