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News - 08.09.17

Argentina Wine Awards 2017: new heights and limits captivate the international jury

The latest edition of the AWA has revealed the commitment of the Argentine wine industry to regionalise, innovate and create.

The winners of the Argentina Wine Awards 2017, organised by Wines of Argentina and the Corporación Vitivinícola Argentina (COVIAR), were announced this afternoon at a crowded cocktail party held at Bodega Salentein. The AWA is considered the most influential contest of Argentinean wine in Latin America and now in its 11th edition, "Breaking New Ground", it was possible to see the transformations that Argentine producers have been promoting in the area of regionalisation in order to spread the identity of their wines.

With the purpose of showing the diversity offered by the different terroirs of Argentina, the tastings were organised by productive regions as well as price categories and varietals, as in previous editions. After the rigorous blind tasting performed by 12 international judges and 7 national judges, it was announced that 47 wines had obtained 95 points. 

A total of 17 wines received trophies: 6 red blends, 5 Malbecs, 1 Cabernet Sauvignon, 1 Cabernet Franc, 1 Chardonnay, 1 Sparkling wine, 1 White blend and 1 Sweet wine: 

  • Fabre Montmayou Reserva Malbec, 2016 - Bodegas Fabre S.A.
  • Doña Paula 969, 2017 - Doña Paula
  • Cocodrilo Corte, 2015 - Viña Cobos SA 
  • Riccitelli & Father, 2014 - Riccitelli Wines
  • Finca Los Nobles Cabernet Bouchet, 2012 - Bodega Luigi Bosca /Familia Arizu
  • Santiago Graffigna, 2014 - Bodegas Graffigna
  • Alta Vista Premium Extra Brut - Alta Vista
  • Agostino Familia White Blend, 2014 - Finca Agostino Hnos. S.A.
  • Cadus Vistaflores Appellation Chardonnay, 2016 - Cadus Wines
  • Gran Medalla Cabernet Franc, 2014 - Trapiche
  • Santa Julia Reserva Malbec, 2016 - Bodega Santa Julia
  • Tito Zuccardi Paraje Altamira, 2015 - Bodega Zuccardi Valle De Uco
  • Santa Julia Reserva Malbec Cabernet Franc, 2016 - Bodega Santa Julia
  • Rutini Apartado Gran Malbec, 2014 - La Rural Viñedos y Bodegas SA Ltda     
  • Grand Reserve Del Fin Del Mundo, 2013 - Bodega Del Fin Del Mundo
  • Colomé Malbec , 2015 - Bodega Colomé
  • Cafayate Gran Linaje Torrontés Cosecha Tardía, 2015 - Bodegas Etchart (Pernod Ricard Argentina S.R.L.). 

Three of these 17 trophies also won the Regional Trophy award.

Northern Valleys: Colomé Malbec 2015, Colomé Winery. 

Valleys of Mendoza: Grand Medal Cabernet Franc 2014, Bodega Trapiche.

Patagonian & Atlantic Valleys: Grand Reserve of the End of the World 2013, Bodega del Fin del Mundo.

The Region of La Rioja and San Juan obtained their fourth Regional Trophy with: Pyros Special Blend 2013, Bodega Salentein.

During the ceremony special recognition was also given to Andrés Rosberg, for "Personality of the Year 2017". This accolade highlights his recent election to President of the Association of International Sommeliers (ASI), being the first Argentine to chair this organisation. 

Andrés Rosberg, 42, presided over the Argentine Association of Sommeliers from 2005 until last December. He also directed the Pan American Association of Sommeliers (APAS), of which he is currently VP. Among his most recent achievements is the organisation of the Mundial de Sommeliers which took place last year in Mendoza, an event that became a milestone for Argentine wine at international level. 

The AWA counted on the sponsorship of the ICBC Bank, TNT, Cristalería San Carlos, Tonelería Nacional and Vivero San Nicolás, as well as the institutional support of the INV and EMETUR. The award ceremony was attended by more than 350 people including winemakers, national and provincial authorities, wine industry organisations, jury members and journalists. 

"The AWA is an excellent platform for wine professionals from around the world to discover what Argentina has to offer. Argentine producers are constantly driving for improvements to understand their terroir and the wines they are capable of producing, and we believe it is important for the market to experience these innovations," said Alberto Arizu, president of Wines of Argentina.

The seminar "Changing the Game: from varietals to regions" addressed new challenges facing the Argentine wine industry, strengthening the combination of variety + region. It began with a tasting of imported wines selected by the international judges based on the relationship between the origin of the wines and the success obtained in their respective countries. 

The international wines tasted were: 

  • Ken Forrester FMC, Chenin Blanc 2015 (£22.50); Stellenbosch, South Africa.
  • Herve Souhaut Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet, Syrah, 2016 (£21.34); Doux river, IGP Ardeche, France.
  • Elk Cove, Pinot Noir, 2014 (£23.88); Willamette Valley, Oregon, United States.
  • Etna Rosso, Feudo Di Mezzo, Tenuta Delle Terre Nere, 2014 (£24.60); Castiglione di Sicilia (Catania), Italy.
  • Brokenwood Semillon, 2015 (£17.62); Hunter Valley, Australia.
  • Dr. Loosen Estate, Riesling, Mosel, 2015 (£11.16); Mosel, Germany. 

The judges then explained the main characteristics of the markets they represent, while giving their opinions on the Argentine wines they had tasted during the week.

"In the United Kingdom, Malbec has become the definition of wine for new generations. Many ask for Malbec when it comes to ordering wine. We must work on this success to show the rest. The AWA tastings showed us that there's a lot they can offer“, said Lucy Shaw (UK) Editor of The Drinks Business.

“Malbec remains the king but there is room for Argentine wine to continue growing in the USA with lighter reds and/or wines made using different techniques. It is also time to focus on origin and for that GIs (geographical indications) are key since they help us to better understand the wines". Eric Zillier (USA), Sommelier and member of SevenFifty Technologies.

"The Chinese palate has an affinity with Malbec, people fall in love with its flavour. In addition, there is much recognition of Argentine gastronomy and its flavours, especially meat. Combining meat and wine is a good way to strengthen the image of Argentine wine in China", said Shengan Karla Wang (China), founder of Penguin Society, China's largest wine membership.

About the 11th edition of the AWA:

From September 4 to 8, 2017, the eleventh edition of the Argentina Wine Awards was held in Mendoza. Under the concept "Breaking New Ground", this edition sought to reflect the transformations and constant innovation that the Argentine wine industry is experiencing. In line with this theme, the contest aimed to completely break the rules of the game and introduce important changes in its format. New tasting criteria, reclassification of price segments, variations in jury composition and digitisation of tasting notes were just some of the changes incorporated.

Attached in the following link: