agabond urban winery, the winemaker that bottles beside Battersea Power Station, has been awarded the UK’s only platinum medal at the prestigious Decanter world wine awards.
The winery’s 2020 Chardonnay, which is made using grapes grown in Essex, was awarded 97 out of 100 points by judges. The wine, which is vegan, retails for £20 a bottle, though it’s also sold by the glass at the various Vagabond wine bars across the capital.
More broadly, it was a record win for UK wines this year, with 151 medals granted to homegrown bottles, including a “Best in Show” for Coates & Seely’s non vintage reserve brut, an English sparkling wine from Hampshire.
Unsurprisingly, English sparkling wines generally were among the top-performing UK wines, with seven gold medals awarded to British fizzes, including Hampshire’s Hattingley Valley classic reserve brut NV; the Wiston Estate blanc de noir brut 2014 from the South Downs; and Kit's Coty coeur de cuvée 2016, which is made in Kent.
Judges said of the trend: “There’s no rule that English sparkling wines must feature in our Best in Show selection; quality is all. Year after year, though, it is precisely the quality of those English sparkling wines submitted to the DWWA that keeps impressing our final-round judges and insisting on inclusion.”
While Kent and Hampshire are well known for the quality of their wines, there were winners from across the country: wines from 21 counties picked up a medal, including those from Berkshire, Derbyshire, Devon, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire and Norfolk.
Now in their nineteenth year and considered the world’s most influential wine accolades, the 250 judges deciding on the winners included 41 masters of wine and 13 master sommeliers. Astonishingly, the judges tasted more than 18,000 wines from 54 countries before announcing those who’d scooped up a prize.
Sarah Jane Evans MW, the Decanter awards chair, said of this year’s awards: “Whether you are in a restaurant or a high street supermarket, that Decanter world wine awards medal is really something you can trust.
“Price to me is very important. We’re all very price conscious at the moment so we are looking for value. If you see a Value Platinum, for heaven’s sake pick it up — it’s great value.”
For the full list of winners, visit awards.decanter.com