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DWWA 2024 results sneak peak: Styles to watch

Full Decanter World Wine Awards 2024 results will be published on 19 June, including the highly coveted Best in Show and Platinum medals.

Co-Chair Sarah Jane Evans MW, signing off a Gold medal winner.

This year’s Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) again promises to highlight a diverse array of stunning premium wines for all budgets.

More than 18,000 entries from 57 countries have been tasted by 243 expert judges, including 61 Masters of Wine and 20 Master Sommeliers.

DWWA’s rigorous judging process means consumers can explore the wine world with confidence, from lesser-known names to classic styles being produced in famous regions.

Be among the first to see this year’s medal winners: Sign up to the DWWA newsletter

Under-the-radar styles

Greece was understood to have scooped an intriguing top medal at DWWA 2024, but this also reflects a fascinating showing for Greek wines in general, according to Terry Kandylis, Regional Chair for Greece and Cyprus at DWWA 2024.

Giving his general impressions, he said, ‘I would like to emphasise the wines that we tried from Nemea, with the majority showing that the producers have taken a much fresher approach, with less extraction and use of new oak, which highlights the fruit-forward character of Agiorgitiko and the terroir.’

Kandylis, who was UK Sommelier of the Year in 2016, also highlighted the noble qualities and terroir-specific expression of Assyrtiko, while ‘Xinomavro and Limniona are showing how versatile they can be, with wonderful examples in both red and rose categories’.

More generally, he said, ‘Greece’s ace in the sleeve is the numerous indigenous varieties that more and more producers are trying to understand.’ Many are being used to make mono-varietal wines, he said. ‘It is quite exciting.’

Kandylis also said DWWA was seeing more and more Cypriot wines, and he highlighted Xynisteri and Yiannoudi as grape varieties ‘that are showing wonderful qualities and lots of promise’.

Classics and upcoming

Elsewhere, Burgundy was a notable highlight at DWWA 2024 among more established names on the world wine stage.

Charles Curtis MW, Regional Chair for Burgundy at DWWA 2024, said, ‘We were looking mostly at wines from the 2022 vintage, which was a resounding success for the most part from north to south, producing supple, approachable wines for early drinking, and some top wines for laying down, all of which we found in this year’s competition.’

He added, ‘I think that the general level of quality in the more accessible price bands is very encouraging.’

Recent Bordeaux vintages, particularly 2022, also stood out for judges, noted Andrew Jefford, one of the five DWWA 2024 Co-Chairs and who is also acting Regional Chair for Bordeaux this year.

A flight of sparkling wines prepared for tasting at DWWA 2024. Credit: Ellen Richardson

Sparkling wine lovers often have plenty of options among DWWA medal winners, but vintage Cava has seriously impressed judges in 2024. ‘I was really struck by the continued improvement in the Cava category that we’ve seen over recent years, especially the vintage Cavas,’ said Sarah Jane Evans MW, a DWWA Co-Chair and Spanish wine expert. ‘If Cava has not been on your radar, then now is the time to take another look.’

Beyond Europe, James Tidwell MS, Regional Chair for the US and Central America, said expert judges assessing entries from the US found some outstanding wines on show.

‘Remarkable were two flights of Dundee Hills wines [from Oregon]: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Both of these flights exemplified the high quality of US entries overall,’ he said.

Tidwell added quality was high from many different regions. ‘The panel was excited to find many entries from US states off the West Coast, and Mexican wines from outside Baja California. The Mexican wines showed significant improvement over last year’s entries,’ he said.

He highlighted a strong result for a US wine made from a hybrid grape variety, ‘which was encouraging for states outside the main regions’.

Co-Chair Beth Willard and Joint Regional Chair for Piedmont, Michaela Morris discussing the wines at DWWA 2024. Credit: Ellen Richardson

Beth Willard, a new Co-Chair at DWWA 2024 and who was previously Regional Chair for Spain, said it was exciting to see great wines coming from all over the world.

‘It was a real pleasure for me to taste some of the exceptional wines from Greece, for example, as well as Turkey, Switzerland and the Rhône. In particular, Germany seemed to have outstanding entries this year.’

She encouraged fans of red Burgundy to look towards top-performing Beaujolais ‘cru’ wines, ‘which represent the amazing quality coming from the region’.

Among the very top medals, she said, ‘Apart from outstanding wines from classic, well-known regions, there are a few wines which should really attract domestic attention and provide a lot of interest for consumers.’ These include a rare Italian white wine, ‘which transports you straight to a Mediterranean seaside holiday’, she said.

Exciting wines from the major producer nations in the Southern Hemisphere, from Australia to South Africa to Argentina, also feature among the top medals.

Willard said she thought the overall quality among DWWA entries was very high this year, too. ‘It means that a customer who picks up a Bronze medal-winning wine in their local store should be really impressed with the quality it delivers.’

Quality at every price point

DWWA wines are split into five price tiers. Band A represents the ‘value’ segment (up to £14.99 per bottle) while Band E is for super-premium wines at £100 and above, for example.

‘DWWA isn’t about awarding Gold medals to the most expensive wines in every category,’ said Co-Chair Evans. ‘I was very excited this year by the range of value wines (under £15) that the expert judges from each region highlighted. Seek them out: they are a reliable guide to enjoyable drinking.’

Stay tuned for the full results and more commentary from our expert judges, with medal winners set to be announced on 19 June.

Be among the first to see this year’s medal winners by signing up to the DWWA newsletter

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The post DWWA 2024 results sneak peak: Styles to watch appeared first on Decanter.

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