A new competition to find the best Champagnes and sparkling wines has revealed a few surprises.
Wines from around the world have been showered with honors at the inaugural Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships (CSWWC), and – surprise, surprise – the big winner is Cristal.
The 30 trophies that were awarded saw Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé 2002 claim the ultimate title of Supreme World Champion 2014. A further 12 world champions by by country of origin, 11 world champions by style, three world champions by value and three world champion magnums by style have also won trophies.
The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships received more than 650 entries from 16 different countries in this, its first year. The editor of FINE Champagne Magazine, Essi Avellan MW, and celebrated Australian sparkling wine consultant, Dr Tony Jordan, joined Tom Stevenson for the judging process back in May. The three judges tasted all entries blind, including some wines that had never entered any wine competition before.
Founder and chairman of judges Tom Stevenson said: "All the wines submitted were initially tasted and evaluated by origin and style. This ensured that each wine’s medal potential was evaluated according to its own typicity of provenance."
Within each category of origin, the wines were assessed strictly by style. Where no gold medals were awarded, no wine of that style from that provenance could progress any further in the competition; but where there were gold-medal winners, they were grouped together, and the Best in Class wines were chosen.
Stevenson continued: "From the Best in Class, there was a taste-off to decide the World Champion trophy for each country or appellation. The Best in Class winners from all over the world were then grouped together by style to decide those World Champions. We also rewarded the best supermarket Champagne and the greatest value Champagne and greatest value sparkling wine with World Champion trophies."
Judges awarded 185 wines with silver medals and above in the first year, 86 gold and 99 silver.
The 2015 Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships will open for entries in December.
A selection of the winners:
2002 Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé – Supreme World Champion
2008 Il Mosnel Rosé Pas Dosé Parosé – World Champion Non-Dosage
Champagne Pommery NV Brut Royal (magnum) – World Champion NV Brut Blend
Champagne Ruinart NV Blanc de Blancs – World Champion NV Blanc de Blancs
Champagne Charles Heidsieck NV Rosé Réserve World Champion NV Rosé
2002 Champagne De Castelnau Blanc de Blancs – World Champion Vintage Blanc de Blancs
2011 Hattingley Valley Rosé – World Champion Vintage Rosé
1996 Dom Pérignon Oenothèque – World Champion Deluxe Brut Blend
2002 Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs – World Champion Deluxe Blanc de Blancs
Grant Burge NV Shiraz Cabernet – World Champion Sparkling Red
Roederer Estate NV Brut Sparkling – Wine World Champion U.S.
2000 Gramona Enoteca Brut Nature – World Champion Cava
2013 Nino Franco Valdobbiadene Primo Franco – World Champion Prosecco
2004 Champagne Les Pionniers Brut – World Champion Supermarket Champagne and World Champion Greatest Value Champagne
2012 Freixenet Cuvée de Prestige Trepat – World Champion Greatest Value Sparkling Wine