One of the (many) advantages of working in the wine trade is that tasting new and interesting wines from around the world is a requirement – we recommend the wines we sell because we taste them all. Our ever-popular wine plans have been a source of exceptional quality and great wine discoveries for our customers for more than 20 years.
For our International Wine of the Year we went in search of wines from outside Australia. From wineries in the new world and the old, our team discovered great winemakers and their exceptional wines.
Leading this search was Andrew Caillard MW. MW stands for Master of Wine and there are fewer than 350 men and women around the world who can put those letters after their names. Andrew is a respected winemaker, wine judge, wine writer and a leading voice on the future of Australian wine. Andrew is also a co-founder of Langton’s, the fine wine specialists, auctioneers and the creators of the Langton's Classification of Australian Wine.
Here is Andrew discussing our International Wine of the Year.
Who are the judges?
Leading our tasting panel is Andrew Caillard MW. His fellow judges included award-winning winemakers Gywn Olsen and Nick Badrice and respected wine educator Christine Ricketts.
With decades of experience, knowledge and countless tastings under their belts, our judges were still delighted and surprised by quality of the wines they sampled. We’re lucky to have their wine wisdom and palates to guide through the search for our International Wine of the Year.
What they looked for
The search for our International Wine of the Year, as always with Cellarmaster, focused on what our customers want. So we went looking for variety and quality but, above all, value. Value is the most important factor as it’s what our customers have come to expect from us for over 30 years.
Working with suppliers from across the world, our judges started by narrowing down the list to around 100 standout wines. After that, judging the wines like a wine show, they rated each bottle and the standout wines began to rise to the top. Our judges then narrowed that list to just six wines and that’s where we are now.
What they found
In our search for our International Wine of the Year, we were delighted to find so many regions producing such exciting wines and a few pleasant surprises along the way.
Our judges found gold and silver medal winners for the top six as well as a European Producer of the Year 2015. They also found an exciting, contemporary wine from the en vogue French region of Languedoc-Roussillon. Our judges discovered an Argentine Malbec that will delight lovers of Langhorne Creek Malbec as well as a Spanish Grenache that tastes like it came from old vines in the Barossa. With these and much more, our judges had a difficult task of narrowing the field down to just six wines.
The six International Wine of the Year finalists for 2016 are:
Santoro Terre Di Chieti I.G.P Sangiovese 2014 Italy
“An utterly beguiling Italian Sangiovese from a top producer that will shine with food.”
– Gwyn Olsen
Chateau Seigneurie De Murviel 2015 France
“This shows why Languedoc is fast becoming France’s most exciting region to discover new and exciting modern wines.”
– Gwyn Olsen
Bouchard & Cie Cotes Du Rhone 2015 France
“With its spicy flavours and smooth, dry finish, you’ll love every drop of this Silver medal winning Cotes Du Rhone”
– Christine Ricketts
Uvas del Sol Malbec 2015 Argentina
“A gorgeous wine made by top producer Zuccardi, whose reputation for quality makes them the ‘Penfolds’ of Argentina.”
– Nick Badrice
Manieri Nero di Troia 2014 Italy
“This is such a find. It’s a rare and exciting variety that’s native to Puglia in Southern Italy. Lifted, spicy and really beautiful.”
– Christine Ricketts
El Capricho Garnacha 2015 Spain
“This is the taste of modern Europe. Fresh, lifted and incredibly easy to drink. An utterly delicious wine.”
– Nick Badrice
Our International Wine of the Year
While it sounds like fun, and it was, we take this tastings very seriously. Cellarmasters always strives to find exceptional wines that represent great value. These finalists are those wines.
In this group of potential winners we see passion, craft, heritage, ambition and utter deliciousness. We hope you enjoy discovering these wines as much as we did.
Wine Plans from Cellarmasters
For over 20 years, our wine plans have been popular with our customers because they showcase exceptional wines at extraordinary prices. These convenient plans are tailored to specific tastes, shipped regularly, at a pace that suits our customers, and are flexible with no onerous, lock-in contracts. All this with a 100% in-home taste guarantee, Cellarmasters has become a trusted source of quality wines that represent great value. Discover more with our fantastic wine plans. Call us on 1800 505 605.
- Wine of the Year