The competition’s results unveil its most diverse range of winning wines to date
Ribera del Duero has been one of the stand-out regions this year, collecting some 37 awards. Other highlights hailed from Sicily and Greece, whose reds were particularly welcomed by the judges for great value and increased quality respectively. Meanwhile, Alsatian and German entries, always great favourites among SWA's judging sommeliers, were praised for their food-matching potential.
A number of New World regions performed remarkably well. The tasters liked Chile’s Sauvignon Blancs, particularly the refined style coming out of Leyda Valley, while every Japanese Koshu took home a medal, including one Gold, despite the country making only its second appearance at the competition.
Red blends from Australia and Argentina received more Gold medals than ever before, as the judges welcomed more elegant expressions that moved away from over-oaking. The New World also offered this year’s star grape variety, with over 85% of its Semillon entries receiving a medal.
In the sparkling wine world, quality Prosecco and Champagne continued to score high, this year however, Crémants, frizzantes, Franciacortas, Cavas and New World bubbles performed extremely well too.
Beyond countries and grape varieties, the competition highlighted a number of unique trends, including orange wine – for a second year a category in its own rights at SWA – and no and low, as results and judges’ comments reveal that the category is increasing in quality and growth potential.
Speaking about the results, competition director Micaela Martins Ferreira commented: ‘A huge congratulations to all our medal winners. Year-on-year there is such a high standard of wines, it’s so fantastic to see entries spanning all corners of the globe, and with diversity, this year, really shining through.’
In light of the covid-19 pandemic, the Sommelier Wine Awards will be offering its support to the industry by donating £5,000 to The Drinks Trust.
‘Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the industry,’ explained Ferreira, ‘and when it bounces back, which I’m sure it will, there is an incredibly strong line up of wines available to the hospitality sector. I look forward to seeing these trends develop over the next 12 months and in particular, can’t wait to see some of the exceptional wines tasted during this year’s SWA appearing on wine lists across the UK.’
All winning wines from the 2020 Sommelier Wine Awards can be found here.