Prestige wines raise the bar for Sud de France Top 100 Awards – from Languedoc, Roussillon & South-West

A true sign of confidence in the region has defined the dynamic evolution the Occitanie region.  Wines which are proudly positioned by their producers amongst their most premium styles, have scooped the top places for the Best Red, Best White, Best Rosé and Best Sparkling in the 2019 Sud de France Top 100 awards.  This propels the quality reputation of the region upwards, and still leaves scope for the easy to enjoy house styles to be applauded for their exceptional good value and improving quality.  Results will be announced at the London Wine Fair 20-22 May, when the full Top 100 will be offered for open tasting.  Many will be personally presented by their producers.  Across the entire line-up, there is plenty of opportunity for new discovery, as 67% of the Top 100 winning wines have not been brought to the UK before – reflecting a diversity of style, grape and price.  17% of the wines are new products (11% in 2018).  89% are above a guide retail price of £10 per bottle (66% in 2018).

Expression of individual terroir, outstanding and memorable styles, and simple drinkability, were also noted by the judges in identifying their personal Top 100 favourites – their coup de cœur choices.  Chairman Tim Atkin MW led the panel of 15 top writers and principal buyers from diverse sectors of the trade.   The Top 100 awards are in their seventh successful year, and is an initiative by Sud de France Développement and the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Languedoc (CIVL) to give the definitive, current snapshot of this wine region which is the largest in the world.  Occitanie encompasses the Languedoc and the Roussillon vineyards, part of the Rhône Valley and the South-West.  This year 565 wines were entered by 176 producers.  Winners were selected via rigorous blind tasting [5 April, London], and trends and comments from the judges on their favourites will be revealed online from 20 May.  @Suddefranceuk  #LeTop100.

The annual Top 100 competition has assisted producers of all sizes to showcase their wines to an increasingly wider sector of the trade, for awareness, education, appreciation, access and distribution.  New trade judges this year included buyers from Tesco, the Wine Society and good food pub group ETM, who contributed their critical eye for an even wider mass of consumers.

Isabelle Kanaan, Executive Director for La Maison de la Région Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée, adds,

“This year, the Top 100 competition reached a landmark in defining the breadth and diversity of the winning wines.  There is confidence amongst winemakers in entering their top tier, prestige wines styles which can compete and hold their own distinctively in an international arena.  Our judges also continue to be impressed by the region’s commitment to improving the production of more every day wines which brim with personality and individuality and have a sense of place.  This is what the trade and consumers enjoy so much about the region.

“We would like to congratulate the winemakers, producers, distributors, judges and the trade who help to drive the discovery of these wines year-round.  British wine drinkers can look forward to ever more active retailers who seek out adventurous new finds – from the value for money end of the market, through to the more boutique prestige styles.  The Top 100 logo will help consumers choose with confidence.  A whole new season of tastings – in-store and at consumer wine shows in the UK – will help show off the region’s fine wines and the different personalities of the Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée.  These are the wonders of the world’s largest wine producing region where terroir is still the biggest influencer in creating memorable and diverse wines.”

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