Six wines from five wineries have been awarded Gold Medals in the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020. The Decanter World Wine Awards is arguably the finest and definitely the largest wine tasting competition in the world. It is organized by Decanter Magazine, which is to the British as the Wine Spectator is to the Americans. Many wine aficionados believe it is the best read of all the main wine magazines. The winning wines were:
Psagot Peak, Judean Hills 2016 – 96 points
Golan Heights Winery, Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon, Galilee 2016 – 95 points
Gvaot Gofna Cabernet Franc Reserve, Shomron 2017 – 95 points
Shiloh Mosaic Exclusive Edition, Judean Hills 2017 – 95 points
Shiloh Secret Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Judean Hills 2017 – 95 points
Tulip, Black Tulip, Judean Hills & Upper Galilee 2017 – 95 points
Interestingly, three of the wineries are from the Central Mountains Region, Psagot, Gvaot & Shiloh, and one from the Golan Heights, the Golan Heights Winery.
Six Gold Medals is a record for Israeli wines at Decanter. In 2019 there were three golds won by Israelis, in 2018 none, and 2016 and 2017 one only in both years. So the haul this year doubles that of the previous year.
Psagot, Gvaot and Yarden have each previously been awarded Gold Medals at Decanter WWA in the last four years. Psagot Peak (a different vintage), Gvaot Gofna Cabernet Sauvignon and Yarden Pinot Gris, were also awarded Gold Medals. So Psagot, Gvaot, Yarden and with this year’s result, Shiloh, have succeeded to be awarded Gold Medals on two occasions. This is a track record of international recognition, quality & consistency for the wineries concerned.
The best performance by an Israeli winery at the Decanter WWA in the last few years has been by the Golan Heights Winery. They won two gold medals, like the others, but also in both 2016 and 2017, they were awarded a Platinum Medal, which is superior to gold. The winning wines were respectively, Yarden HeightsWine 2012 and Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon 2013.
Of course, the finest result ever for an Israeli wine at the Decanter WWA still remains Carmel Winery’s Kayoumi Vineyard Shiraz 2006, which won the Decanter International Trophy in 2010. It was a wine from the 2006 vintage, a year of war between Israel and Lebanon, when growers at a critical stage were not permitted to enter the vineyard in the Upper Galilee. The legendary Steven Spurrier presented the Trophy to Lior Lacser, now winemaker-CEO of Jerusalem Wineries, and Adam Montefiore, now wine writer of the Jerusalem Post.
Whilst enjoying the success of Decanter 2020, let us hope Israel can continue its improvement in Decanter 2021.