Trophy success at the International Wine Challenge 2021


The International Wine Challenge (IWC) has named its 2021 Trophy winners and we're delighted to see that National Trophies have been awarded to the Piper-Heidsieck Vintage 2008 (Champagne Trophy) and the Capezzana Vin Santo di Carmignano 2013 (Italian Sweet Trophy). 

Regional Trophies have been awarded to the Piper-Heidsieck Essentiel Cuvée Réservée Extra Brut NV (magnum), Rare Champagne Rosé Millésime 2008 (magnum), Sandeman Vintage Port 2018, Valdespino Fino `Inocente` Pago de Macharnudo NV, Cantine Belisario `Vigneti B` Verdicchio di Matelica 2019, and both the Dawson James Tasmania Chardonnay 2018 and Tasmania Pinot Noir 2018.

IWC Gold medals were collected by a further 20 of our wines from Arras, Bodega Garzón, Charles Heidsieck, Dandelion Vineyards, Finca Flichman, Kaiken, Mandrarossa, Martín Códax, Piper-Heidsieck, Quinta dos Carvalhais, Rare Champagne, Sandeman, Shaw + Smith and Tolpuddle Vineyard.


Congratulations to Régis Camus from Rare Champagne and Emilien Boutillat from Piper-Heidsieck, who have both been shortlisted for IWC Sparkling Winemaker of the Year 2021. The Winemakers of the Year and Champion Wines awards will be announced at a special evening on 30th June.

Now in its 37th year, the rigorous IWC judging process assesses every wine ‘blind’ for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage by a team of experts and influencers from the international wine industry.

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


IWC 2021 Trophy Winners



Piper-Heidsieck, Vintage 2008, France
IWC Champagne Trophy / Vintage Classic Blend Champagne Trophy 2021

97 points
Enticing aromatics with distinct yet elegant notes of biscuits, apple strudel and croissants. Really long, rich, persistent and creamy. Yummy!
(Sold out - for those who have stock in their cellar)
Current vintage: 2012

Piper-Heidsieck, Essentiel Cuvée Réservée Extra Brut NV, France (Magnum)
IWC Non-Vintage Champagne Trophy 2021

96 points
Pale lemon with intense nutty aromas and complex citrus and hazelnuts on the palate. Balanced and long.

Rare Champagne, Rosé Millésime 2008, France (Magnum)
IWC Vintage Rosé Champagne Trophy 2021

96 points
Pale onion skin colour with deliciously delicate lively aromas followed up with pure red fruits - touch of wild strawberries. Rich, finely balanced and elegant.

Capezzana, Vin Santo di Carmignano 2013, Italy
IWC Italian Sweet Trophy 2021

96 points
A beautifully balanced and layered oxidative style. Gorgeous toffee apple, walnut skin, and honey palate with fabulous acidity. Incredible length - delectable. What a wine!
(Available from September 2021)

Current vintage: 2012

Cantine Belisario, `Vigneti B` Verdicchio di Matelica 2019, Italy
IWC Verdicchio di Matelica Trophy 2021

95 points
Restrained aromas of apricot kernel and almonds, with pink grapefruit acidity. The palate is well balanced and fresh with a fine slightly spicy mineral quality and a persistent finish.



Dawson James, Tasmania Chardonnay 2018, Australia
IWC Tasmanian Chardonnay Trophy 2021

96 points
Lively honeyed aromas and flint overlaid with elderflower and herbs. Deeply savoury character. On the palate, plenty of nectarines and lemons, with refreshing acidity and sophisticated texture. Floral and intense. Long and refreshing.
Current vintage: 2017

Dawson James, Tasmania Pinot Noir 2018, Australia
IWC Tasmanian Pinot Noir Trophy 2021

96 points
Subtle earthy red fruits on the nose with cherry, plum and subtle, savoury and velvety notes. Good fine tannins supporting elegant red fruit flavours. Elegant palate with good restraint, middle weight with good persistence.
Current vintage: 2017

Sandeman, Vintage Port 2018, Portugal
IWC Vintage Port Trophy 2021

96 points
Very intense dried fruit, floral, lots of dark fruit, ripe character, dark cherry and bramble, well balanced acidity and good ageing potential. Vivid structure and long fruit expression.

Valdespino, Fino `Inocente` Pago de Macharnudo NV, Spain
IWC Fino Trophy 2021

95 points
Rich and layered with complex nutty flavours and bracing freshness. Delicately and perfectly balanced. Dry dusty and complex, nutty and saline. Austere, yeasty, complex and a hint of appealing butteriness and a chocolate richness.


IWC 2021 Gold Medal Winners

Rare Champagne, Millésime 2008, France
96 points – Gold Medal
Scented, if still reticent, with the classic acidity and structure of 2008, gradually developing notes of croissant and brioche to add to its racy core.

Rare Champagne, Millésime 1998, France
96 points – Gold Medal
Mature yet still fresh, this is chardonnay dominated with toast and apple flavours, a nutty hazelnut and a long, balanced, thrilling finish.

Rare Champagne, Rosé Millésime 2008, France 
96 points – Gold Medal
Good lively edge on the nose with understated yet powerful fruits on the palate. Lively with cherry and brioche flavours. Super smart fizz.

Piper-Heidsieck, Essentiel Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut NV, France
95 points – Gold Medal
Full on umami toastiness, rich and layered with oystershell, buttered brioche notes on a foaming, focussed palate. Pure, elegant and brilliantly balanced.

Piper-Heidsieck, Vintage 2014, France (Magnum)
95 points – Gold Medal
Complex, toasty, brioche, honey notes, but also umami savouriness, apples, fine balancing acidity. Worth keeping for five years.
(Available from end of 2021)

Charles Heidsieck, Blanc des Millénaires 2006, France
95 points – Gold Medal
Pale golden colour shows some development which is mirrored on the nose with notes of cracked honeycomb, praline and toffee apple. Broad, layered and complex.

Charles Heidsieck, Rosé Millésimé 2008, France
95 points – Gold Medal
Pale salmon pink. Delicate and vibrant Rose fizz with a blend of fresh rose petal, wild strawberry and honey. delicate and fine with marvellous poise and a fragrant long dry finish.

Charles Heidsieck, Rosé Réserve NV, France
95 points – Gold Medal
Broad brioche note, honey, intense, rich but balanced palate, lovely mousse, honeyed, deep red berry fruits, long balanced textural. Very fine good rose.

Arras, Rosé Vintage 2008, Australia
95 points – Gold Medal
Really distinctive nose and autolytic development with cracked honeycomb, butterscotch with pear and nuts. Complex and layered on the palate.
Current vintage: 2007

Shaw + Smith, `Lenswood Vineyard` Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2019, Australia
95 points – Gold Medal
Toasty lemon and white stone fruit with hints of hazelnut. Concentrated palate with integrated oak and long finish.
Current vintage: 2018

Tolpuddle Vineyard, Coal River Valley Chardonnay 2019, Australia
95 points – Gold Medal
Smokey roasted and toasted bread creamy cedar notes beautifully balanced with fresh lemon flavours and mouth-watering acidity.

Bodega Garzón Single Vineyard, Albariño 2020, Uruguay
95 points – Gold Medal
Gentle honey suckle, tangy sherbet lemon notes. Round, smooth medium bodied with clean savoury hues. Elegantly done with great balance and understated power.

Martín Códax, `Lías` Rías Baixas Albariño 2018, Spain
95 points – Gold Medal
Steely aromas, pithy grapefruit + preserved lemons, lime tart, cashew nuts, tangy creamy with vibrant complex juicy finish.

Mandrarossa, `Bertolino Soprano` Grillo 2018, Italy
95 points – Gold Medal
Rich, luscious and enticing aroma, with notes of passion fruit and pineapple with a touch of guava, Lengthy, lemony and sensual on the finish. This is a really lovely wine with loads going on.
(Available from September 2021)
Current vintage: 2017

Finca Flichman Dedicado, `Gran Malbec` Uco Valley 2018, Argentina
95 points – Gold Medal
Herbal aromatics with a red raspberry fruit full on powerful palate, a heavy weight. Rich and powerful, tannic.
Current vintage: 2014

Kaiken, `Mai` Mendoza Malbec 2018, Argentina
95 points – Gold Medal
A fresh, big and bold, vibrant style of Malbec with perfumed dark fruit, mocha oak and silky tannins. Full of promise.
Current vintages: 2016/2017

Dandelion Vineyards, `Pride of the Fleurieu` Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Australia
95 points – Gold Medal
Elegant and classic cabernet sauvignon with cassis, mulberry and plums underpinned by fine long tannins, a whisper of eucalyptus, complex and precise.

Shaw + Smith, `Balhannah Vineyard` Adelaide Hills Shiraz 2018, Australia
95 points – Gold Medal
Great intensity on the nose floral and complex baked aromas with layers of spice and black currant on the palate. Wonderful cool climate Shiraz.
Current vintage: 2017

Quinta dos Carvalhais, Dão Tinto Reserva 2017, Portugal
95 points – Gold Medal
Liquorice and violet on the nose with creamy soft red fruit and walnuts. a supremely elegant wine, very fresh.

Sandeman, 40-Year-Old Tawny Port NV, Portugal
95 points – Gold Medal
Mid amber with red tinge. Surprisingly ripe strawberry with nutty spices and floral notes giving complexity. Gorgeous and long.