The world’s favorite wines have been revealed today, as Vivino publishes its 2018 Wine Style Awards, the only awards within the industry wholly decided by the public. Over 26 million wine lovers from around the world have chosen the 1,490 winning wines, that span 149 wine style categories, by rating them on Vivino over the past 12 months. The full winners can be viewed here: http://www.vivino.com/awards.
Vivino founder and CEO, Heini Zachariassen, says:
“The Vivino Wine Style Awards showcase the democratization of the wine world, by putting the power into the people’s hands. The award-winning wines we’re celebrating today have been selected by everyone - from wine experts to wine novices - proving that if you drink wine then you deserve to have a say on it.”
“Through our 26-million strong community, we’re able to deduce the world’s best wines alongside a host of other interesting wine trends which help producers and the greater industry better understand consumer behavior and demand. We are very proud of these awards and our ability to honor producers, large and small, on behalf of wine drinkers everywhere.”
France has the most categories on the 2018 list, with 39 different styles represented. Uruguay and Brazil have the fewest with just Uruguayan Tannat and Brazilian Merlot represented, respectively.
The highest rated wine of all winners goes to Chateau d'Yquem for its coveted 1976 Bordeaux Sauternes, with an average rating of 4.92. Viña Cobos, owned by winemaker Paul Hobbs, earned the number one spot across all winning red wines with its 4.89 rated Cabernet Sauvignon-Malbec blend, Viña Cobos Volturno 2010.
Keeping on the Argentine trend, Argentina’s Bodega Catena Zapata is the only producer that won in every single style of its country and racked up the most wins with 15 total awarded wines. Alejandro Vigil is the winemaker for both Catena and El Enemigo, which also won two awards - earning Vigil 17 wins in total.
While Bodega Catena Zapata garnered the most wins across all wine styles, Jacques Selosse is the producer with the most wines appearing in a single wine style category, with seven wines present in non-vintage French Champagne.
Trends that Sparkle
This year was the first time that the French Crémant category made the list of eligible styles, joining other sparkling categories: Champagne, Spanish Cava, California Sparkling and Prosecco. Top wines in this style include: Vive-la-Joie Brut from Les Caves Bailly Lapierre; Crémant de Bourgogne Brut from Pierre Laber and Crémant d’Alsace Rosé.
Vivino’s brand ambassador and partner sommelier, Joel Caruso, says:
“While Champagne is synonymous with sparkling wine, many tend to overlook the often better value of Crémant, which is a title given to French sparkling wine outside of the Champagne region. With almost every region in the country featuring its own style of Crémant, there is a broad option of flavors and profiles. The Loire Valley, famous for Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc makes Crémant de Loire from the Chenin Blanc grape ranging from bone dry to dessert sweet. This diversity and value is why Crémant tends to be one secret weapon of wine professionals.”
“When it comes to Spain’s Cava, Brut Nature is clearly the prefered style of the top-scoring Cava wines. There has been a zero sugar trend movement happening across bubbles so we anticipate interest to continue to increase.”
Acclaim for Spanish Sherry
The growing trend for fortified wines was also confirmed in the results, with the Spanish Sherry style showing for the first time this year. Reflecting the growing trend for using fortified wines in cocktail mixes, Vivino expects popularity of this style to increase in 2018.
Top Spanish Sherries in the awards tended to be very old and include Palo Cortado Tradicion Vors 30 Years and Amontillado Tradicion Vors 30 Years by Bodegas Tradicion; and Matusalem from Gonzalez-Byass.
Portugal Takes Center Stage
Wine lovers are pouring more Portuguese wines, with nine wine styles from the country on this year’s awards list, up from just five last year. Northern Portugal Red, Northern Portugal White, Southern Portugal Red and Southern Portugal White enter the awards for the first time, in a year in which Wines of Portugal has committed more marketing efforts on a global scale. The increase in exportation as well as higher quality dry red wines from the North are helping support the trend and Portuguese Douro Red is continuing to do incredibly well.
From a popularity standpoint, the following categories were among the most scanned in the previous 12 months: Non-Vintage French Champagne, Californian Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentinian Malbec, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Italian Chianti, Chilean Carménère, Portuguese Vinho Verde White and Spanish Rioja Red.
Uruguayan Tannat saw some of the highest averages of ratings with nothing in the top ten falling under a 4.2.
Only one of Bordeaux’s First Growths appears in the top 25 wines on the list, which comes from Château Lafite Rothschild. Champagne only shows up once in the top 25 at 15.
When it comes to Italy, five of the top 25 wines are Italian: three of which are Amarone, followed by one Brunello and one Super Tuscan - Bolgheri’s Massetto. Overall, it’s surprising to see a lack of Barolo at the top of the best.
To be eligible in Vivino’s 2018 Wine Style Awards, wines needed to have at least 50 ratings submitted from Vivino’s users over the past consecutive 12 months. Featured categories were selected that had a minimum of 35 qualifying wines.