So, here we are again, with the results of Imbibe’s third Sommelier Wine Awards. I’m sure you know by now what we’re all about, but just in case you don’t, let me sum it up for you in 10 words: this is a wine competition aimed squarely at the on-trade.
All the winners of the 2009 SWA Gold List awards, across all categories
In last year’s Sommelier Wine Awards we introduced a one-off discretionary award for a wine that was incredibly popular with the judges. It didn’t win any of the particular By The Glass awards but the sommeliers felt that it needed extra recognition. The Critics’ Choice Award was born!
Finding wines that work well with food is so obviously the most important aspect of putting together any wine list that this had to be a part of the Sommelier Wine Awards.
The New World’s emerging white wine categories have been patchy in previous SWAs. But this year, there were some genuinely impressive – and cheap – wines
Solid, rather than great wines, and a return to dominance for South Africa
A smallish but dynamic section, our sommeliers found some really good, food-friendly wines here at prices that make them all well worth a look
Lots of wine, plenty of freshness, but not, for the most part, enough ambition. New World Sauvignon Blanc is a category that is rather treading water at the moment
Plenty of decent bottles and very few dogs meant that our tasters were positive about New World Chardonnay, though genuine excitement was in short supply
The usual mixture of styles, and a mixed bag of results too, with harsh criticism from the judges, but also more Gold Listed wines than ever before
One of the stars of this year’s competition, the New World Malbec category offered value for money, consistency and a customer-friendly style of wine that should suit every kind of establishment from gastropub to white tablecloth
New World Pinot’s strongest showing yet – and heartening signs of winemakers finding their feet with the grape as big fruit gets replaced with a more restrained style
Some very good wines here, with our tasters generally favouring those from the cooler climates and the mid-price points over expensive blockbusters
Chile, again, was the country to catch, with Gold Listed wines throughout the price points. On this evidence, the Kiwis and Aussies need to pull their socks up
High prices, for the most part, but some good, interesting wines, and no shortage of ambition from the winemakers. A good way to add interest to the classics on your list