Interestingly, the results are a clear demonstration of the high level of competitiveness, year after year, at the Six Nations Wine Challenge.
And 2014 will be marked by surprises, something that should be very welcome by global consumers, because it would help them to open their minds and palates. A South African Sauvignon Blanc over New Zealand´s or a Chilean Riesling highlights some of Australia’s best representatives. Somewhat more surprising is an Aussie Malbec chosen over many from Argentina. And there is revenge at the hands of Argentina’s Syrah. The United States has taken one of the most competitive classes of the show; Bordeaux Blends, and New Zealand has dominated the Chardonnay class.
Each year it becomes more difficult to select because the qualities are very close, and the typicity of terroirs and styles tend to be a more subjective assessment, especially in these blind tastings of almost 600 wines.
However, it is still very entertaining and interesting to taste all the wines in the Challenge when judges from each country choose their top wines regardless of commercial quantity available. It is during the judges’ discussions and exchanges of views with other references in all classes, where we learn more, and so can better communicate to our consumers.
The contribution of the Six Nations Wine Challenge to the development of the wine in the New World regions is surprising. To bring us back to the Challenge it´s enough for the judges just to see the enthusiasm from participating wineries and their anxiety to know the results, and also the consumers’ response when tastings and presentations are carried out in different countries.
Fabricio Portelli | Argentina