Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Results Are Almost In

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Results Are Almost In

Article excerpt

Byline: andrew campbell ON WINE

WITH just three weeks until Christmas, this week marks a special moment in the wine industry calendar.

The reason is that the first tranche of results from the International Wine Challenge (IWC) are published on December 2. More will follow in the New Year. So why is this special? Of the three world wine awards many would consider the Londonbased IWC as the most prestigious with the results timed to 'support Christmas sales'.

While the big awards are not without their critics, they are an excellent pointer to quality and carry huge marketing kudos. IWC, IWSC and Decanter award labels will frequently adorn bottles as a testament of their quality.

British supermarket own label wines have fared particularly well in recent years and they will be expected to pick up a barrel full of awards this time round. As wine becomes ever more popular and supermarket PR machines become increasingly well oiled, the national media is sure to publicise the results. However you can take a look yourself by using the excellent search facility on the IWC's website. The trick is then to marry the winners with the shop bargains but beware: check the vintage because sometimes the award-winning wine may not have reached the shelves.

My first tipple today was IWC commended at last year's awards and, frankly, I reckon it should have done better. It's also perfect for a Christmas turkey roast.

Marks and Spencer's Helderberg Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2013 is reduced to PS8 until New Year's Day and while it's not the cheapest sauvignon it displays a lovely richness and depth that makes it good for the price.

Oak-free, it lures you in with intense aromas of pineapple and passionfruit leading to flavours of passionfruit, grapefruit, grass, herbs and gooseberry.

The Helderberg brand, owned by Boekenhoutskloof in South Africa's acclaimed Stellenbosch region, first came to my attention earlier this year with their delicious IWC silver medal winning Cabernet Sauvignon 2012.

Helderberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 is also a cracker - although it may struggle to match its older brother's crowd-pleasing potential. …

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