Margaret River fortified named wine of the year in London

April 7, 2022
By Ioni Doherty

Gralyn Estate Artizan Rare Muscat from Margaret River scored the top spot at the the 2022 London Wine Competition with 97 points and was named Wine of the Year and Best Wine of the Year by Quality.

The fortified dessert wine is predominantly muscat – vibrant, deep amber-brown with a green rim. The bouquet is lifted and layered with spice, butterscotch and fruit cake. Many years maturation in old oak casks has produced richness and rancio complexity. Intense flavours of raisin and toffee sustain a long, clean finish. Aptly labelled, this limited release has the stamp of a true Artizan – hand crafted and unique. These qualities are also reflected in the label with original artwork by Merilyn Hutton.

Established in 1975 by Merilyn and Graham Hutton, Gralyn Estate was one of the first names in Margaret River wine. Now under the stewardship of their daughter Annette Baxter and husband Scott, viticulturists and winemakers, the couple continue Gralyn Estate’s decades long journey, producing premium wine and fortified wines from non-irrigated, mature vines.

Winning the top medal at the 2022 London Wine Competition has made them not only the top Fortified Wine but also the top wine among all categories.

London Wine Competition is an international celebration of wines that are loved by the trade and enthusiasts alike. Winning at the London Wine Competition is not about having the most artisanal wine or an elite experience priced high. This competition celebrates a balance, a sweet spot between great quality, great packaging, and value for money.

50% Q (Quality Score) + 25% Value Score (V) + 25% Package Score (P) = London Wine Competition Score.

Australian wines performed extremely well at the awards. With Australian wines taking out Best in Show in categories of Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.

  • Shiraz: Gibson Reserve Shiraz 2019, Barossa Valley
  • Pinot Noir: 2019 Levantine Hill Estate Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley
  • Cabernet Sauvignon: Moss Brothers Moses Rock 2019, Margaret River

Other top Australian scorers are:

  • Ponting ‘366’ 2018 Shiraz Cabernet, Ponting Wines, South Australia (95 points)
  • Gibson Reserve Shiraz 2019, Barossa Valley (95 points)
  • Switch GSM 2019, Haselgrove Wines, McLaren Vale
  • St Andrews Shiraz 2019, Wakefield Taylors Wines, Clare Valley (94 points)
  • The Ironstone Pressings, d’Arenberg, McLaren Vale (94 points)
  • Brockenchack 2018 TWH Shiraz Cabernet, Eden Valley (94 points)

Barossa Valley winemaker Rob Gibson of Gibson Wines is celebrating the win. He said, “After being out walking vineyards picking the 2022 crop, having dodged hail and all that the last year has thrown us, it’s bloody good to hear our efforts are paying off.

“This is our 14th vintage of Reserve Shiraz but our very first entry into the London Wine Competition – what a way to start!”

View the full list of results here.

Crucially, all the winners in the London Wine Competition will give future trade wine buyers, be they for a supermarket, specialist wine retailer, casual dining or upmarket restaurant, the re-assurance that these are wines that their customers want to buy.

In its fifth year, over 1300 wines were submitted for the competition this year, up 14 per cent on 2021.

The majority of the wines entered in the competition were from Australia with over 400 wines. This was closely followed by Italy, Spain, Portugal and France. Other countries sending in their wines were the United States, Romania, Canada, Georgia, and the Republic of Moldova.

Sid Patel, CEO of London Competitions & Beverage Trade Network

The largest numbers of submissions were in the Shiraz category, followed closely by Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Saperavi, Touriga Nacional, and Grenache were also adjudicated.

Some of the country’s reputed wine trade buyers, award-winning sommeliers and Master Sommeliers, as well as Masters of Wine gathered at the St Mary’s Church in London’s Marylebone.

The wines are assigned a score for quality and value on a blind-tasting basis. Following this, the wines will be brought to the judges and arranged together for the packaging score for that flight.

The judges panel includes outstanding folks from the industry who love their wines just as much as they understand their market. The judging panel at the 2022 London Wine Competition included:

  • Svetoslav Manolev MS, Master Sommelier working as Head Sommelier & Wine Buyer Flemings Mayfair, London;
  • David Round MW, Master of Wine and Director at Big Fish Little Fish;
  • Tim Triptree MW, International Director, Wine at Christie’s;
  • Eric Zwiebel, MS Executive Head Sommelier at Summer Lodge Hotel and Red Carnation Group;
  • Emanuel Pesqueira, Head Sommelier at Gordon Ramsay Group;
  • Barbara Drew MW, Master of Wine at Berry Bros. & Rudd Ltd; and Peter Mitchell MW, Wine Director at Jeroboams Group.

Organisers say that the 2022 London Wine Competition saw one of the most heated judging processes yet. Finally, the judges did come together to pick the crème de la crème of these contesting wines.

2022 London Wine Competition Winner “ Gralyn Estate Artizan Rare Muscat, Australia” by Gralyn Estate.

  • Wine Of The Year – Gralyn Estate Artizan Rare Muscat, Australia
  • Winery Of The Year – Champagne Besserat de Bellefon depuis 1843, France
  • Best Wine By Quality – Gralyn Estate Artizan Rare Muscat, Australia
  • Best Wine By Value – Adega de Pegões Touriga Nacional 2017, Portugal
  • Best Wine By Packaging – Gerald – Bubbly White Wine 2020, United Kingdom

Best Wines by Country award winners:

  • Australia – Gralyn Estate Artizan Rare Muscat
  • Italy – Le Bastìe Rosso 2012
  • Portugal – Vila Jardim Selection 2020
  • Spain – La Pujada Vieilles Vignes 2015
  • France – Besserat de Bellefon Reserve Collection 1990
  • United States – Silverado Vineyards Mt. George Vineyard Merlot 2018
  • Georgia – Mukuzani 2018
  • Moldova – Late Harvest Rhein Riesling 2017
  • South Africa – Piekenierskloof Bergendal Chenin Blanc 2020
  • Romania – Cuvée Uberland 2020

Best Wines by Varietal winners:

  • Shiraz – Gibson Reserve Shiraz 2019, Australia
  • Merlot – Le Bastìe Rosso 2012, Italy
  • Saperavi – Mukuzani 2018, Georgia
  • Cabernet Sauvignon – Moss Brothers Moses Rock 2019, Australia
  • Chardonnay – 2019 Ross Hill Pinnacle Chardonnay, Australia
  • Tempranillo – Digma 2016, Spain
  • Pinot Noir – 2019 Levantine Hill Estate Pinot Noir, Australia
  • Sauvignon Blanc – Sot del Cel 2020, Spain
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