SAN FRANCISCO – Vivino, the world’s largest online wine marketplace and most downloaded wine app, today announced Vivino’s 2019 Wine Style Award winners. The honorees include 1,640 outstanding wines across 164 wine styles, with the 2015 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon recognized by Vivino’s community of millions of users as this year’s best wine in the world. The full list of styles and winners can be viewed here: www.vivino.com/awards.
This year’s awards marks the fifth year the company has held this annual celebration, powered by a thriving global wine community. Vivino users are encouraged to use the worldwide rankings and ratings as a guide to discover and purchase wines and to explore featured styles with the Wine Explorer tool, available on the app and online at Vivino.com.
To mark the exciting milestone, Vivino founder Heini Zachariassen said:
“No matter your background or credentials, tasting an incredible wine is an experience we don’t often forget, and that moment of enjoyment is what we get to celebrate today. Vivino’s Fifth Annual Wine Style Awards, wholly driven by the likes, dislikes and preferences of our 35 million users, their 40 million reviews and 120 million ratings, honors the wineries and producers that bring that moment of enjoyment to life.”
“Since launching the Vivino Wine Style Awards five years ago, it’s our hope that we’ve helped to empower the wine community – experts and novices alike – by giving everyone at the table a voice in deciding the best wines in the world.”
As the only industry awards determined by the public, the Vivino Wine Style Awards offer a unique look at current and upcoming wine trends, including an up-to-the-minute reflection of consumer preferences for how wine is made and how it tastes.
A Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2015 Scarecrow (with an average rating of 4.9 out of 5), took the coveted best wine overall honor from last year’s top wine, the 1976 Chateau d’Yquem Bordeaux Sauternes. While the 2015 Scarecrow beat out top-tier contender Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s La Tâche Grand Cru, the famous Burgundy Côte de Nuits Red still earned the second place spot with a 4.7 rating.
In the U.S., Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend, Californian Pinot Noir and Californian Red Blend styles closely trailed Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ratings, with averages of 4.79, 4.74 and 4.63, respectively.
Other exemplary wines include the 2017 Quinta Nova Mirabilis Grande Reserva Branco, the 1988 Krug Brut Champagne and the 2017 San Valentín Garnacha, which won best white wine in the world, best sparkling wine in the world and most popular wine overall from the list, respectively.
Two lauded producers from Argentina claimed a robust presence within this year’s list. Bodega Catena Zapata earned 20 winning spots in total, beating their record of 15 awards last year. Viña Cobos, the inspired vision of famed winemaker Paul Hobbs, earned the number two spot in terms of overall wins with nine awards.
Winning Women in Wine
Despite making up only a fraction of the winemakers in the world, women are continuing to make their mark on the industry and, this year, the number one wine in the world, the 2015 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon, was produced by female winemaker Celia Welch.
The list of female winemakers making waves this year is extensive and includes the likes of Susana Balbo, for her Signature Barrel Fermented Torrontes 2016; Viviana Navarrete of Leyda for the Falaris Hill Vineyard Chardonnay 2015; Andrea Mullineux for the Mullinex Schist Syrah 2015; Tina Mitchell of Palmaz for the Brasas Cabernet Sauvignon 2014; Stephanie Jacobs of Cakebread for the Dancing Bear Ranch 2012, Andrea León of Lapostolle for the Clos Apalta (Limited Release) 2009, the Cuvée Alexandre Chardonnay (Atalayas Vineyard) 2015 and the Cuvée Alexandre Merlot (Apalta Vineyard) 2012.
Methodology Worth Noting
Consumers are expressing increased interest in natural wine options, and the industry is listening. This year, many of the best reds coming out of Burgundy’s Beaujolais region are natural wines. A total of six wines awarded from the style are described as natural. Outside of France, a natural Argentinian Pinot Noir, the 2017 Sin Azufre Pinot Noir, was also honored.
Leading winemakers in Provence, like Chateau d’Esclans, are exploring different methods of making rosé. The move toward more serious, age-worthy styles is a response to consumers’ push for unconventional regional styles.
Styles We’re Watching
Located in the South of France, Languedoc-Roussillon, one of the biggest wine producing regions in the world, has been to known to produce affordable “table wine.” However, this year’s Wine Style Awards recognized three Languedoc-Roussillon Red wines, which joined the restricted club of 4.5-star status.
Spanish Toro Red is the Spanish wine style you might not have heard of yet, but you certainly will. Made from Tempranillo grapes, these wines are starting to compete with the more established wines like Rioja and Ribera del Duero styles. The warmer climate of Toro creates a bolder style of Tempranillo than that found in Rioja, much to the enjoyment of consumers.
Leading white wines included iconic styles from Burgundy, Napa Valley and Austria. It’s Portuguese white wines, however, that experienced the biggest spike in interest, with a 20 percent increase in Vivino reviews and a 40 percent year-over-year uptick in scans, cementing the country’s spot as one to continue to watch.
The 2019 Wine Style Awards also saw the rise of lesser known Pinot Noirs. The wine category is making a new name for itself in places like Patagonia and Tasmania, where the opportunities for Pinot Noirs to grow is giving mainstays like Argentinian Malbec some friendly competition.
Evolving Identities of American Chardonnay, Riesling
Riesling’s reputation as just a sweet wine among some consumers is finally beginning to wane, partly thanks to the impressive dry wines coming out of Austria. Three Austrian Rieslings, including outstanding wines by Franz Hirtzberger, won Vivino Wine Style Awards this year with rankings of over 4.3 stars.
Chardonnay, once a highly sought-after category, fell out of this year’s top five overall and struggled to maintain a presence in the top 100 most popular U.S. wines on the list. While Chardonnays in the premium category are still mostly dominated by “old fashioned” styles that are typically more oaky and buttery, younger and trendier winemakers continue to shepherd in leaner styles with higher acidity, less oak and less malolactic fermentation.
Sparkling Trends Bubbling to the Top
French Champagne Non-Vintage wines, created by blending different vintages before the wine undergoes its secondary fermentation, secured top honors this year. Non-Vintage Champagne producers, like those created by Jacques Selosse and Krug, are perfecting the craft of the art of blending and proving these bubbles are anything but boring.
Regions to Know
Napa Valley remains the epicenter of wine in the U.S., producing the most rated wines in the country, while outlying California wine regions like Santa Barbara, Monterey, Paso Robles were less represented this year. Napa Valley also dominated the top five overall in the U.S., with a Washington State wine sneaking in at number six.
Margaux, France and its famous First Growth, Chateau Margaux, has generated admiration across the industry for centuries. This year, Chateau Margaux is a leader with one of the very highest rated wines of them all, a 4.8-star rating for its 2010 vintages. Their neighbor Chateau Palmer, also did very well with the same vintage.
And don’t forget New Zealand. The country is best known for its Sauvignon Blanc and it’s been estimated that upwards of 70 percent of the country’s total output and nine out of its ten awarded wines come from one region – Marlborough. The 2014 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc is one of the strongest brands from this region currently on the international wine scene.
To be eligible in Vivino’s 2019 Wine Style Awards, wines needed to have at least 50 ratings submitted from Vivino’s users in the 2018 calendar year. Featured categories were selected based on popularity. The full list of award winners can be explored at www.vivino.com/awards, where visitors can learn about their favorite styles and explore more bottles available for each trending style using the Vivino Wine Explorer tool, available on the app and online at Vivino.com. All wines available for purchase will have a green buy button next to them.
Vivino empowers people everywhere to enjoy wine to the fullest. Vivino is the world’s largest online wine marketplace and most downloaded wine app, powered by a community of millions. Vivino’s unique wine shopping experience uses community data to suggest personalized wine recommendations, making wine discovery and purchase fun, accessible, and effortless for wine drinkers of every level. The Vivino app is available for download on Android and Apple devices. Vivino is available for download on Android and Apple devices. For more information, visit www.vivino.com.