WineHandpicked by IWSC

The Dorchester’s Igor Sotric on his top northern hemisphere wines

As wine buyer and head sommelier for one of London’s top hotels, Igor Sotric knows a thing or two about fine wine. Here, he shares eight of his favourite bottles from the latest round of IWSC tastings

Words by Vahan Agulian and IWSC Judges

igor sotric with canadian vineyard backdrop
Handpicked by IWSC

Igor Sotric, head sommelier and wine buyer for China Tang at The Dorchester Hotel in London, is usually more accustomed to recommending wine to the A-list stars in attendance at the Cantonese restaurant. But here he is, delivering a list of his favourite wines from a recent spell as a judge for the IWSC.

During the competition’s Northern Hemisphere tasting, Sotric sampled wines from across three continents, with all wines tasted blind – but now the results have been announced, he’s been able to see which bottles he scored most highly.

Sotric, originally from Croatia, was disappointed not to find any wines from his homeland among his favourites, but wines from Spain, USA, Canada, Turkey, Georgia and Russia each made an appearance.

sommelier Igor Sotric holding wine bottle at IWSC judging
Sommelier Sotric reveals one of his favourite wines from the IWSC 2021, a fortified wine from Russia

Sotric’s standout was Château Tamagne’s Collection Madeira de Kuban Reserve 1991 from Russia, which impressed due to its structure and for ‘being 20 years old, and made in a country [the USSR] that doesn’t exist anymore.’ According to Sotric, the sweet fortified wine shows great acidity, balance and concentration. ‘It held together better than the good old former USSR,’ he jokingly remarked.

A trio of icewines from Canada were also among Sotric’s favourites. ‘I was lucky to be on the Canadian tasting table where we had so many good samples of sweet wines and Pinot Noirs,’ says Sotric. ‘A special mention to Mission Hill Family Estate, Terroir Collection Dehart Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019. It showed massive concentration and fruit expression, with such a harmonious palate, which I really enjoyed.’

Read on to see Igor Sotric’s top eight northern hemisphere wines from the IWSC 2021.