Asia’s premier wine competition, the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition (HK IWSC), has released its 2018 results this evening at a dazzling awards ceremony in Hong Kong. Always a key predictor of Asia’s wine trends in the coming year, cool climate wines, premiumusation and sparkling wine have proven a real feature of the competition’s 10th edition, while Australia, France and Japan starred in the all-important trophy results.
47 trophies were awarded in 2018. The top-performing countries in the trophy category were Australia picking up nine trophies, France with six and Japan scoring five trophies.
Evident of the rise in popularity and prevalence of cool climate wines in Asia, a number of cool climate regions triumphed in the trophy categories. Tasmania gained two trophies – Best Chardonnay (2017 Bay of Fires Chardonnay Tasmania) and Best Pinot Noir (2016 Bream Creek Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir) – while Oregon also scored double trophy honours with Best Wine with Bò lúc lắc / Vietnamese Shaking Beef (2015 Merriman Estate Pinot Noir Oregon) and Best Wine from USA (2015 Joel Gott Pinot Noir Oregon).
New Zealand’s Marlborough region notched up three trophies, winning top honours from Best Wine from New Zealand (2018 Babydoll Pinot Gris Marlborough), Best Rose (2018 Marisco Vineyards The Ned Pinot Rosé Marlborough) and Best Sauvignon Blanc (2018 Sacred Hill Origin Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough).
Champagne took the podium three times, winning the prize for Best Sparkling Wine (2004 Champagne Comtes de Dampierre Cuvée Prestige Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut), Best Wine with Steamed Garoupa (Champagne Philippe Prié Cuvée Archange Brut NV) and Best Wine with Kung Pao Chicken (Champagne Philippe Prié Brut Tradition NV).
1706 medals awarded in total (583 bronze medals, 970 silver and 156 gold), and while there was a wide spread of winners some countries performed particularly well this year. 15 Green Awards were also bestowed, recognising gold medal and trophy winners who are certified organic, biodynamic or sustainably produced via their national certification board.
France saw a major leap in its entries and medal haul, gaining 86% more medals than 2017. Having dominated the Asian market for decades, with the rise in prominence of new markets, like Australia, Italy and New Zealand, France’s effort to hold prominence is clear.
The quality of wines from Portugal, Argentina and Chile is certainly on the rise in the Asian market – evidence of the premiumisation trend. Having dominated the entry-level market for a number of years, the focus on more premium and mid-level wines saw Portugal’s entry numbers on par with 2017, yet a 25% rise in medal numbers, while Argentina’s medal haul rose 50% versus last year, with a 20% rise in entry numbers. South Africa too confirmed its high-quality presence on the Asian stage with 60% more medals.
Austria, Greece and New Zealand bagged around 35% more medals each, while USA, Japan and Portugal added to their 2017 medal tallies by around a quarter.
New to the line-up of trophies in 2018, “Best Wine from Georgia” was awarded to Château Mukhrani Réserve Royale Red. Also a top performer for Eastern Europe was the Czech Republic, seeing more than 100% rise in its entries and medals.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2018, the HK IWSC saw both record entries from a total of 35 countries (over 500 appellations represented) as well as a record-breaking judging panel with 58 judges hailing from 13 Asian cities. In line with its 2018 theme of “Sustainability in the Wine Industry”, 2018 also saw the introduction of the Green Wine Awards, recognising top quality wines which are certified sustainable, biodynamic or organic by their local certification body.
The full official HK IWSC trophy and medal results, including trophies for international grape varieties, best national wines, best styles, spirits and more, were revealed at a gala awards ceremony on the opening night of the Fair, on 8 November.
Wine professionals and the public can meet the HK IWSC team and a selection of judges and taste a variety of winning wines at Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, from 8-10 November at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center at 3F-B13.
Full results are available at www.hkiwsc.com on 8 November.
Full Trophy Results
Best Sauvignon Blanc-Sacred Hill Origin Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Best Riesling-Gatt High Eden Riesling
Best Chardonnay-Bay of Fires Chardonnay Tasmania
Best Pinot Noir-Bream Creek Reserve Pinot Noir Tasmania
Best Shiraz / Syrah-McLaren Vale III Associates Squid Ink Shiraz
Best Merlot / Merlot Blends-Leopards Leap Special Edition Red Blend
Best Cabernet / Cabernet Blends-Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
Best Wine from Argentina-Trapiche Gran Medalla Cabernet Franc Uco Valley
Best Red Wine from Australia-McLaren Vale III Associates Squid Ink Shiraz
Best White Wine from Australia-Tempus Two Pewter Semillon Hunter Valley
Best Wine from Austria-Domäne Wachau Ried Achleiten Grüner Veltliner Smaragd
Best Wine from Chile-Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
Best Wine from China-Helan Mountain Xiao Feng Cabernet Sauvignon
Best Wine from France-Domaine Cazes Aimé Cazes AOC Rivesaltes
Best Wine from Georgia-Château Mukhrani Réserve Royale Red
Best Wine from Italy-Villa Canestrari 1888 Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva DOCG
Best Wine from New Zealand-Babydoll Pinot Gris Marlborough
Best Wine from Portugal-Casa Santos Lima Touriz Red
Best Wine from Spain-Balbás Ribera Del Duero DO Crianza
Best Wine from South Africa-Nederburg The Motorcycle Marvel
Best Wine from USA-Joel Gott Pinot Noir Oregon
Best Wine from Alsace-Clos Château d’Isenbourg ‘Les Terrasses’ Gewürztraminer AOC Alsace
Best Sparkling Wine-Champagne Comtes de Dampierre Cuvée Prestige Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut
Best Rosé Wine-Marisco Vineyards The Ned Pinot Rosé Marlborough
Crown Wine Cellars Best Dessert Wine-Künstler Hochheimer Hölle Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese Rheingau
Best Worldwide Fortified Wine-De Bortoli Black Noble Barrel Aged 10yo
Best Sake-Yaegaki Daiginjo Genshu Homan
Best Gin-Hernö Old Tom Gin
Best London Dry Gin-Original Classic Dry
Best Single Malt Scotch Whisky Over 15 Years-Highland Park 30yo Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Best Blended Malt Scotch Whisky-Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
Best Worldwide Whisky/Whiskey-Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey
Best Cognac-Monnet Cognac XO
Best Grape Brandy-Fundador Supremo 18 yo Oloroso Sherry Casks Brandy de Jerez
Best Rum-Neisson Le Rhum Agricole Vieux Par Neisson
Best Shochu-Ogatama Sochu Banshu No Hai
Best Chinese Spirit-Jiangji Distillery 508 Gaoliang
Best Liqueur-Komasa Jyozo Komasa No Yuzushu