There’s perhaps never been a time the global wine industry has been so hard hit, but the world’s largest wine competition is giving reason to celebrate with the release of its 2020 results. After completing judging under strict Covid safety guidelines that included innovations such as proximity lanyards and bespoke disposable spittoons, the Decanter World Wine Awards, now in its 17th year, has today announced its 2020 winners.
During the judging month, 116 expert wine judges including 37 Masters of Wine and nine Master Sommeliers, tasted and debated the merits of 16,518 wines from 56 countries.
English wine producers enjoyed another successful year with entries up 7% compared to 2019 and 21 counties across the UK delivering medal-winning wines. The UK was awarded a total of 150 medals, including two Best in Show, three Platinum, five Gold, 94 Silver and 46 Bronze. Sparkling wine continues to dominate and showcase its class, winning 65% of the total medals.
The two wineries that stood out this year as the highest scoring wines for England, winning the prestigious accolade of Best in Show and one of the only 50 Best in Show wines out of 16,518 wines tasted, were both whites: one sparkling and the other still. In West Sussex, Roebuck Estate won for its Classic Cuvée Brut 2014, and Kent’s Simpsons Wine Estate The Roman Road Chardonnay 2018 picked up its first Best in Show after gaining a Silver medal last year for the 2017 vintage.
Chapel Down in Kent had another fantastic year with all seven wines entered awarded medals, including two Platinum (Chapel Down Kit’s Coty Coeur de Cuvee 2014, Chapel Down Three Graces 2015), two Gold (Kit’s Coty Blanc de Blancs 2014, Kit’s Coty Chardonnay 2017) and three Silver. The Grange Pink NV from Hampshire won the third Platinum medal for the UK.
Elsewhere in Kent, Gusbourne was awarded Gold for Blanc de Noirs 2016, in addition to eight Silver and one Bronze. Small but mighty producers such as Devon’s Lyme Bay Winery, Hampshire’s Leckford Estate and Busi Jacobsohn from Kent will also be raising a glass, picking up Silver medals for their sparkling wines.
Andrew Jefford, Co-Chair says, “The Decanter World Wine Awards really helps producers to raise their profile internationally. It can do the same for wine-producing regions and nations, too. Our judging system – including re-tasting of all Golds, with possible promotion to Platinum – is something we are very proud of. So, when consumers see a DWWA sticker on a bottle, be it Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze, they can be reassured that the wine in question has been judged by regional experts and specialists before receiving its medal. We discuss, we argue, we fight it out…that’s all part of the judging fun. Even with social distancing! But that’s also how you get the results which have made the DWWA an international wine benchmark.”
Co-Chair Sarah Jane Evans MW comments, “The competition has been terrific, it has been a perfect atmosphere to taste and judge this year. After months of lockdown and uncertainty everyone has been delighted to be back again, working together, sharing ideas and thoughts, and above all, focused on picking out the great wines from this year. There have been some wonderful discoveries. As ever the Best in Show day was tough, narrowing down to 50 top wines”.
A full list of winners can be viewed online at http://awards.decanter.com/DWWA