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  • Natalie Shelley

Decanter World Wine Awards 2019 winners: The Marlow Wine Society’s shortlist

Updated: Aug 31, 2019

Now in its 16th year, the Decanter World Wine Awards is the world's largest and one of the most influential wine competitions. Wine growers throughout the world are invited to submit their wines to compete with a vast number of entrants – this year some 16,500 - and the expert panellists selected from around the globe judge the wines and award medals to the winners in a number of different categories.

Bob Perrin, one of The Marlow Wine Society’s members and seasoned follower of the Decanter Awards, presented his shortlist of the 50 Best-in-Show and 148 Platinum winners – all scoring 97 out of 100 or higher.

There were four white wines, a rosé and three reds presented:

1. Wine: Single Vineyard Taylors Pass; Grape: Sauvignon Blanc; Geography: Awatere Valley, Marlborough; Producer: Villa Maria; Year: 2018; ABV:13.5%; Price: £15.35; Source: Exel

Grown in the Awatere Valley, one of the colder and stonier regions of Marlborough located at the north-eastern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, this well-structured wine displays more restrained characteristics of Sauvignon Blancs than those usually shown by the familiar supermarket-bought brands, with a subtle mineral, elderflower and gooseberry nose following through on to the palate. This smooth, crisp white with a lingering mineral after taste was a Best-in-Show medal winner.

2. Wine: Polish Hill River Aged-Release; Grape(s): Riesling; Geography: Clare Valley, South Australia; Producer: Pauletts; Year: 2012; ABV: 12.1%; Price: £15.90; Source: Exel

The Polish Valley, so called after the first settlers in the locality, is well-known for the exceptional quality of grapes that can be cultivated there, producing some of the most outstanding white wines to be made in Australia. The Riesling grape exuberates a strong diesel nose with hints of lime and mint and delivers a zesty lime saltiness on the palate with a long finish. Awarded a Platinum medal.

3. Wine: Estate White; Grape(s): 50% Malagousia, 50% Assyrtiko; Geography: Epanomi, Macedonia, Greece; Producer: Ktima Gerovassiliou; Year: 2018; ABV: 13.5%; Price: £15.05; Source: Exel

The native Greek Malagousia grapes are grown in sandy-soiled vineyards surrounded on three sides by the sea. This refreshing light wine has floral, apricot notes on the nose and lemon, apple, pear, stone fruits and white pepper taste. A Platinum medal winner.

4. Wine: Bush Vine Chenin Blanc; Grape(s): Chenin Blanc; Geography: Swartland, South Africa; Producer: Swartland Winery; Year: 2017; ABV: 13.5%; Price: £13.70; Source: Exel

An entry by the massive South African wine producer, Swartland Vineries, this white was well received by the society and even gave rise to the comment by a member that “it had brought Chenin Blanc to new levels”. Toasted peach, apricot, nougat and honey on the nose followed through on the taste with just a hint of oak from the must ageing for nine months in French barrels. A winner of a Platinum medal.

5. Wine: Bandol Rosé Tradition; Grapes: Mourvedre, Grenache, Cinsault; Geography: Bandol, Provence; Producer: Domaine La Suffrene; Year: 2018; ABV: 13.5%; Price: £18.05; Source: Exel

The first thing of note about the only rosé of the evening was its unusual colour of yellow/orange, considered a little bit out of the ordinary for a Provence wine, usually favouring paler pink hues. The nose of floral peach and fruits was more enduring than the taste but still pleasing. All in all it was thought to be quite sophisticated. Winner of a Best-in-Show medal.

6. Wine: Domaine du Bicheron; Grape(s): Pinot Noir; Geography: Burgundy; Producer: Rousset; Year: 2016; ABV: 13.5%; Price: £15.75; Source: Gerrard Seel

A restrained nose for a Pinot Noir with just a hint of dark berries, juniper, and aniseed giving way to a light-bodied spice, dark fruit, beetroot and light oak on the palette. Winner of a Platinum medal.

7. Wine: Casasilia; Grape(s): Sangiovese; Geography: Tuscany; Producer: Poggio al Sole; Year: 2014; ABV: 14%; Price: £29.95; Source: Exel

The most expensive wine of the evening, this wine gushes with aromas of black and red fruits, mint, dried herbs and the vanilla and spice of high-quality oak, which lead on to a full-bodied, yet velvety, palate with finely detailed tannins. Could be left for a few more years to mature the tannins. A Platinum medal winner.

8. Wine: Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva; Grape(s): Tempranillo; Geography: Rioja; Producer: El Coto; Year: 2012; ABV: 13.5%; Price: £21.20; Source: Exel

With two years in French Oak, this Tempranillo delivers a rich, voluptuous feast for the nose of cheese, dark fruits, chocolate, spice and black pepper, packed with velvety, soft tannins and flavours of chocolate and fresh red and dark berries. Judged a Best-in-Show medal winner.

Favourite wines of the evening

This evening member voted wine No.1 best white and wine No.8 the best red.

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