It’s the final act of the Sommelier Wine Awards: the selection of our Wines of the Year. Chris Losh watches at Imbibe Live as our tasters look for the best of the best
WINES OF THE YEAR – BEST IN SHOW
Chosen from our 12 Critics’ Choice winners, for the first time ever, we had not one but two Wines of the Year here. Tied on points after being judged, our duo of top scorers was so different it was impossible to select one over the other.
Champagne Drappier Brut Nature Zero Dosage Sans Soufre NV, Champagne, France
The best zero-dosage wine we’ve ever had in SWA, this unsulphured offering from Drappier was refreshing and lean, but never bony, and had plenty of fruit through the palate.
£26.07, Berkmann Wine Cellars, 020 7670 0972
Domaine Guy Farge Harmonie Cornas 2012, Rhône, France
A superlative example of top-quality Syrah, the Harmonie was aptly named, with a winning combination of sweet ripe fruit and savoury, spicy minerality.
£26.08, Enotria, 020 8961 5161
FINE WINES OF THE YEAR
Chosen from a line-up of Gold Medal winners priced from £15 to £40, our Fine Wines of the Year would add class to even the most pampered of lists.
Schloss Johannisberger Silberlack Riesling Trocken Grosse Gewächs 2013, Rheingau, Germany
Our stand-out white wine, this sumptuous top-quality Riesling is magnificent now, but will get even better with time. If you can, you really should…
£37.67, Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines, 01582 722538
Lethbridge Pinot Noir 2012, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
A second consecutive Wine of the Year for Berkmann with a sub-£20 antipodean Pinot, from chilly Victoria this time. Small production, big reputation: elegant, restrained and ethereal.
£14.50, Berkmann Wine Cellars, 020 7670 0972
HOUSE WINES OF THE YEAR
Chosen from all our House Wine Gold Medal winners, the New World often does well here, and so it proved again in 2015, with a one-two for Argentina.
Finca Las Moras Pacha-Mama Torrontés 2014, San Juan, Argentina
Another top gong for a wine that already has a food match award to go with its Gold. Flavourful, aromatic and surprisingly elegant effort from a grape variety that is finally starting to deliver.
£5.21, Bibendum Wine, 0845 263 6924
Pablo y Walter Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina
Funky label, loads of fruit and great versatility from a Boutinot stalwart that has a good track record in SWA.
£5.90, Boutinot, 0161 908 1300
Château L’Ermitage Tradition Rosé 2014, Costières de Nîmes, France
As pale and dry as Provence, but cheaper and with rather more weight. Great on its own or with food and perfect for the pub crowd.
£6.15, Boutinot, 0161 908 1300
GASTROPUB WINES OF THE YEAR
With wines between £5-£8, this is always the hardest category to judge. This year was a first, with stand-out wines in red, white and rosé.
Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap White 2014, Western Cape, South Africa
This Viognier and Chenin blend mixes stone fruits with citrus in a fabulous punter-friendly combination. A lot of versatile wine for the price.
£5.75, New Generation Wines, 01233 656787
Diren, Collection Kalecik Karası 2013, Central Anatolia, Turkey
A hand-sell, perhaps, but this easy to like mid-weight, red-fruited Pinot Noir substitute would provide a real talking point.
£5.05, Taste Turkey, 0844 567 5701
Photos: Stephen Lenthall