Five Best in Shows & Eight Platinum medals at DWWA
This year's Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) results are out and we’re delighted that 13 of our wines (from Amalaya, Charles Melton, Colomé, Devaux, Dobogó, Donnafugata, Herdade do Peso, Justino's, Massolino, Morris of Rutherglen, Rare and Valdespino) scooped the top Platinum medal.
Five of these wines – the Bodega Colomé Lote Especial 'Finca Colomé' Salta Tannat 2018, Justino's Madeira 50-Year-Old Terrantez NV, Morris of Rutherglen Old Premium Rare Liqueur Rutherglen Topaque NV, Rare Champagne Millésime 2006 and Rosé Millésime 2008 - 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
Rare Champagne, Millésime 2006, France
With fourteen years' ageing under its belt, this Champagne has had time to gather and marshal all its resources - which it does with great style and assurance. It's a pale, glowing lemon yellow, with a fine mousse and ample wealth of billowing vanilla, cream and plump hazels. The palate has dramatic intensity and drive, delivering a wealth of chalky lemon; its athleticism and vigour almost come as a surprise after that floating veil of seductive scent. A fresh, mouth-cleansing finish completes the appeal of this skilful, sagely judged blend from a hugely likeable vintage.
Bodega Colomé, Lote Especial 'Finca Colomé' Salta Tannat 2018, Argentina
Few wines caused more of a stir amongst our judges this year than this Tannat from the extreme high-altitude vineyards of Argentina's Salta. It wasn't the fact that it was an impenetrable midnight black in colour, nor was it the fact that the wine needs plenty of air and agitation to wake up its aromatic profile: both are common features of Tannat the world over. The real surprise was the drama and purity of its fruits, drenching the tongue and lifting aromatically in the mouth: this was a Tannat of ravishing chic and elegance, and a far cry from the sometimes burly and clumsy flavour presence Tannat shows elsewhere. No fan of Argentina's remarkable red wines should miss this.
Rare Champagne, Rosé Millésime 2008, France
Don't hurry over this. Rosé Champagne is often regarded as a charm incarnate, well-rounded, as pretty on the palate as it is to the eye. This pale salmon rosé is certainly appealing to look at, as its mousse is steady as you like; but it's when you take time to engage with its bready, quietly fragrant scents and the shaping, architectural breadth of its flavours that you'll discover the quality of this very gastronomic, vinous and rewardingly understated wine. The edge and cut of the vintage plays a key role in shaping and structuring the slow, teasing roll of its pomelo and tangerine-peel fruits. A pink Champagne for fine-wine lovers.
Justino's Madeira, 50-Year-Old Terrantez NV, Portugal
Fifty years is a long time... unless you're a fine Madeira, in which case you are just getting into your stride. There's almost no old-vine Terrantez left on Madeira, though it is being replanted, which makes this wine doubly historic - and Terrantez seems, too, to be an island native. It all adds up to a compelling glassful: walnut in colour, with scents of citrus peel, hessian, orris root and dried peach, and flavours which combine dried versions of most orchard fruits with a little tannin but above all the growing extracts which are the legacy of time itself. It's not a hugely sweet wine, nor does it need to be when the other lineaments of flavour share this level of intensity. Every sip is a privilege.
Morris of Rutherglen, Old Premium Rare Liqueur Rutherglen Topaque NV, Australia
Just a few drops of this wine splashed into a glass will tell you it's an elixir, staining where it falls and releasing its great engine of sweet scent. Fill the glass a little further and you have an hour or two's meditative sniffing and sipping to look forward to. The harmony and seduction are remarkable, as you tick off dried fruit after dried fruit; the wine is truly tongue-coating as few are, and the aftertaste of treacle and tar lingers saltily for minutes. Despite the huge levels of sweetness, the extracts and essences of flavour contrive to make this wine seem, 30 seconds or so after you swallow, almost dry. A Rutherglen monument.
Amalaya, Calchaquí Valley Malbec 2019, Argentina
(Available early November 2020)
Perfumed attractive nose with layers of spice, crunchy strawberries, ripe red plums and fresh violets. Vibrant on the palate with a lovely freshness in harmony with a dense chocolatey character, ending in an elegant spicy finish.
Charles Melton, 'Sotto di Ferro' Barossa NV, Australia
(Available late November 2020)
Heady with lush layers of marzipan, hazelnut, liquorice, coffee and burnt sugar on the nose, dried fruit, orange rind, caramel and subtle wood notes fill the silky smooth palate. Wow, just stunning!
Devaux, D Millésimé 2008, France
Weighty vanilla toast and lemon butter bouquet. Bright, energetic and crunchy on the palate with vanilla, herbal, pastry and red berry characters. Long, tapering finish. This is cerebral, accomplished and compulsively drinkable. Kudos!
Dobogó, Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2013, Hungary
Complex and expressive on the nose, displaying scents of cinnamon, fresh mango, lime zest and savoury notes. On the palate it has a zippy acidity with layers of complex flavours. Super vibrant finish.
Donnafugata, `Ben Ryé` Passito di Pantelleria 2017, Italy
Seductively rich, crystallised peach nose, then an equally concentrated, rich, peachy fruit palate with hints of orange marmalade. The palate is round, viscous and has great intensity of fruit. This is as good as it gets!
Herdade do Peso, `Trinca Bolotas` Alentejo Tinto 2018, Portugal
(Current vintage: 2019)
A fabulous blend of fresh blackberry, tobacco and dark chocolate aromatics with enticing millefeuille tannins leavening the layers of red and black fruit compote which line the juicy palate; incredibly smooth and rich with a lingering, spicy finish.
Massolino, Barolo `Margheria` 2016, Italy
(Available mid October 2020)
Complex raspberry and cherry nose. Rich and majestic with a fine depth of fruit and immense concentration. There are formidable tannins but they are ripe and seamlessly integrated. A light coffee tone on the finish adds some complexity. Wonderful!
Valdespino, Oloroso Su Majestad NV, Spain
Heady, with smoky layers of eucalyptus, mushroom, honey and roast nut, then on to a luxurious, savoury palate of bitter orange, dark chocolate, roasted coffee, cherry and a long, controlled, peppery finish.