Syrah did particularly well in this year's Wines of Chile Awards announced last Thursday night. Viña Tamaya, MCA Winemaker's Selection Syrah 2010 Limarí won the Best in Show trophy, while trophies also went to Viña Mayu Syrah 2009 Elqui Valley and Cono Sur, 20 Barrels Limited Edition Syrah 2010 Limarí.
Of the 17 trophies awarded by the nine judges from nine different countries (listed below), all of 11 went to wines grown in the country's cooler regions: Limarí, Elqui, San Antonio, Casablanca and Bío Bío.
Perhaps even less expectedly, Riesling won two trophies, in the form of Casa Marin, Miramar Riesling 2009 San Antonio and Concha y Toro, Terrunyo Riesling 2011 Casablanca, but perhaps the biggest surprise was that the Sparkling Wine trophy went to Miguel Torres, Santa Digna Estelado Rosé 2010, made entirely from País grapes. Trophies also went to traditional wines from Chile's oldest regions and re-emerging grape varieties: Gillmore, Hecedor del Mundo Cabernet Franc 2008 Maule and Santa Ema, Amplus Carignan 2009 Cachapoal.
The trophy for Best Value White was won by a wine from the country's northernmost wine region, San Pedro, Castillo de Molina Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Elqui Valley.
Trophies also went to Undurraga, T H Pinot Noir 2010 San Antonio, Viña Porta Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Colchagua (Best Value Red) and Viña Leyda, Loica Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé 2010 San Antonio. Casa Silva's pioneering work with Carmenere was recognised as Casa Silva, Doña Dominga, Andes Vineyard Reserva Carmenere 2010 Colchagua collected the trophy for Chile's own grape variety. The cool, southernmost Bío Bío region was recognised by the Late Harvest award for Cono Sur, Cosecha Noble 2010 Bío Bío.
The international judges at the Ninth Annual Wines of Chile Awards were:
- Peter Richards MW – UK
- Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW – Singapore
- Mai Tjemsland MW – Norway
- Debra Meiburg MW – Hong Kong
- Marcelo Copello – Brazil
- Bill St John – United States
- Bengt-Göran Kronstam – Sweden
- Patricio Tapia – Chile
- Anthony Gismondi – Canada