Four Best in Shows & 7 Platinum medals at DWWA
The Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) results are out and we’re delighted that 11 of our wines (from Arras, Bruno Rocca, Capezzana, Charles Heidsieck, Dawson & James, Devaux, Donnafugata, El Coto, Finca Flichman, Gašper and Rare) scooped the top Platinum medal. Four of these wines – the Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires 2004, Dawson & James Tasmania Chardonnay 2015, Rare Rosé Millésime 2008 and El Coto `Coto de Imaz` Rioja Gran Reserva 2012 – went on to be named ‘Best in Shows’.
Please see the list of our Best in Show and Platinum winning wines below, with tasting notes from the DWWA judges. For the full results and more details on the competition, please visit the DWWA website.
BEST IN SHOW / PLATINUM MEDAL
Charles Heidsieck, Blanc des Millenaires 2004, Champagne, France
This Blanc de Blancs Champagne is a bright morning gold in colour, with fine-seamed bubbles and rich, expressive and expansive aromas. Beaten cream, pounded hazels, a hint of baking apples, brioche fresh from the oven. But all these notes are drawn with great subtlety, underscoring the fruit quality of the Chardonnay vineyards used in this blend. On the palate, the wine retains all that aromatic grace and amplitude, marrying it to a shapely fruit presence, vibrant though now well-rounded acidity and textural charm, too. A head-turner.
Dawson & James, Tasmania Chardonnay 2015, Tasmania, Australia
In a great year in general for Chardonnay wines in our Best In Show selection, this Tasmanian example impressed our judges with its assurance, its grain and its darting yet ripe and resonant cool-climate style. It's a bright green-gold in colour. A little reduction when first poured soon clears to reveal a tempting spectrum of lemon, dessert apple and early-season nectarine fruits with understated creamy wealth from its barrel-fermentation. On the palate, it is ample and round yet fresh and vivid, the purity of its Derwent Valley origins singing out without any winery forcing. A Tasmanian thoroughbred which underscores the potential of its site.
Rare, Rosé Millésime 2008, Champagne, France (available from July)
Our first ever Best in Show Rosé Champagne is a faint coppery salmon-pink in colour with a no-less-pretty carousel of delicate red-fruit scents: strawberry, raspberry, redcurrant and red cherry, though all of them sketched in pastels rather than splashed on with primary exuberance. On the palate, this is a Champagne first and foremost, a fine and complex Pinot-Chardonnay blend, yet the fruit core has a burnished quality and a glowing autumnal hint that marks it out as Rosé and not white Champagne. The dosage is restrained and finely judged, so it's the inner ripeness of the fruit itself rather than any extraneous sugar which seems to give the wine its fresh, cleanly round and still-aromatic finish.
El Coto, `Coto de Imaz` Rioja Gran Reserva 2012, Rioja, Spain
This dark, relatively tight-knit Rioja proves that the Gran Reserva category doesn't just indicate the supremely well-aged, relaxed and reposeful style of Rioja, but can also serve to draw drinkers' attention to outstanding wines of density and tenacity which still have a way to run along their potential ageing trajectories. Look out for dark, urgent fruits here sweetened and back-lit by cunningly angled oak, with intense, deep, fresh and searching flavours in which the 10% of Graciano seems to be working overtime. A Rioja of innate drama.
Donnafugata, `Ben Ryé` Passito di Pantelleria 2016, Sicily, Italy
More of an experience than merely a wine! An exotic blast of ripe stone fruit and sweet spice unfold to reveal honeyed layers of mandarin zest and sumptuous apricot. Creamy and luxurious with a superb acidity and captivating finish.
Arras, Grand Vintage 2008, Tasmania, Australia
Fresh and alive! Rich and weighted with ripe pineapple, orange skin, slight brioche and shortbread characters. Creamy and textured on the palate with brisk acidity and a persistent finish.
Devaux, Cuvée D, Aged 5 years NV, Champagne, France
An outstanding champagne with a marzipan, floral, citrus, pear and stone fruit perfume. The palate is rich and somewhat toasty with an energetic mousse; still youthful and bright. Good balance, length and complexity. Take a bow, Devaux!
Capezzana, Vin Santo di Carmignano 2011, Tuscany, Italy
This exquisite wine is an experience with an alluring orange caramel, brown sugar and cinnamon nose. On the palate, it is is simultaneously elegant, opulent and luscious, with an oily texture and plenty of burnt caramel and rich nutty flavours gushing through the very long and sweet finish. If imbibed outside the home, a designated driver is mandatory. Stunning Vin Santo!
Finca Flichman, Dedicado `Gran Corte` Uco Valley 2015, Mendoza, Argentina (available from August)
An energising, classy and powerful Uco Valley Malbec: dark fruits and oak spice with a hint of earth and crisp acidity with ripe, crunchy tannins to balance. It is perky and spirited so should certainly age graciously.
Gašper, Cabernet Franc 2017, Goriška Brda, Slovenia
Aromatic, perfumed nose of red and dark fruit with notes of capsicum and black pepper. The wine has lovely, supple tannins and great structure, with a long, consistent finish. Impressive.
Bruno Rocca, Barbaresco `Rabajà` 2015, Piemonte, Italy