What did the judges think?
Antony Moss MW
“The tasting reinforced many impressions, such as the fact that a lot of easy pleasure can be found with Prosecco; Cava continues to go through a bumpy phase, maybe finding a new niche, but maybe fragmenting into various sub-categories of Spanish sparkling; and there are some lovely wines from the UK, but the high acidity levels do not appeal to everyone. “I was especially impressed by the entries from France – the various crémant wines. Right now, I’d say crémants offer arguably the best value for money in the sparkling category. The potential has always been there in theory, but there were many wines that were really lovely, showing pure fruit and a touch of autolytic complexity. This will affect my own buying habits.”
Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW
“Prosecco DOC – for sub £10 – and Prosecco DOCG in the £10-£15 category were the most consistent wines, in most cases scoring a medal. It just shows that the consumer can have confidence when purchasing that type of wine. “Traditional-method sparkling wines struggled to stand out at the lower price range, although there were a few surprises from France, specifically from the Loire Valley. “At higher prices, there were some interesting and high-scoring wines from native grapes from Hungary and Austria, both which provided good alternatives for those adventurous consumers seeking out aromatic fizz styles. English sparkling, New Zealand and South Africa also had some outstanding examples. In general the wines were well made with very few poor examples. It was a lovely tasting.”
Patricia Stefanowicz MW
“The inexpensive white sparklings, mostly Prosecco, were really rather nice. These under-£10 wines seemed best when dry or nearly dry with balanced alcohol and sufficient acidity. Easy-going, crowd-pleasing wines. At £10-£15 there were some expressive crémants from the Loire, whether pure Chenin or blends made up of Chenin and Chardonnay. “Above £15, the wines performed well, many garnering good Bronze and Silver medals and a sprinkling of Golds. Interestingly, at stratospheric prices (above £30) there were a few stunning wines from England, and one from Austria. “The entrants in the Rosé Brut category were really consistent in terms of quality, with almost all the wines garnering a medal. A lovely Rosé Brut sparkling from New Zealand justified its award, a balanced wine with beautiful red fruits and just enough fresh yeast to give interest on the nose and breadth on the palate. “A mildly disappointing aspect of the tasting was the inconsistency of White Brut sparklings below £30, and in the different regions. There were very few disasters, but price didn’t necessarily correspond to quality. Caveat emptor.”