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The magnificent 2009 vintage left its gilt-edged fingerprints all over this year’s Loire submissions, with spectacular, seductive reds and vibrant Chenin Blancs in particular
Your questions answered about the 2011 Sommelier Wine Awards...
Where did the last five years go? It seems like only last year that we were judging the first ever Sommelier Wine Awards. In fact, we started back in 2007.
The Gris-style, rather than Grigio-style, wines took the honours here, offering value for money and also an impressive food friendliness at a decent price
Still no Golds for Viognier, though certainly lighter, fresher, more food-friendly wines than in previous years
The Sommelier Wine Awards doesn’t give out trophies per category because we’re worried that tasters will feel under pressure to dispense extra awards in categories where they may not believe the wines are up to it. Instead, in keeping with the whole ethos of the competition, we leave the judgement up to the sommeliers…
Some great wines and amazing prices. In fact, it was only the category’s persistent (and troubling) lack of fashionability that prevented more Golds being awarded
Not a vast amount in the way of bargains, but there were some decent, unusual wines here, proving that the New World still knows how to innovate
With a general lack of great available vintages to call on, this was a category that polarised the opinions of the tasters
While the kick-out rate was high, the wines left at the end served as a blunt reminder to sub-standard also-rans of just how good the pink stuff can be
Huge wines and huge prices, this was a category that seemed to be more about ego than elegance
With the pricier wines often still a little on the austere side, our tasters contented themselves this year with an affordable yet typical example for the Gold List
Over 1,500 wines can be boiled down to this: the hallowed Sommelier Wine Awards Gold List for 2011...
No Golds but an encouraging performance from a grape that is still largely finding its feet in the on-trade
A broad selection of decent, well-made wines, but far fewer for our tasters to get really excited about