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  • Jancis Robinson
Written by
  • Jancis Robinson
3 Sep 2008

See a lively thread on the members' forum about these awards and how to find the award-winning wines.

Monday night's Decanter World Wine Awards dinner provided many surprises, to judge from accounts on (I was tucked up in bed sipping a restorative cocktail of Robitussin and Armand de Brignac at the time.)

Shock, horror! Winner of the International Trophy for Pinot Noir came not from Burgundy, not from Oregon, California nor New Zealand but from......Germany! Meyer-Näkel of the tiny, northern Ahr Valley to be precise. That's fun, isn't it? And valiant UK importer of this and other esoteric German wines, Iris Ellmann of The WineBarn, must have been over the moon.

Pieter Du Toit of remote Cederberg in South Africa was coping with a particularly savage winter storm on Monday night. But one of the first emails he received once electricity and communications were restored was from his UK importer, David Round MW at H & H Bancroft:

'I woke up this morning with arms aching from carrying home all of your trophies last night! South Africa had a very successful night at the Decanter World Wine Awards Dinner last night, but it was particularly good for Cederberg. In addition to the two regional trophies (for the Sustainable Chenin Blanc and the Shiraz) that were announced earlier this year, the Shiraz 2006 also won the International Trophy for Rhône varietals. Cederberg was, as far as I can see, the only South African estate to win three trophies, and the only one to win trophies for both white and red. I spent the evening basking in reflected glory, so thank you for that. More importantly, congratulations to you and your team. It is very well deserved. South Africa took 6 out of the 26 international trophies, which is a stunning performance.'

Very good indeed for a country which is rarely given prominence and credit - so very many congratulations to all winners. The full list of Decanter Trophy winners can be see here. See also yesterday's tasting notes on some superior South African whites and my reflections last April on some Delicious Germanic Pinot Noirs.

Tonight is the annual knees-up at which the gongs given by the rival competition, the International Wine Challenge, are handed out. See www.internationalwinechallenge for their results and, as background, my comparison of these two important London-based international wine competitions.