Whether you’re partial to fresh sparkling, love a powerful red, a refreshing rose, or a subtle white, you’ll find inspiration in the ‘Best in Show’ results of the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA).
Held over one week in London in April, the 19th edition of the prestigious wine competition released results across five categories in early June. At the pinnacle is the ‘Best in Show’ section that showcases the 50 finest wines of the year. To put into perspective just how exceptional these wines are, the 2022 competition saw a record-breaking 18,244 wines entered. Of these, only 0.27% are honored with the top accolade.
The world’s premier wine competition uses a 100-point system for medals used by many top wine critics across the globe. Entries are judged in a series of rigorously controlled blind tastings.
At the bottom of the pyramid of award categories is Commended, followed by Bronze (86-89 points), then Silver (90-94). Gold indicates 95 – 96 points, while Platinum wines are awarded 97-100 points. The winners from the top two categories are re-tasted by a choice panel of judges to award “Best in Show” medals for the most exceptional wines in the competition.
This top category offers a treasure trove of ideas for wine lovers seeking their next favorite wine. Andrew Jefford, DWWA Co-Chair, said judges are looking for wines that are “…outstanding examples of their style, as well as a well-balanced selection…”. In addition to putting taste in the spotlight, judges cast the net wide to cover a range of regions and price points.
While France, as always, scooped the highest number of top accolades with ten outstanding wines, regions across both the Old and New World also shone. Relative wine-producing newcomers the UK and Switzerland also made a mark in this stellar category.
The 2022 DWWA saw wines from 54 countries judged by nearly 250 international wine experts. The judging body included 41 Masters of Wine and 13 Master Sommeliers. Overall, there were 50 Best in Show, 164 Platinum medals, 677 Gold awards, 5,900 Silver, and 8,074 Bronze winners.
DWWA winners in each of the competition’s five categories proudly display their badges of honor on their bottles of wine to highlight the quality. If you spot a bottle with the Decanter ‘Best in Show’ sticker when you’re browsing for wine, find room for it in your shopping basket! It’s an opportunity to explore wines across a range of regions, styles, and budgets with a quality guarantee.
For the full list and a deep dive into sugar levels, grape blends, vintages, technical details and tasting notes for the ‘Best in Show’ winning wines are here.
Read on for the highlights and happy wine hunting!
Highlights: Decanter Best in Show Winners
- Ten wines were judged as best value.
- Nearly half of the top winners hailed from New World wine regions with Australia, Argentina, and Chile taking the lion’s share.
- Old World delighted with new-level classic styles.
- France dominated with ten wines including a first for Beaujolais.
- Switzerland appeared on the list for the third time.
- The UK showed why it’s making an international name for its sparkling wines.
The DWWA is a consumer-driven wine competition. Judges have the wine buyer in mind with every sip of the thousands of wines they taste. As such, the competition includes a focus on wines that offer amazing value. This year, the ‘Best in Show’ category included 10 value wines that retail at under $20 (at the time of judging). Such wines represent fine examples of their regions, grapes, and styles but at a price that doesn’t hurt the wallet.
France once again led the way with 10 wines in the top category including five from the iconic Bordeaux region. Both the Left and Right Banks were represented in the catalog of winners alongside Sauternes with a dessert wine offering.
The Beaujolais region had a ‘Best in Show’ winner for the first time with a Fleurie cru.
New World Wine Winners
New World wines shone, chalking up a 50% year-on-year increase in winners. Nearly half of the wines receiving the top accolade hailed from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, and the US.
A testament to masterful winemaking in these countries, Argentina and Chile stood out with their best results ever for this category. Argentina enjoyed four wins while Chile scooped two.
New Zealand also shone with four wines, the highest number it’s ever won in the ‘Best in Show’ category.
However, it was Australia that led the pack with the most New World’ Best in Show’ awards with six medals.
Old World Wines
Close on the heels of France was Italy with eight ‘Best in Show’ awards. The Tuscany region received half of these with Piedmont, Veneto, Sardinia, and Sicily also bagging medals.
Spain followed with six winning wines including two Riojas and Penedès sparkling wine judges described as “…ground-breaking…” and “…head-turning…”.
Swiss Wine Makes a Mark
For the third year running, Switzerland landed a spot in the ‘Best in Show’ category with a white wine from the Valais region. As the judging panel said: “The secret is slowly seeping out…some of Europe’s finest, subtlest, most intricately crafted and most quietly satisfying white-wine blends come into being in the Alpine valleys…”.
One of the wine world’s best-kept secrets is British bubbly with sparkling wine from the UK increasingly giving its European counterparts a run for their money. This year, a traditional-method sparkling wine from the Hampshire region gained a spot in the top 50 DWWA wines for its “…ultra-freshness and a distinctive sappy cool infusing the shy orchard fruits…”.
Overall, the competition judges said it’s “…precisely the quality of those English sparkling wines submitted to the DWWA that keeps impressing our final-round judges and insisting on inclusion.”
With a selection of varietals, styles, regions, and prices on offer, the DWWA’ Best in Show’ wines are a great pick for your next dinner party or solo glass. Cheers!
‘Best in Show’ 2022 by Country: The Full List
- Bodegas Bianchi, IV Generación Gran Corte, Los Chacayes, Tunuyán, Mendoza 2019
- Finca Sophenia, Altosur Malbec, Gualtallary, Tupungato, Mendoza 2021 (Value Best in Show)
- Morrisons, The Best Gran Montaña Reserve Malbec, Uco Valley, Mendoza 2020 (Value Best in Show)
- Pacheco Pereda, Estirpe Organic Fairtrade Cabernet Franc, Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza 2021 (Value Best in Show)
- Deep Woods Estate, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia 2020
- Galway Pipe, Rare Tawny Aged 25 Years NV
- Orlando, Lyndale Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, South Australia 2019
- Sons of Eden, Remus Old Vine Shiraz, Eden Valley, South Australia 2019
- Sons of Eden, Romulus Old Vine Shiraz, Barossa Valley, South Australia 2019
- Tyrrell’s, Vat 1 Semillon, Hunter Valley, New South Wales 2016
- Birgit Eichinger, Ried Kammerner Lamm 1ötw Grüner Veltliner, Kamptal, Niederösterreich 2020
- Dr Salomon, Ried Pfaffenberg Riesling 1 Ötw, Kremstal, Niederösterreich 2019
- Flat Rock Cellars, Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling, Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario – Niagara Peninsula 2019
- Bisquertt, Crazy Rows Carignan, Maule 2020 (Value Best in Show)
- Viña Tarapacá, Gran Reserva Etiqueta Azul, Maipó Valley 2020
- Mont Verrier, La Tonne, Fleurie, Beaujolais 2020
- Savas, Cuvée Eva, Bordeaux Blanc 2020 (Value Best in Show)
- Château Bourdieu, N°1, Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux, Bordeaux 2018 (Value Best in Show)
- Château Haut Breton Larigaudière, Le Créateur, Margaux, Bordeaux 2020
- Glaude Danivet, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux 2020
- Château Laville, Sauternes, Bordeaux 2019
- Telmont, Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne 2012
- Castelnau, Brut, Champagne 2006
- Domaine Verzier, Empreinte, Saint-Joseph, Rhône, 2020
- Domaine Cauhapé, Quintessence du Petit Manseng, Jurançon, Southwest France 2017
- Ciabot Berton, Roggeri, Barolo, Piedmont 2017
- Chessa, Cagnulari, Isola dei Nuraghi, Sardinia 2020
- Mandrarossa, Fiano, Terre Siciliane, Sicily 2021 (Value Best in Show)
- Cipriana, San Martino, Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany 2018
- La Palazzetta, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Tuscany 2016
- Riecine, Vigna Gittori, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, Tuscany 2019
- Colmano, Riserva, Vin Santo del Chianti, Tuscany 2000
- Sergio Zenato, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva, Veneto 2016
- Church Road, Grand Reserve Chardonnay, Hawke’s Bay 2020
- Craggy Range, Syrah, Gimblett Gravels, Hawke’s Bay 2020
- Rimapere, Plot 101 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2021
- Valli, Pinot Noir, Bannockburn, Central Otago 2020
- Agri-Roncão, Dr, Vintage, Port 2017
- Bulas Cruz, Diwine, Douro 2020 (Value Best in Show)
- Ken Forrester, Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch 2021
- KWV, The Mentors Cabernet Franc, Stellenbosch 2019
- Albet i Noya, El Corral Cremat Brut Nature, Penedès 2011
- Aroa Bodegas, Le Naturel Lakar, Navarra 2020 (Value Best in Show)
- Bodegas Cornelio Dinastía, Imperial Autor, Rioja 2018
- Mazas Roble, Toro 2020 (Value Best in Show)
- Hacienda López de Haro, Classica Rosado, Gran Reserva, Rioja 2009
- Lustau, 30 Years Old V.O.R.S, Palo Cortado, Sherry NV
- Domaines Rouvinez, Coeur de Domaine, Valais 2019
- Coates & Seely, Reserve Brut, Hampshire NV
- Clos du Val, Hirondelle Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District, California 2019
Value Best in Show
- Finca Sophenia, Altosur Malbec, Gualtallary, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina 2021
- Morrisons, The Best Gran Montaña Reserve Malbec, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina 2020
- Pacheco Pereda, Estirpe Organic Fairtrade Cabernet Franc, Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina 2021
- Bisquertt, Crazy Rows Carignan, Maule, Chile 2020
- Savas, Cuvée Eva, Bordeaux Blanc, France 2020
- Château Bourdieu, N°1, Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France 2018
- Mandrarossa, Fiano, Terre Siciliane, Sicily, Italy 2021
- Bulas Cruz, Diwine, Douro, Portugal 2020
- Aroa Bodegas, Le Naturel Lakar, Navarra, Spain 2020
• Mazas Roble, Toro, Spain 2020