Trophies & Best in Class
Only Gold medal wines compete for Best in Class and Trophies.
Wines are automatically categorised by the competition administrators (entrants are unable to choose their own category) into the most appropriate class or, where applicable, more than one appropriate class.
If there are no golds in any category, no further awards are possible.
Best in Class
Except for NV & Vintage Classic Brut Blend (including Brut Nature & Extra Brut), we will be awarding only one Best in Class per category per region as from 2020. Internally, the judges will select theoretical Best in Class for NV and Vintage, then conduct a taste-off for the overall Best in Class. This will halve the number of Best in Class competing for trophies, which were becoming so many that if the competition continues to grow, the Awards Dinner was threatening to end at breakfast. As a consequence, Best in Class will be twice as hard to win and even more prestigious than before. Classic is defined in this instance as the traditional grape variety blend for the region in question, whereas Classic Blanc de Blancs & Classic Blanc de Noirs are explained below.
- Classic Brut Nature Blend (vintage or NV/MV, non-aromatic grapes, 0-3g RS)
- Classic Extra Brut Blend (vintage or NV/MV, non-aromatic grapes, 0-6g RS)
- Classic Brut Blend (vintage or NV/MV, non-aromatic grapes, 0-12g RS)
- Classic Blanc de Blancs (pure Chardonnay or Chardonnay-dominated, 0-12g RS)
- Classic Blanc de Noirs (pure Pinot or Meunier or Pinot- or Meunier-dominated, 0-12g RS)
- Classic Brut Rosé (non-aromatic grapes, 0-12g RS)
- Classic Off-Dry (non-aromatic, any style, 12-32g RS)
- Classic Demi-Sec (non-aromatic grapes, any style, 32-50g RS)
- Classic Sweet (non-aromatic grapes, any style, 50+g RS)
- Aromatic Brut (aromatic grapes, any style, 0-12g RS)
- Aromatic Off-Dry (aromatic grapes, any style, 12-32g RS)
- Aromatic Demi-Sec (aromatic grapes, any style, 32-50g RS)
- Aromatic Sweet (aromatic grapes, any style, 50+g RS)
- Red Dry (0-12g RS)
- Red Off-Dry (12-32g RS)
- Red Demi-Sec (32-50g RS)
- Red Sweet (50+g RS)
Special classes (All)
- Library Vintage (any grapes, any style, minimum age: 20 years)
- Future Release* (for a wine not yet available but due to be released before June of the following year, must be vintaged, unless it is a brand new non-vintage or multi-vintage cuvée – please note that commercial disgorgements of any wine due to be released by November of the year of the competition should be entered as a normal entry, NOT a Future Release)
- Newcomer (for an exceptional quality wine from a relatively new producer)
- Classic Brut Style from non-traditional grapes**
- Value (post-judging decision for any exceptional quality wine at an unexpectedly inexpensive price)
*With just one exception, a Future Release will not eligible for any other Best in Class or Trophy because it might not be the final commercial disgorgement or dosage. The exception is the trophy for a Classic Brut Style from non-traditional grapes because it has already demonstrated its potential whatever might or might not happen during the disgorgement.
**In this instance, Classic refers to a classic non-aromatic Brut style. It must be brut (including Brut Nature and Extra Brut) and pure varietal, but can be any classic style (i.e., Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs or Rosé). Non-classic grapes consist of varieties not traditionally associated with a recognised brut style sparkling wine, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier, traditionally associated with Champagne and in common use around the world; Parellada, Macabeo and Xarel-lo, which are traditionally associated with Cava, Glera for Prosecco etc.
Special classes (Champagne)
- Single Vineyard (Any style. For the purposes of this competition, we define Single Vineyard as a Special Champagne, not a Deluxe Champagne, even if the wine in question is widely recognised as a Deluxe Champagne)
- Best Grower Champagne
Deluxe Champagne Best in Class
Deluxe Champagnes have their own classes because only one Deluxe Champagne (Best Deluxe Champagne) is allowed to progress in the competition and that progression is itself restricted two trophies: Best French Sparkling Wine and, if it wins that, Supreme World Champion. Gold medal winners
- MV Blend
- Vintage Blend
- Blanc de Blancs
- Library Vintage (must be at least 20 years of age)
- Best Deluxe Champagne
1. There is no distinction between Multi-vintage and Vintage for any of these classes, with the exception of MV Blend, Vintage Blend and Library Vintage.
2. At the medal stage, all deluxe cuvées are tasted blind and randomly dispersed amongst non-deluxe cuvees, so that the judges are not tipped-off that they should be special. However, all deluxe cuvees SHOULD be special, so we cull everything other than Gold medals. Having established the “crème de la crème”, Gold medal deluxe cuvees are, for the first and only time, tasted together for Deluxe Champagne Best in Class awards.
3. No deluxe cuvee is allowed to compete for the regular Champagne Best in Class awards and thus cannot move forward to World Champion Trophies by Style. The only exceptions are Library Vintage, which can compete for World Champion Library Vintage and Best Deluxe Champagne, which can compete for Best Champagne and, therefore, Best French Sparkling Wine and thus Supreme World Champion Sparkling Wine.
4. There is no difference between a deluxe cuvée and a prestige cuvée, the terms are completely interchangeable, but there is a difference between a producer’s recognised deluxe cuvée and special or very special cuvée from the same producer. However, as the difference between a deluxe cuvée and other special cuvées is not straightforward and often debateable, the CSWWC reserves the right to declare what is and is not a deluxe cuvée in the context of its own awards.
The Best in Class winners from each regional appellation will be re-tasted to determine the overall Regional Champion, such as (but not restricted to):
- Best Cava
- Best Champagne
- Best Franciacorta
- Best Loire
- Best Prosecco
- Best Trentodoc
The above list is not necessarily exhaustive. Because of the possibility of this list expanding in the future, Regional Champions do not receive a trophy as such, although they are regarded as the ultimate award for their respective regions.
World Champion Trophies (by style)
- Classic NV Brut* Blend
- Classic Vintaged Brut* Blend
- Classic Blanc de Blancs Brut* (vintage or non-vintage)
- Classic Blanc de Noirs Brut* (vintage or non-vintage)
- Classic Rosé Brut* (vintage or non-vintage)
- Library Vintage**
- Sparkling Red (any sweetness, vintage or non-vintage)
- Sparkling Aromatic (any sweetness, vintage or non-vintage)
- Classic Brut Style from non-traditional grapes***
*Brut includes any wine labelled or technically qualifying as Brut Nature, Extra Brut or Brut.
**Library Champagne has its own class culminating in a World Champion Trophy because the judges do not want to be put in the invidious position of choosing the greatest readily available sparkling wine and a fabulous mature vintage of limited availability for the Supreme World Champion Trophy.
***In this instance it can be any pure varietal classic style (i.e., Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs or Rosé) and Brut includes any wine labelled or technically qualifying as Brut Nature, Extra Brut or Brut. Non-classic grapes consist of varieties not traditionally associated with a recognised brut style sparkling wine, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier for Champagne; Parellada, Macabeo and Xarel-lo for Cava, Glera for Prosecco etc.
- Chairman’s Trophy
- the Tony Jordan Rising Star Trophy
- Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year
- Supreme World Champion