France Dominates, Japan & India Surprise, At Decanter Asia Wine Awards

Inaugural Asian Event Drew 2,249 Wines From 42 Regions

The wine event took place last month at Hong Kong Cyberport

Held last month at Hong Kong’s Cyberport, this week saw the release of the results of the first-ever Decanter Asia Wine Awards. Co-chaired by Jeannie Cho Lee MW and Steven Spurrier, with vice-chairs Michael Hill-Smith AM MW, Andrew Jefford, Shinya Tasaki, Gerard Basset MS MW and Poh Tiong Ch’ng each leading panels of experts from all over the Asia-Pacific region, judging for the event ran through September 20, with the full results published this week on Decanter’s newly launched Chinese- and English-language DecanterChina.com. Despite the not-entirely-unexpected dominance of French wines, a few surprises did emerge out of the 2,249 wines from 42 regions that appeared at the inaugural Asia event.

Highlights at the first Decanter Asia Wine Awards included wines from the Champagne region of France, 100 percent of which medaled. Other wine-growing regions and countries with a strong showing at the event included Tuscany, Piedmont, the Rhone valley, and the US. This contrasts with the Decanter World Wine Awards, where the most successful regions were New Zealand, Sherry, Port and Madeira, and Champagne. Grape-wise, in Hong Kong the Sangiovese proved the most popular among judges, with more than 97 percent of wines made from the grape winning medals. As expected, considering their popularity in the Bordeaux and Burgundy-obsessed Greater China region, reds were very well represented, making up 65 percent of all submissions.

Asia Wine Awards

But it wasn’t all Old World and California wines gaining the attention of the jury of international wine experts and sommeliers. Surprises included a Japanese sparkling wine from Yamanashi, the 2007 Katsunuma Jyozo Aruga Branca Brilhante, which went home with a silver medal. Judges were wowed by the wine’s “mineral, honeyed white flower hint on the nose,” and mousse described as “citrusy with a lemon palate.” Indian winemaker Sula Vineyards, the largest in that country, also won a silver medal for its 2012 Sauvignon Blanc.

On the China side, 15 wines went home with accolades, among them Grace Vineyard’s Tasya’s Reserve Chardonnay 2010, which won a silver medal. Seven others won bronze medals, while a further seven received commendations. In all, France won the most medals at the event, followed by Australia and Italy.

Full results can be found at http://bit.ly/decanterasia.

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