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DWWAs 2018

16th October 2018 - we're now starting to sell through the end of quite a few of these award-winners as their popularity gets the better of them. Many may not be around for much longer! But... we've just heard ...  The Heartland Director's Cut Shiraz is back again (against all our expectations!)....


Perhaps (and it's a tough call), our most exciting DWWA headliner is the 97-point (Platinum Award) Bordeaux from the amazing 2015 vintage - exclusive to us at Exel Wines - for just £17.50. This is one not to miss!!

See the foot of this page and also the text links below for all the DWWA-winning wines (at levels of Gold or above) that we can currently offer. 

For details of how the awards, marks and classifications all work, click the blue link below.

DWWA marks system explained


We can now offer you (with award won/points awarded and the detailed DWWA review shown on each product page):

- The Château Castera 2015, a 2015 vintage (awesome!) Left Bank Bordeaux (from the Médoc appellation), at just £17.50 (exclusive to us at Exel) - we've a whole blog page on this wine and the 2015 vintage;

- a most affordable Rioja Reserva from the wonderful 2010 vintage from Finca Nueva;

- the legendary Vin de Constance 2014 from Klein Constantia (97 points, Best in Show);

- the Heartland Director's Cut Shiraz 2014, a full-throttle Shiraz from South Australia's Langhorne Creek. This is one of the very biggest-sellers of this DWWA campaign, and we can see why ... and it's enigmatically reappeared after having apparently sold out everywhere months ago!

- the Amisfield Pinot Noir 2015 from the Central Otago region of New Zealand - a beautiful New World, super-fruit Pinot Noir;

- the Best in Show Vavasour Sauvignon Blanc 2017 from Marlborough's Awatere Valley in New Zealand - a powerful and intense, classic NZSB - plus two excellent 95-points variants on the NZ Sauvi Blanc theme, one a single-vineyard version from Yealands and the Awatere Valley in Marlborough ... the other a rare (and very mineral) North Island version from Craggy Range and Martinborough;

- even more NZ quality, this time from Nelson in South Island, the glorious Seifried Sweet Agnes Riesling 2016 - a stunning vintage of one of our favourite 'stickies';

- a glorious 2016 Grüner Veltliner, made by esteemed Rabl in the Kamptal region of Austria - this is the epitome of good GV and is very highly praised ("immaculate length and balance");

- an Alsace Grand Cru Gewurztraminer from Dopff au Moulin from the Brand de Turckheim Grand Cru vineyard; it’s a 2015, to boot, furthering its credentials even more;

- the brilliant (if wackily bottled) Mar de Frades Atlantico Albariño 2017 from Rias Biaxas;

from France...

a 2017 Bandol rosé from Domaine la Suffrène - an altogether more serious and elegant rose than the typical Summer fare;

- an unusual-but-superb Touraine Sauvignon Blanc from Joel Delaunay; and

- also from the Touraine region of the Loire, a superbly-priced (~£12) Gamay from Domaine de la Charmoise, made in the Beaujolais idiom;

then there's...

- and Umani Ronchi's boutique Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi from Umani Ronchi, the Casal di Serra;

- the Gaia Wild Ferment Assyrtiko 2017 from Santorini plus another Mediterranean island gem in the form of the famous and ever-excellent <and available in full and half-bottles> Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantellaria 2015  (it is more a surprise when these wines don't win..);

- on matters Greek, a "tropical (white) Graves" of 50% Semillon/50% Assyrtiko from esteemed producer, Ktima;

- a super-value South African Chenin Blanc from Stellenrust (alas, the award-winning 2017 vintage is now all used up, and we're onto the 2018);

- a wonderful 2017 Cinsault by Montes from the relatively southern Itata region of Chile...

- ... while from across the Andes (and some way further north), we offer the stunning (and superb-value at £16) Piattelli Grand Reserve Malbec 2015 from high altitude Cafayate in Salta province, the boutique Finca Sophenia Synthesis Malbec 2015 from Mendoza's Tupungato sub-region of the Uco Valley...

- and the ever-excellent (and one of our favourite Malbecs) Tinto de Tiza 2016 from innovators Zorzal (NB: the 2016 arrives here in late September; we also have the Decanter-rated 2014 vintage of this wine with a little more 'age on it');

- a stunning Austrian white blend from Wieninger and, further still into Europe, a full-throttle red from Tikves in Macedonia (fans of our Stobi wines will know how keen we are on this area for superb wines at great prices) and a high-quality Pinot Grigio from Gasper of Slovenia;

- the Barros 10-yo Tawny Port, a consistently excellent Tawny at ~£20 and the luxury Morris Old Premium Rare Liqueur Muscat.

NB: sadly, the Henschke Euphonium 2013 and 2014 Bolgheri Super-Tuscan from Poggio al Tesoro (the Seggio) have now sold through completely, both with us and at the UK sole importer, but are available in excellent new vintages.

We expect these wines to see incredibly high demand - many sold out in the UK inside 24 hours last year - be warned!!

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  • Bottle Size: 37.5cl

Seifried Sweet Agnes Riesling 2016 (1x 37.5cl Half)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2019 edition review of Dessert Wines and Ports (see blue link below).

Seifried Sweet Agnes Riesling 2016 - January 2019 Decanter review

Awarded a Platinum Medal and 97 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

Also awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Category (Best New Zealand Sweet) at the Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com): see their August 2017 DWWA supplement (see blue link below).

Seifried Sweet Agnes Riesling 2016 - August 2017 Decanter review

This is special stuff. Made with extreme care by Seifried in NZ’s South Island, the Sweet Agnes is pure, late-harvested Riesling: left on the vine, the grapes gain even greater ripeness, lose moisture and so become incredibly sweet (the wine’s sugar content is ~180g/litre). It’s almost amber in colour, and its flavours include lemon sherbet, marmalade, tropical fruits and butterscotch. It’s quite irresistible on its own and delicious with fruity puddings or tangy cheeses (particularly blue cheeses: it really is amazing with these).

To see the winemakers notes on this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Seifried Sweet Agnes Riesling 2016 - fiche technique


Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria (half bottle) 2015 (1x 37.5cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their Italy 2019 supplement as part of an article on Sicily (see blue link below).

Donnafugata, Ben Rye 2015 - February 2019 Decanter review

This wine was also awarded a Platinum Medal, 97 points and Best in Show status at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

The Rallo family has made wine in Marsala since 1851 and their ancient cellars tunnel beneath the city. They were one of the first families to begin making high quality table wine when sales of traditional Marsala started to decline, launching the Donnafugata label in 1983 and championing the potential of the region's native varieties. Today, Donnafugata has three estates in Sicily. Donnafugata means 'fleeing woman' and is a reference to Queen Maria Carolina, who escaped the court of Naples in the early 19th Century with her husband, Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, when Napoleon's troops arrived. The couple took refuge in Sicily at the Santa Margherita Belice palace, also the favourite residence of celebrated writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and depicted on the 'Mille e Una Notte' label.

From vines planted on the island of Pantelleria (South-Western Sicily), this is a modern take on the classic Moscato Passito. The name Ben Ryé derives from the Arabic 'Son of the Wind', after the wind which sweeps round the island. Vines are planted in hollows in the ground, at altitudes of 20-400 metres above sea level on terraced, sandy slopes of volcanic origin. The low bush vines of Pantelleria have been described on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a 'creative and sustainable practice'. The vines are over 100 years old and are ungrafted.

The 2015 vintage experienced cooler temperatures and more precipitation than in previous years. Overall, between 1st October 2014 and 30th September 2015, rainfall reached 763mm compared to the 656mm average of the last 10 years. In July, maximum temperatures were higher than average for the period which aided the ripening process of the grapes. Considerable temperature fluctuations between day and night encouraged the development of perfumes in the grapes.

Once the grapes reached the winery, they underwent further selection on a vibrating table before soft pressing. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures. The dried grapes – added to the fresh must in several batches – were destemmed and selected by hand. Ageing took place in stainless steel tanks for seven months and at least 12 months in bottle before release.

Brilliant amber in colour, Ben Ryé is wonderfully fresh and complex. The bouquet is intense and fragrant - aromas of apricots and candied citrus zest combine with notes of Mediterranean thyme and rosemary. The palate is well-defined and intense, with pleasant sweetness well balanced by fresh acidity and great minerality. The finish is long and persistent - a captivating Passito di Pantelleria.

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