JUDGING PROCESS EXPLAINED
Stage One: Awarding Medals
All wines submitted are initially tasted and evaluated by origin and style: e.g. all Proseccos are tasted together, as are all the Cava, Australian sparkling wines, Champagnes and so on. This ensures that each wine’s medal potential is evaluated within the context of its own typicity of provenance.
Within these groups of origin the wines are also tasted and assessed in classes strictly by style (Blend, Blanc de Blancs, Rosé, Library Vintage etc). Typicity involves different parameters: Prosecco would not score well for typicity in a Champagne flight, just as Champagne would not score well for typicity in a Prosecco flight
- Wines are judged to be Gold, Silver, Bronze, Commended, No Award, Possibly Faulty, and Identifiably Faulty
- Only Gold medals will be published for Deluxe Champagnes
- Only Gold and Silver medals will be published for other Champagnes and all other Sparkling Wines
- No other wines will be published
- We will only provide certificates for those wines that win Silver or above (Gold and above for deluxe Champagnes)
- BUT we reserve the right to provide Bronze medal certificates in exceptional circumstances for new producers of Bronze medal equivalent wines who are serious about quality, particularly when they are located in emerging regions or established regions with very little history of sparkling wine production
- At least one other bottle of all unsuccessful wines will be opened and compared to the judged bottle by the Tasting Quality Control Director. Any wine suffering from bottle variation will be resubmitted to the judges anonymously (i.e., under different code)
- All three judges must agree all medals awarded
Stage Two: Best in Class
All Gold medal wines are then retasted side-by-side to select the Best in Class (Best Australian Blend NV, Best Australian Blend Vintage, Best Cava Rosé NV, Best Cava Rosé Vintage etc).
- If there are no Gold medals, no Best in Class can be awarded
- Deluxe Champagnes are excluded from Best in Class Champagnes, but compete for their own restricted Best in Class categories
- Deluxe Champagnes are tasted separately and their Best in Class categories are restricted to Blend, Blanc de Blancs, Rosé, Library Vintage and Magnum, with no distinction between Multivintage and Vintage (except for Library Vintage, which be definition must be a vintage of at least 20 years of age)
See here for the full list of classes.
Stage Three: Regional Champions (by Appellation)
The Best in Class within each origin compete against each other for Regional Champion Trophies (Champagne Champion, Cava Champion etc.).
- If there are no Best in Class, no Regional Champion can be awarded
- Best in Class Deluxe Champagnes will be included with other Best in Class Champagnes for the Regional Champagne Trophy
Stage Four: National Champions
The Regional Champions and any non-aligned Best in Class within each country compete against each other for National Champion Trophies (Best French Sparkling Wine, Best US Sparkling Wine, Best English Sparkling Wine etc.). National Champions are the top tier of the CSWWC’s terroir Trophies.
- If there are no Regional Champions and no non-aligned Best in Class, no National Champion Trophy for that country can be awarded
- Library Vintage Best in Class wines are excluded from all Regional and World Champion Trophies (the Library Vintage class was originally introduced so that judges could avoid the impossible dilemma of considering wonderfully mature wines for major trophies – it was unfair to include them, but it was also unfair not to recognise them, thus they were given their own class)
Stage Five: World Champions by Style
Returning by popular demand, we dropped this category on the fly during our second year of judging because the number of new countries and producers entering the competition had dramatically increased the potential number of World Champion by Styles trophies to the point where they would have lost the exclusive cachet of a trophy award. This year we have whittled down the World Champion style trophies to just six:
- Classic NV Brut* Blend
- Classic Vintage Brut* Blend
- Classic Blanc de Blancs Brut* (with vintage and non-vintage competing)
- Classic Rosé Brut* (with vintage and non-vintage competing)
- Sparkling Red (any sweetness)
- Sparkling Aromatic (any sweetness)
*Brut includes any wine labelled or technically qualifying as Brut Nature, Extra Brut or Brut.
Stage Six: Supreme World Champion
All National Champions compete for our Best in Show Trophy: Supreme World Champion.