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Posted: Thursday, 07 November 2019 14:35

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Pinnacle of Wine Awards debuts in Singapore

Nov 07: The inaugural Wine Pinnacle Awards presented by Genting Singapore integrated Resort, mark perhaps the first ever wine award based on nominations, where any wine in the world can be entered with no restriction on its origin or entry fees. With this process, the organisers aim to produce results that are inclusive and representative, and establish the Awards as truly authoritative, prestigious and unique, writes Subhash Arora who believes these Awards are unique and refreshing but is not clear on who could nominate

Chateau Latour, Giacomo Conterno, Salon, DRC, Vega Sicilia, Sassicaia, Henschke, Screaming Eagle, Tyrrel’s, Tandonia and Gravner are some of the obvious names in the world of collectible fine wines that find a mention as winners in various categories that also include Unsung Hero-legendary Tokaj producer István Szepsy from Hungary and Best Friend of The Earth- the rather obvious and iconic Miguel Torres of Familia Torres, Spain.

Even the Jury had as eminent members as the wines, chaired by Jeannie Cho Lee MW- the Hong Kong-based, Korean-American wine critic, author, journalist, consultant and wine educator. Other members were Andreas Larsson, the Swedish sommelier who was elected World's Best Sommelier in 2007. Doug Frost, is both and MW & MS- second person in history to complete both exams (Late Gerard Basset OBE also had the same distinction). Kenichi Ohashi, MW from Japan has been a fellow judge with me at Cathay Pacific (HKIWSC) for several years since his pre-MW days. Oz Clarke is a well-known British wine writer, television presenter and broadcaster.

The Awards comprised 27 categories, designed to select the best mature fine wines alongside young wines and hidden nuggets that offer outstanding quality but are not in the radar of many consumers. They also included natural wines made without additives, generally by small, family wine producers.

The Awards are arguably the first in the world to rate mature wines that are ready to drink and include the likes of the Best Bordeaux from 1996 and the Best Rioja/Ribera del Duero from 2005. Such vintage wines or even the wineries are rarely submitted in the regular wine competitions. Thus the Awards are fascinating for collectors and social drinkers alike.

According to the Rules of the Award, wines may be nominated from anywhere without restrictions of origin (even top wines from India could have participated) or entry fees. Each category accommodated up to 5 nominees. Those that received the highest number of points from the judges were declared winner of each category. The winners were declared at the black- tie gala dinner held at the Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) Ballroom on 10 October.

For List of Winners in each Category, Click here

The Grand Jury award was awarded to Domaine Coche-Dury in Meursault known for its excellent Burgundy whites. Celebrating the absolute best of this year’s Awards, the Grand Jury award is specially judged and selected by the Wine Pinnacle Awards Committee from among the winners across all categories and as such there are no nominees.

The 5 Nominees in each Category except the Grand Jury Award, may be viewed by clicking here

An interesting category is the Best Chinese Red (China makes mostly red wines) for obvious reasons. The upcoming Ningxia region which I have visited twice during the last one year, had Two of Silver Heights wines, namely 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Emma’s Reserve and The Summit, a blend of Cabernet and Merlot) and Helan Qing Xue Jia Bei Lan in Ningxia (which was chosen as the Best Red Wine in a price category by Decanter a few years ago). The winner was the ultra premium Chinese wine from LVMH -AoYun from Shangri-La in the South-western Yunnan province, costing an astronomical $300 (for a Chinese wine).

‘The Wine Pinnacle Awards is unique in that awards are being given to wines that are mature and drinking beautifully, not only young, recently-released wines. It also removes the limitation of awarding wines that are among a paid pool of submissions. Instead, the Wine Pinnacle Awards focuses on pure quality and merit, encompassing the world of wines without commercial limitations," says Jeannie.

Oz Clarke says, ‘to have the world's greatest wine experts nominate their favourites for the Wine Pinnacle Awards is a fantastic thrill. The personal choices of the world's top Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers makes these awards tingle with excitement.”

Subhash Arora

List of Winners                                   List of Nominees


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