2023 Wine Judging - deliberations from our judges - days 5 & 6

Wine news

Thu 4 May 2023

By Kristen Dougall

As we launch into our 5th and 6th day of wine judging our judges have been tasting through flights of wine from Italy, Portugal as well as some fortified wines. Mick O’Connell MW lead our panels tasting the delights from Italy. We caught up with Mick to find out the many highlights from this year’s wines.


The wines from Italy have shown great diversity, our panels have been tasting Valpolicella through to Amarone and into Riserva. The number of entries of Nebbiolo from Piedmont has increased this year, with our judges awarding a gold to a particular stand-out from the 2019 vintage. The medals were coming in thick and fast for Barolo, with Mick exclaiming the flights as “absolutely spectacular”.


Italian whites were also really exciting, namely from Alto Adige with clean, crisp and crystalline styles impressing our judges. Mick was pleased to see regions that haven’t performed as well in the past being awarded medals this year, commenting, “This is probably the best thing that you see when you're judging these awards.”


Another one of our Wine Judging Committee members, Dirceu Vianna Junior MW, was leading our panels tasting through wines from Portugal but also fortified wines (sherry and port). Our judges were impressed by the Dão flights tasted, there were some great consistency with the wines showing good regional typicity, with a gold medal awarded to an exciting Encruzado. Flights of Douro red wines were also showing very well, with one particular stand-out wine receiving a gold medal.

The fortified wines were strong in their medal count this year. Our judges praised a flight of aged Tawny Ports, showing great balance and freshness and developed notes from extensive ageing.


Sherries also caught our judges’ attention, the flights of Pedro Ximénez in particular gaining numerous medals for their impressive concentration, complexity and depth but also retaining their acidity.

The IWSC’s 2023 Wine Results will be available from 22 May 2023. Discover other deliberations from this series on our News page here.