The results of the three main British wine tasting competitions have been announced. As usual, they are released on the first day of the London Wine Trade Fair, the main British wine exhibition, which normally takes place in the third week of May.
There is the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA), which is seen as the most prestigious of them all. The International Wine Challenge (IWC), which is quite simply the largest wine tasting competition in the world. Finally the International Wines & Spirits Competition (IWSC), which is the most traditional competition with the best heritage, having been around nearly thirty years.
The main Israeli award winners in the DWWA are:
Adir Shiraz Kerem Ben Zimra 2010 - REGIONAL TROPHY
The results for each competition receive good coverage by being published in trade magazines. The DWWA awards are published in Decanter Magazine. The IWC results appear in Harpers Wine & Spirits and the IWSC’s are shown in Drinks Business International. All three are held in London and the competitions are managed and organized by the cream of the British wine trade with judges participating from all over the world.
The DWWA is the youngest competition of the three. Only three Israeli wineries have succeeded in winning a Regional Trophy during the competition’s short history. These are Clos de Gat from the Judean Hills, Carmel Winery from the Mt. Carmel region and now Adir Winery, from the Upper Galilee. Of these only one, the Carmel Single Vineyard Shiraz 2006, went on to win the exclusive & prestigious International Trophy.
The IWC has never ever awarded a single gold medal for any Israeli wine. Israeli wines that compete seem to be stuck in the groove of ‘commended’, bronze and occasionally silver medals.
The IWSC has been a better hunting ground for Israeli wines. The Golan Heights Winery has won a Trophy, the best possible prize, on no less than three occasions. One was for their Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon 1984. This was the first ever major award for an Israeli wine, back in 1987. The Yarden Blanc de Blancs twice won The Trophy for Best Bottle Fermented Sparkling Wine. Apart from the Golan, the only other Israeli winery to win a gold medal is Carmel.
Israel has performed well too in the spirits category at the IWSC. The best awards ever, for ‘The Best Brandy Worldwide’, no less, was awarded in the late 1990’s to both Tishbi Estate Brandy and Carmel 100 Brandy.
These three competitions are as prestigious as any in the world, and this is proved by the fact that they give awards more grudgingly. Compare the number of gold medals awarded to Israeli wineries in these three competitions with their French equivalents. It is clear which has the more stringent judging criteria. A gold medal at any of these three competitions really means something. So particular congratulations are due to Adir and
Recanati wineries for their results in the 2012 competitions.