One New Zealand wine has been named in the Decanter World Wine Awards Top 50.

Out of the 18,094 wines tasted from 56 countries, only 50 – or 0.28% of the total tasted – were awarded a prestigious Best in Show medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2021.

The New Zealand wine which took home the coveted medal was the Tohu, Whenua Matua Chardonnay, Upper Moutere, Nelson 2018.

Tohu winemaker Bruce Taylor says that like the other wines in the Whenua series, the Chardonnay is all about showcasing a single vineyard.

“Whenua Matua translates as ‘significant lands’ and the changing angles and orientations of the vineyard blocks lend themselves to the complexities of winemaking,” he says.

“The wine is selected from the very best barrels of our hand-picked, whole bunch pressed 15-year-old Chardonnay vines.

“These single vineyard wines hold great structure, exceptional varietal characteristics, texture and complexity. We’re really happy to have this wine representing the best possible expression of Chardonnay.”

Kono CEO Rachel Taulelei says the company is immensely proud of winning the Decanter Best in Show award.

“The Chardonnay is a special release for us and follows on from our 23 year celebration last year. Each wine in the Whenua series is an expression of the uniqueness of our tūranagawaewae, our standing place, and our connection to the land,” she says.

“To be acknowledged and singled out from thousands of wines in such a prestigious wine competition is confirmation that care for the land and its bounty is tōtika, a beautiful balance.”

Wines from 17 countries made this year’s Best in Show list, France dominating with 15 of the top 50.

Italy was awarded seven Best in Show medals, Portugal took home three, South America two and Australia two.

“This is something that’s been through a really rigorous judging process,” says Sarah Jane Evans MW, DWWA 2021 Co-Chair.

“We’re not playing at judging here. This is blind tasting. We have absolutely no idea what the wines are and we’re tasting them not only in panels together where we have to each discuss and think about them deeply, but then they go up to Regional Chairs who are experts in those countries.”

The full list of wines awarded a Best in Show medal at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards…

Argentina
Catena Zapata, Nicasia Vineyard Malbec, Paraje Altamira, Mendoza 2019

Australia
Calabria, The Iconic Shiraz, Barossa Valley, South Australia 2018
Fermoy Estate, Reserve Chardonnay, Margaret River, Western Australia 2019

Canada
Hidden Bench, Felseck Vineyard Chardonnay, Beamsville Bench, Ontario – Niagara Peninsula 2018

Chile
La Causa, Cinsault-País-Carignan, Itata Valley 2019

France
Legras & Haas, L.T.S. Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, Champagne 2008
Charles Heidsieck, Rosé Réserve, Champagne NV
Domaine Berthet-Bondet, Château-Chalon, Jura 2013
Domaine Christian Moreau, Valmur, Chablis Grand Cru, Burgundy 2019
Albert Bichot, Domaine du Clos Frantin Les Malconsorts , Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru, Burgundy 2019
Château de Meursault, Clos des Epenots, Pommard 1er Cru, Burgundy 2019
Xavier Mourier, Domaine de Pierre Blanche Résurgence, Condrieu, Rhône 2019
Janicot Vignobles, Domaine de Meriguet, Cahors, Southwest France 2018
Mas de la Séranne, Antonin et Louis, Languedoc Terrasses du Larzac, Languedoc-Roussillon 2018
Château de la Chapelle, Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux, Bordeaux 2018
Château Croix des Rouzes, Pomerol, Bordeaux 2018
Château Pierre-Bise, Savennières-Roche aux Moines, Loire 2018
Domaine Charles Gonnet, Vin de Savoie Chignin-Bergeron, Savoie 2020
LePlan-Vermeersch, RS, Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu, Rhône 2020
Domaine Ray-Jane, Bandol, Provence 2020

Germany
Fritz Wassmer, Schlossberg Staufen Chardonnay, Baden 2018
Weingut Kreuzberg, Devonschiefer R Reserve Spätburgunder, Ahr 2018

Georgia
Kakhuri Gvinis Marani, Qvevri Cabernet-Saperavi, Kakheti 2019

Greece
Tselepos, Canava Chrissou, Laoudia, Single Vineyard, Santorini, Aegean Islands 2018

Hungary
St. Andrea, Nagy-Eged Dűlő Grand Superior , Egri Bikavér, Eger 2017

Italy
Castello, 47/87 Rive Di Vidor Extra Dry, Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore Rive, Veneto 2019
Casa Setaro, Fuocoallegro Piedirosso, Vesuvio, Campania 2019
Diego Morra, Monvigliero, Barolo, Piedmont 2016
Castiglion del Bosco, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany 2016
Muzic, Stare Brajde, Collio, Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2019
Broglia, Derthona Timorasso, Colli Tortonesi, Piedmont 2018
Capezzana, Riserva, Carmignano Vin Santo, Tuscany 2013

New Zealand
Tohu, Whenua Matua Chardonnay , Upper Moutere, Nelson 2018

Portugal
Gandarada, Dão 2019
Soalheiro, Primeiras Vinhas Alvarinho, Monção e Melgaço, Vinho Verde 2019
Henriques & Henriques, 20 Year Old Verdelho, Madeira NV

South Africa
Cederberg, Five Generations Cabernet Sauvignon, Cederberg 2018

Spain
Hacienda López de Haro, Classica, Gran Reserva, Rioja 2004
Real Agrado, Las Planas Viura, Reserva, Rioja 2016
Cuesta Del Herrero, Finca Aylés, Aylés 2020
Mar de Ons, Albariño, Rías Baixas 2020
Matilda Nieves, Mencía, Ribeira Sacra 2020
Scala Dei, Heretge Carinyena, Priorat 2017
Familia Torres, Grans Muralles, Conca de Barberà 2017
La Conreria d’Scala Dei, Voltons, Priorat 2017
Osborne, Solera AOS Rare, Amontillado, Sherry NV

Switzerland
St. Jodern Kellerei, Heida Barrique, Wallis, Valais, Switzerland, 2018

United Kingdom
Squerryes, Late Disgorged Brut, Kent 2011

United States
Trefethen, Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, California 2018
Hahn Family Wines, Lucienne Smith Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, California 2018

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