Later that same day: See full list of trophy winners below.
Ever the conscientious reporter, our West Coast editor Linda Murphy managed to email the identity of the the top wine in this year's Wines of Chile Awards before collapsing into bed after the awards dinner last night.
As when I took part in the first Awards (see here for background) and Julia took part last year, (see here), all wines are judged completely blind in appropriate categories by panels of non Chilean judges (Americans this year, British last year) and then the trophy winners are assessed by all the judges to come up with a top scorer.
The wine of the show this year was an Odfjell Malbec 2006, which I assume was called Orzada and made from fruit grown in Curico, as previous vintages of this wine were. I wonder whether a factor in its popularity with these American judges was that consultant oenologist at Odfjell (since 1999) is prominent California winemaker Paul Hobbs?
I'm sure it's an excellent wine (even if wine-searcher.com currently lists only one stockist, in Germany, at €13.95 a bottle) but as a relatively experienced wine judge, I also wonder whether we judges are sometimes seduced by novelty. Chile produces oceans of Cabernets, Carmenères and Merlots. Presumably the judges looked at hundreds of wines made from these varieties, but not that many Malbecs, so Malbecs must have seemed rather a refreshing change.
Here are the trophy winners:
Best of Show
• Odfjell Vineyards: 2006 Orzada Malbec Organic
Best Price-Quality Ratio in a Red Wine:
• Viña El Aromo: 2007 Reserva Privada Cabernet Sauvignon
• Viña Concha y Toro: 2007 Palo Alto Reserva
Best Price-Quality Ratio in a White Wine:
• Viña Miguel Torres: 2007 Cordillera Chardonnay
Best of Category
• Carmenère: Viña Morandé 2006 Edición Limitada Carménère
• Chardonnay: Viña Errázuriz 2007 Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2007
• Sauvignon Blanc: William Cole Vineyards 2008 Bill Limited Edition
• Pinot Noir: Veranda 2007 Pinot Noir
• Merlot: Viña Concha y Toro 2006Marqués de Casa Concha
• Syrah: Viña Falernia 2007 Syrah Reserva
• Cabernet Sauvignon: Viña El Aromo 2007 Reserva Privada Cabernet Sauvignon
• Other Reds: Odfjell Vineyards 2006 Orzada Malbec Orgánico
• Red Blends: Veranda 2007 Cabernet/Carmenère
• Late Harvest: Viña Echeverria 2005 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc
So, a particularly good result for Veranda.
To download a complete list of medal winners, click here.