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New World & Old World Wine Countries & Wineries: 2009
Wine Reviews from the International Wine Challenge and AskMen
Winners of the 2009 International Wine Challenge (IWC) have been announced. The IWC is held yearly and is considered the world’s finest and most fastidious wine competition around. The event is sponsored in London by Wine and Spirit who have over 300 specialty judges.
Wines that score more than 84 points out of 100 advance to round two. The wines are then tasted again and gold medal winners for each style of wine are awarded. Trophies are decided on round three. For each medal the wine is tasted up to six times. This year the completion had over 9000 entries from all over the world which lasts over 2 weeks.
A record of 122 wines were awarded a Trophy this year with 13 Great Value Wine Awards. The IWC awarded a total of 304 gold medals, 1,304 silvers and 2,154 bronze.
Best International Wines
Wines of France won gold medals with a total of 49 gold medals, Australia 43 gold, and Portugal with 36. France also led the total medal count, Australia came in second and Italy came in third.
English wine won 24 medals mostly for their sparkling wine and one gold medal went to Bob Lindo's Camel Valley Bacchus 2007.
This year wines of Denmark won their first silver medal which was awarded to Don's Orion Brut 2007. Mexico also won it’s first silver medal for Casa Madero Shiraz 2007.
For many years the IWC has promoted award winning wines. According to the IWC the competition is very tough and because of the size they only focus on the crème de la crème.
For the 2010 International Wine Challenge (IWC) Results go to:
New World Wine
But what about other countries? According to AskMen most savvy wine drinkers can name the “Old World “ countries: Italy, Spain, Germany, and of course, France.
AskMen states that many wineries who are educated at some of the best colleges are now returning to their homelands to grow wine grapes. As well, changes due to global warming have altered environment for growing wine grapes in traditional wine countries. Many "New World' wineries of several regions are now being recognized for their quality wines.
Most of the new wine countries have a ways to go before producing premium wines. Although the wines of “New World” countries that have already won major awards. AskMen says that the “New World” wines are here to stay. Both red wine and white wine wineries are making innovative changes.
Switzerland borders top producing wine countries with France, Germany, and Italy. Their wines are of top quality and have high standards. There is only 1% of the wine produced in Switzerland that makes it out of the country. The best known wines of Switzerland come from the region of Valais producing a bright floral white wine from Chasselas grapes. According to AskMen , Chappaz Fendant is a good producer to look out for. The Chappaz Fendant is a crisp and mellow white wine with the aromatic savor of fruit.
The quality wines of the Crimea region were prized by Catherine II, Empress of Russia from 1762 until 1796. Between the mid and late 1700’s, Ukraine was the largest supplier of wine to the USSR. Around 1985, the government of the former Soviet Union attempted to reduce alcohol consumption. One of the oldest vineyards is Crimea, located in the Massandra winery and built in the 1890’s which was the summer palace of Czar Nicholas II. This region specializes in Muscat, a desert wine which can be a red wine as well as a white wine. Buyers beware, many of the Ukraine quality wines are being counterfeited and watered down, look for holographic labels that show authenticity. AskMen suggests a Pinot Blanc for its sparkling sweet taste, produced by Odessagne Sparkling.
Romania has produced quality wines for over six thousand years. Some say it is the oldest wineries in Europe. They are one of the largest producers of wine in the world, producing over 5000,000 tons a year. The four major wine regions of Romania are Tarnave with a variety of quality white wines of Transylvania; Cotnari with its sweet white"Kingly Wine" of Moldavia; Murfatlar just off the Black Sea producing a fresh sweet white wines and quality red wines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and black Feteasca; and the Dealu Mare region known as Big Hill, the most compact vine region in Romania producing traditional red wines; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, black Feteasca, Pinot Noir; and white wines, white Feteasca, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Ottonel, and Tamaioasa Romaneasca.
AskMen suggests trying the sweet white wine of Domain Tohani. According to Bombay Wine and Spirits, Domain Tohani has an aroma of honey, wildflowers and ripe fruits.
Greece has been producing quality wines for thousands of years. Until recently, their status for producing wine had sunk low due to retsina and 2000 years of foreign occupation influencing their prosperity. For the past twenty-five years Greek vineyards have felt obligated to revitalize the name for Greek wine. With an excellent climate growing grapes and modern technology Greece has combined the old and new to produce some outstanding wines. Greece has more than 300 indigenous grape varieties, some being cultivated since ancient times. Wineries of the Peloponessos, Macedonia, and Thessalia regions produce traditional red wines from the Mavrodafni grape and white wines from the Assyrtico grape. A popular pink-skinned Moscofilero grape grown in the Peloponessos region produces a dry white wine with a touch of spicy flavor. The Xynomavro red grape of Macedonia produces a rich earthy red wine that is often oak-aged.
AskMen suggests trying Domaine Sigalas, which is produced on a organic vineyard. Domaine Sigalas’s has a light pleasant white wine with a highlight of citrus intensity.
You wouldn’t think that Canada could produce a delectable quality wine because of its cold climate. Yet wines of many Canada regions have been produced since the 1800‘s. This year in Windsor, Ontario at the All Canadian Wine Championship 5 trophies were awarded as well as 47 best of categories and quite a few medals of merit. Many of the award winning wines came from the regions of British Columbia and Ontario.
Canada is also known for its Ice wines which started back in the 1800’s. The wine of this region is made entirely by hand and naturally frozen on the vine. The Ice wine has a remarkable high sugar content that is very sweet with a flavor similar to peach nectar and mangos. Most Ice vineyards are in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia and Nova Scotia out of Quebec.
AskMen says that Canada has the world’s best Ice wines and the Niagara Peninsula produces excellent crisp aromatic white wines. AskMen suggests trying wine of the Coyote’s Run Estate Winery, a array of aromatic wines of peach a pear floral with a touch of spice and smooth refreshing citrus wines
Brazilian Italian immigrants began a modern day wine industry in the 1880's. About 90% of wine comes from the mountainous regions of the most southern state out of Rio Grande do Sul. The quality wines are made in casks and with oak chips imported from France and America. One of the main growing regions is Serra Gaucha known for its refreshing sparkling wines and several varieties of red wine and white wine. Also Vale do São Francisco Valley, the largest wine producer near the Equator cultivates grapes with a high level of sugar giving their wine a delectable fruity taste. In Brazil you will find a variety of reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Aragonez; whites such as Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Malvasia Bianca, and Muscat.
AskMen suggests trying wine of Miolo the regeion. The vineyard of Miolo first produced only 8000 bottles of Merlot in 1990 and by 2003 the production of Cabernet-Merlot increased more than 10 percent. The Miolo wineries also makes sparking wine and grappa, a fragrant grape pomace brandy.
England and Wales
England is another cold climate country that produces some fine wine. Most of England’s wineries are in the southern regions which have soils compositions similar to the Champagne regions of France. The sparkling wines of England are among the favorites and have been receiving great reviews. England also produces white wine, roses, red wine, and some amazing desert wines.
AskMen suggests trying wine from the Nyetimber. The Nyetimber vineyard. has intense ripe bouquets of Blanc de Blancs , a luscious Classic Cuvée , and fresh Blanc de Noirs.