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The International Wine Challenge, the world’s most influential, impartial and rigorously judged wine competition, has announced the results of its 2022 competition, with medals awarded across the globe, from Spain and New Zealand to India and Georgia. Thousands of wines from more than 50 countries entered the annual competition which was judged by an international panel of wine experts in a series of rigorous blind tastings in London last month.
After being pipped to the International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy two years running, New Zealand reclaimed the honour this year with Yealands Estate Single Block S1 Sauvignon Blanc 2021. New Zealand also showed its strength in depth, winning three of the five gold medals awarded to wines made from this variety.
“In this year’s results, more than 20 countries were recognised for their Sauvignon Blanc wines and so competition for this trophy is becoming increasingly stiff. New Zealand winemakers will be particularly pleased with the results this year, having lost out to Austria last year and South Africa the year before,” explained IWC co-chair Tim Atkin MW.
New Zealand gained 17 gold medals in total with a wide range of grape varieties. Syrah and Pinot Noir as expected but there were also a couple of outstanding red blends from the Gimblett Gravels region: Villa Maria’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2020 (80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot) and Esk Valley’s Artisanal Series Malbec Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2019.
New Zealand also showed it is a serious Chardonnay producer, with gold medals for Hawke’s Bay producers Tony Bish and Trinity Hill Wines, Central Otago’s Te Kano, Marlborough’s Stoneleigh, and Nelson’s Kono NZ. Trinity Hill Wines’ Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay 2020 also scooped the International Chardonnay Trophy – the first time New Zealand has won this category, which has traditionally been dominated by wines from Chablis.