The winners of the Wine Pinnacle Awards 2019 were unveiled in a glitzy ceremony at Resorts World Sentosa; a number of the 27 categories celebrated achievements not normally covered in other wine awards.

The inaugural Wine Pinnacle Awards officially announced in a black-tie awards ceremony last evening at Resorts World Sentosa its list of winners across 27 categories that celebrate achievements in the wine world. Presented by Genting Singapore, the nominations-based wine awards programme is the first of its kind, eschewing a submissions-based system for one that garners nominations from a panel of wine professionals around the world. The introduction of the Wine Pinnacle Awards also marks the beginning of a new landmark wine event in Asia, which is seeing a significant growth in the appreciation for the beverage in Singapore and the rest of Asia.

While some of the winners of the Wine Pinnacle Awards 2019 were literal shoe-ins, others were somewhat of a revelation. As expected the 2005 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti from the iconic producer rightfully emerged as “Best 2005 Vintage Burgundy Red” and was the 2009 Screaming Eagle, Cabernet Sauvignon from the cult Napa winery for “Best 2009 Vintage Cabernet Based California Wine”. Likewise “Best Chinese Red” went to Yunnan’s Moët Hennessy-owned Ao Yun, which makes its premium wines from Bordeaux varietals grown at the foot of the Himalayan mountains.

“We are delighted to award the Best Chinese Red to Ao Yun for proving to the world that China can produce world-class wine, even in the most remote and challenging conditions – in Yunnan mountain at 2,600 meters in altitude,” shared Jeannie Cho Lee, MW, presiding chair of the awards committee for Wine Pinnacle Awards 2019.

Champagne’s Maison Salon fought a tightly contested field for Best Vintage Champagne with its 2002 Salon, Cuvée ‘S’ Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs, beating out other prestigious challengers from Krug, Louis Roederer, Taittinger and Pol Roger.

Then there’s New Zealand’s Kumeu River winning “Best Recent Release: Non-Burgundy Chardonnay” with its Kumeu River Mate’s Vineyard Chardonnay, in a category that surprisingly saw only contenders from Australia and New Zealand. Also unexpected is Barolo maker G.D. Vajra taking the “Hidden Treasure: Piedmont” accolade with its G.D. Vajra Petracine Langhe Riesling.

Indeed what’s different about Wine Pinnacle Awards as compared to other award programmes in the wine world is that it also recognises achievements in more unusual aspects in the wine world. Aside from hidden treasures, there’s also a focus on natural or organic wines as well as sustainability. For example, Miguel Torres of Familia Torres from Spain’s Penedès winemaking region took the “Best Friend Of The Earth” for his environmentally-conscious approach to winemaking.

“Miguel Torres’ importance within Spain’s wine industry cannot be overstated, with at least three decades of innovation affecting all aspects of wine, from the vine to the bottle on the table or on the shelf. But it is Senior Torres’ impact across the globe that has not always been seen and heralded. By focusing upon sustainable actions, beyond more narrow and specific philosophies, he has challenged his peers and inspired countless others among us to live up to the standards of his unrelenting achievements,” explained awards committee member Doug Frost, MW & MS.

The ultimate prize on offer at Wine Pinnacle Awards 2019 was the “Grand Jury Award” won by Mersault, Burgundy-based Domaine Coche-Dury. “The wines of Coche-Dury are the epitome of great, age-worthy white Burgundy. Their global influence as a beacon of quality and dedication is widely recognised but what many may not be aware of, is that the estate remains small; still family-run, dedicated to quality and modest in price when the wines leave the cellar,” explained Cho Lee.

“It’s very heartening to uncover wines that are under-appreciated as well as highlighting the very best wines in the world to give them the recognition they deserve for their quality and merit,” said Cho Lee, who is Asia’s first Master of Wine.

“We are learning and already thinking of ways to improve the Wine Pinnacle Awards in the coming years, with a clear goal to provide an authoritative platform to showcase the most deserving wines and wine personalities from around the world,” she added.

The full list of winners for inaugural Wine Pinnacle Awards 2019 are (winners in bold, with other top nominees):

Grand Jury Award

  • Domaine Coche-Dury

Best 1996 Vintage Bordeaux

  • 1996 Château Latour, Pauillac, France
  • 1996 Château Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, France
  • 1996 Château Léoville-Las Cases, Grand Vin de Leoville, Saint-Julien, France
  • 1996 Château Margaux, Margaux, France
  • 1996 Pétrus, Pomerol, France

Best 1999 Vintage Barolo

  • 1999 Giacomo Conterno, Monfortino, Barolo Riserva DOCG, Italy
  • 1999 Bartolo Mascarello, Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy
  • 1999 Bruno Giacosa, Falletto Riserva – Falletto Vigna Le Rocche, Barolo DOCG, Italy
  • 1999 Luciano Sandrone, Le Vigne, Barolo DOCG, Italy
  • 1999 Poderi Aldo Conterno, Granbussia, Barolo Riserva DOCG, Italy

Best 2002 Vintage Champagne

  • 2002 Salon, Cuvée ‘S’ Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs, Champagne, France
  • 2002 Krug, Clos du Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne, France
  • 2002 Louis Roederer, Cristal Brut Millesime, Champagne, France
  • 2002 Pol Roger, Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill Brut, Champagne, France
  • 2002 Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne, France

Best 2005 Vintage Burgundy Red

  • 2005 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanee-Conti Grand Cru, Côte de Nuits, France
  • 2005 Domaine Armand Rousseau, Pere et Fils Chambertin Grand Cru, Côte de Nuits, France
  • 2005 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue, Musigny Grand Cru, Cuvée Vieilles Vignes, Côte de Nuits, France
  • 2005 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, La Tache Grand Cru Monopole, Côte de Nuits, France
  • 2005 Domaine Leroy, Musigny Grand Cru, Côte de Nuits, France

Best 2005 Vintage Rioja/Ribera Del Duero

  • 2005 Vega Sicilia, Unico Gran Reserva, Ribera del Duero, Spain
  • 2005 Dominio de Pingus, Pingus, Ribera del Duero, Spain
  • 2005 La Rioja Alta S.A., Gran Reserva 890, Rioja DOCa, Spain
  • 2005 R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia, Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa, Spain
  • 2005 Vega Sicilia, Tinto Valbuena 5, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Best 2007 Vintage Tuscan Red

  • 2007 Tenuta San Guido, Sassicaia Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
  • 2007 Isole e Olena, Cepparello Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy
  • 2007 Case Basse di Gianfranco Soldera, Toscana IGT – Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany, Italy
  • 2007 Masseto, Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy
  • 2007 Ornellaia, Bolgheri Superiore Tuscany, Italy

Best 2008 Vintage Australian Shiraz/Syrah

  • 2008 Henschke, Hill of Grace Shiraz, Eden Valley, Australia
  • 2008 Giaconda, Warner Vineyard Shiraz, Beechworth, Australia
  • 2008 Jasper Hill, Georgia’s Paddock Shiraz, Heathcote, Australia
  • 2008 Penfolds, Grange, Australia
  • 2008 Wendouree, Shiraz Mataro, Claire Valley, Australia

Best 2008 Vintage Burgundy White

  • 2008 Domaine Coche-Dury, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Côte de Beaune, France
  • 2008 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Montrachet Grand Cru, Côte de Beaune, France
  • 2008 Domaine François Raveneau, Les Clos, Chablis Grand Cru, France
  • 2008 Domaine Leflaive, Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru, Côte de Beaune, France
  • 2008 Domaine Ramonet, Montrachet Grand Cru, Côte de Beaune, France

Best 2009 Vintage Cabernet Based California Wine

  • 2009 Screaming Eagle, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, USA
  • 2009 Château Montelena, The Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, USA
  • 2009 Diamond Creek, Volcanic Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, USA
  • 2009 Shafer Vineyards, Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District, USA
  • 2009 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, USA

Best Recent Release: New World Pinot Noir

  • Ata Rangi, Pinot Noir, Martinborough, New Zealand
  • Bass Phillip, Premium Pinot Noir, Gippsland, Australia
  • Burn Cottage, Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand
  • Felton Road, Block 5 Pinot Noir, Bannockburn, New Zealand
  • Tolpuddle Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Coal River Valley, Australia

Best Recent Release: Non-Burgundy Chardonnay

  • Kumeu River, Mate’s Vineyard Chardonnay, Kumeu, New Zealand
  • Giaconda, Chardonnay, Beechworth, Australia
  • Kumeu River, Coddington Chardonnay, Kumeu, New Zealand
  • Leeuwin Estate, Art Series Chardonnay, Margaret River, Australia
  • Penfolds, Yattarna Bin 144 Chardonnay, South Australia

Best Recent Release: Non-Champagne Sparkling Wine

  • Gusbourne Brut Reserve, Kent, England
  • Domaine Carneros by Taittinger, Le Reve Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Brut, Napa Valley, USA
  • Nyetimber, Rose Sparkling, West Sussex, England
  • Ridgeview, Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs Brut, England
  • Roederer Estate, L’Ermitage, Anderson Valley, USA

Best Recent Release: Sauvignon Blanc

  • Didier Dagenneau, Pouilly Fume Silex, Loire Valley, France
  • Dog Point Vineyard, Section 94 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
  • Domaine Gérard Boulay, Sancerre Chavignol, Loire Valley, France
  • Domaine Vacheron, Sancerre Les Romains, Loire Valley, France
  • Greywacke, Wild Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand

Best Recent Release: South American Red

  • Almaviva, Puente Alto, Chile
  • Achaval Ferrer, Finca Altamira Malbec, San Carlos, Argentina
  • Catena Zapata, Nicolas Catena Zapata, Mendoza, Argentina
  • Cheval des Andes, Terrazas de Los Andes, Mendoza, Argentina
  • Sena, Aconcagua Valley, Chile

Hidden Treasure: Australia

  • Tyrrell’s Wines, Vat 1 Semillon, Hunter Valley, Australia
  • Grosset, Polish Hill Riesling, Clare Valley, Australia
  • Jauma, McLaren Vale, Australia
  • Stargazer, Chardonnay, Tasmania, Australia
  • Thomas Wines, Hunter Valley, Australia

Hidden Treasure: Bordeaux

  • Château Roc de Cambes, Bordeaux, France
  • Château Grand Village, Blanc, Bordeaux, France
  • Château Le Puy, Bordeaux, France
  • Château Loudenne, Bordeaux, France
  • Château Tertre Roteboeuf, Bordeaux, France

Hidden Treasure: Burgundy

  • Mark Haisma, Burgundy, France
  • Bret Brothers, Saint-Veran Climat En Combe, Maconnais, France
  • Domaine Didier Montchovet, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Rouge, Burgundy, France
  • Domaine Mee Godard, Morgon Côte de Py, Beaujolais, France
  • Domaine Moreau-Naudet, Chablis, Burgundy, France

Hidden Treasure: Piedmont

  • G.D. Vajra, Petracine Langhe Riesling, Piedmont, Italy
  • Cappellano, Piedmont, Italy
  • Cavalier Lorenzo Accomasso, Piedmont, Italy
  • G.D. Vajra, Langhe Nebbiolo, Piedmont, Italy
  • Poderi Aldo Conterno, Conca Tre Pile Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont, Italy

Best Chinese Red

  • Ao Yun, Yunnan, China
  • Grace Vineyard, Tasya’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Shanxi, China
  • Helan Qing Xue, Jia Bei Lan Dry Red, Ningxia, China
  • Silver Heights, Emma’s Reserve, Ningxia, China
  • Silver Heights, The Summit, Ningxia, China

Best Organic/Natural Wine Of The Year

  • Domaine Marcel Lapierre, Cuvée Marcel Lapierre, Beaujolais, France
  • Domaine Jean Foillard Morgon, Côte du Py, Beaujolais, France
  • Domaine Sébastien Riffault, Sancerre Auksinis, Loire, France
  • Foradori, Sgarzon Teroldego Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
  • Ochota Barrels, 186 Grenache, McLaren Vale, Australia

Best Rose In The World

  • Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia, Gran Reserva Rosado, Rioja DOCa, Spain
  • Château d’Esclans, Côtes de Provence Garrus Rose, France
  • Domaine de la Mordorée, Tavel La Dame Rousse Rose, Rhône, France
  • Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rose, Provence, France
  • Domaines Ott, Château de Selle Côtes de Provence Cœur de Grain Rose, France

Black Swan Of The Year (Most Thought Provoking Wine)

  • Gravner, Anfora Pinot Grigio Venezia Giulia IGT, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
  • Arnot-Roberts, Sonoma Coast Syrah, California, USA
  • Château Pierre-Bise, Savennieres Roches aux Moines, Loire, France
  • Luke Lambert, Syrah, Yarra Valley, Australia
  • Radikon, Ribolla Gialla Venezia Giulia IGT, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

Best Friend Of The Earth (Most Environmentally-Conscious)

  • Miguel Torres, Familia Torres, Spain
  • Isabelle Legeron MW, UK
  • Jacques Néauport, France
  • Lalou Bize-Leroy, Domaine Leroy, France
  • Nicolas Joly, Château de la Roche aux Moines, France

Best Young Winemaker Of The Year (Under 40)

  • Morgan Twain-Peterson MW, Bedrock Wine Co., USA
  • Amélie Berthaut, Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet, France
  • Donovan Rall, Rall Wines, South Africa
  • Fernando Mora MW, Bodegas Frontonio, Spain
  • Maxime Cheurlin, Domaine Georges Noellat, France

Top Wine Influencer (Under 45)

  • Pascaline Lepeltier MS, Racines NY, USA
  • Erwan Faiveley, Domaine Faiveley, France
  • Madeline Puckette, Wine Folly, USA
  • Olivier Berrouet, Pétrus, France
  • Ronan Sayburn MS, United Kingdom

Unsung Hero

  • István Szepsy, Szepsy, Hungary
  • Angiolino Maule, VinNatur, Italy
  • Carlo Ferrini, Podere Giodo, Italy
  • Eric Boissenot, Château les Vimières, France
  • Maxence Dulou, Ao Yun Vineyards, China

[Main photo credit: Resorts World Sentosa]

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