Wine Champions 2019
Wine Champions 2019
Wine Champions 2019

 

The results are in! After three intensive weeks of thrills, spills (it happens to the best of us), sniffs, swirls, scores and spirited debate, the 2019 Wine Champions have officially been crowned. Our buyers tasted 897 wines, all without sight of the labels, to find you the best bottles for opening and enjoying now.

The winners span old favourites, new surprises, seasoned veterans and stirring underdogs alike. But for all their different styles and stories, they all have one thing in common: these wines wowed our palates.

And with our expert panel having each taken just under 900 sips before you’ve taken your first, you can be sure of a risk-free range of opportunities to make your summer as delicious as it deserves to be. Let the games begin…

Wine Champions 2019
 
The rules

The rules

By the numbers

By the numbers

Tales from the tasting room

Tales from the tasting room



The rules

The Bottles
Each bottle must be completely covered to conceal any clues! The only information available to tasters is a vague stylistic or regional category and a price bracket.

The Scores
Each taster may award two points (for a wine they think is a Champion), one point (for a close contender) or zero. If a wine scores 70% or more of the available marks, it is crowned a Champion!



By the numbers

Our buyers tasted 897 wines this year (a new record)

Champagne & Sparkling: 58
Bordeaux & Bordeaux blends: 112
Rhône & Rhône blends: 54
Pinot noir & Gamay: 85

Mediterranean Reds: 168
Chardonnay: 68
Aromatic whites: 81
Dry whites: 144

Sauvignon blanc: 37
Rosé: 36
Sweet & Fortified: 54

These wines were the result of a preselection, taking into account readiness to drink and continued availability. They may include cask samples of new vintages as well as cellar stock.



Tales from the tasting room

Standard-bearing standouts: Society & Exhibition wines

We always tell members to explore these bottles with confidence. They are gems hiding in plain sight in our List… and so it proved this year when they were hidden out of sight among their peers. The thrill of seeing one of our own labels peeking from a winning bottle bag was experienced no fewer than 15 times in 2019 – a performance that, we felt, deserved its own section and a special mixed case.

California: brawn and beauty

The reds of the Golden State tend to be thought of as rich blockbusters, and you’ll find this genre played beautifully by zin winners Gnarly Head and Brazin. What we weren’t expecting were the lighter notes of Peltier Ranch’s remarkably well-priced pinot noir. Many of our tasters were convinced this was a cool-climate Chilean until the big reveal proved us wrong. A disarming, and delicious, performance.

A change of pace

Clearing our globetrotting buyers’ diaries for these tastings is no mean feat. Until this year, our sessions were spread out over a number of weeks during a four-month period. This year, to focus our minds and palates, and to make sure the wines are tasted closer to the unveiling date, we tried something more ambitious: a single three-week period with tastings held every day. They say a change is as good as a rest, and we hope you’ll agree when you try our winning wines that the effort was worth it!

A thirst-quenching first from England

Take a bow, Three Choirs: Payford Bridge is officially our first non-sparkling Champion from England! The tongues and pens of wine writers around the world have been quivering for some time about the quality of England’s 2018 vintage, with many touting it as the best ever. Speculation turned quickly into excitement during our tastings: the standard is higher than it has ever been.

White Burgundy that won’t break the bank

We’ve always prided ourselves on being able to find keenly priced white gold from the most famous of France’s wine regions, and 2019’s four-strong line-up of winners shows what rich pickings can be found. Two Chablis ambassadors (our Society-label wine and Sainte-Claire), both made by the brilliant Jean-Marc Brocard, show the fuller and finer side of this much-loved region respectively. Saumaize’s Saint-Véran drew high praise at a relatively low price, while Burrier’s Viré-Clessé wears its old-vine concentration with fantastic freshness.

The spice of life

Sweet and fortified wines might be a minority sport when compared with reds and whites… but what a game it can be! Our tastings yielded some astonishing successes this year: all three here moved every taster to award full marks. To make matters even more exciting, each is in a distinctly different style: a light, sweet effervescent moscato, a salty dry manzanilla sherry and a luscious Sauternes lookalike from the Dordogne.

This offer is open until Sunday 8th September, 2019 while stocks last.

Download the PDF for this offer >

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