Elliot Awin is the A in ABS Wine Agencies, the six-time winner of the IWSC wine importer trophy of the year. Currently a partner for the wine distributor, which was set up by his father 30 years ago, Awin is also tasting technician for e-commerce platform Pull the Cork, a website specialising in sales of natural and low-intervention wines.
With that breadth of vinous knowledge, Awin was in a good position to step up to the tasting table as a judge for the IWSC 2021. Blind tasting wines from across England, Italy, Spain and Portugal, Awin was perhaps most taken with the English sparkling wine on offer. ‘The wines that captivate me when judging are those that offer incredible complexity, with distinct expected characterful aromas and flavours. The English sparkling category was far from short of examples of this,’ said Awin. That included a ‘moreishly rich’ aged Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs and a ‘perfectly balanced’ Langham Rosé Brut.
More intrigue came for Awin when tasting his way through the Spanish wine entries. ‘Perhaps surprisingly, the Iberian peninsula threw some splendid whites into the competition. I was particularly impressed by Le Natural from Aroa Bodegas; the layers of flavour were awesome,’ said Awin. Judges agreed that the wine was expressing aromas of yellow grapefruit, lemon verbena, tarte tatin and raw almond, with a bruised apple and caramelised pastry finish. Another star was the J. Garcia Carrion Mayoral Verdejo 2020 showing great fruit intensity and well-balanced acidity.
Read on to see Elliot Awin’s top 12 northern hemisphere wines for the IWSC 2021.
Top Rated Bottles
Nyetimber, Blanc de Blancs Brut (Magnum) 2013
Langham Wine Estate, Rosé Brut 2017
Aroa Bodegas, Le Naturel 2020
Trevibban Mill, Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature 2014
Furleigh Estate, Rosé Brut NV
Lo Zoccolaio 2016
Adega Cooperativa do Cartaxo, Bridão Late Harvest 2017
Harrow & Hope, Rosé Brut 2018
J. Garcia Carrion, Mayoral Verdejo 2020
San Silvestro, Patres 2017
Mainova, Milmat Arinto-Verdelho-Ecruzado-Antão Vaz 2018
SIVAC, Canto Da Vinha Reserva 2017
Behind the Bottle: Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs
Wine Handpicked by IWSC
The Wine Society’s Freddy Bulmer selects eight top bottles from ‘The Cradle of Wine’
Portuguese wine: in search of hidden treasures
Handpicked by IWSC
London restaurateur Isa Bal’s top northern hemisphere wines
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