Nominees For The Wine Pinnacle Awards 2019 Revealed
Seen as Southeast Asia’s most prestigious wine event, the Wine Pinnacle Awards and The Great Wine and Dine Festival 2019, presented by Genting Singapore and hosted at Resorts World Sentosa from October 10 to 12, is poised to be a lavish affair for wine lovers and connoisseurs alike.
This is said to be the world’s first nomination-based wine awards and festival featuring a range of wines curated and voted by top wine professionals from around the globe, spread across 23 categories. There are also three categories honouring wine professionals.
An independent jury of over 50 members, made up of Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers, wine influencers and sommeliers from top fine dining restaurants from the United Kingdom, USA, Europe and Asia Pacific, have since casted their votes through a secured online nomination ballot. Curated by the Wine Pinnacle Awards Committee, the award’s team of five illustrious wine experts, the categories cover a wide range of varietals, styles and themes, including nods for the Best Bordeaux Wine from 1996, Best Chinese Red and even Top Wine Influencer (under 40).
Suffice it to say, wine lovers across the region who have been eagerly anticipating more details since news of the event was announced in June will be excited to learn that the top five nominees for each of the 23 wine categories have been released. And it's interesting to say the least.
An unusual weather pattern in Bordeaux, France, didn’t stop some the best wineries from creating what experts have deemed some of the feted region’s best 1996 vintages. So, it’s no surprise to find wines from Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour, Château Léoville-Las Cases, and Grand Vin de Léoville in the running for the Best 1996 Bordeaux Wine honour.
The same could be said about nominees in the Best 2005 Vintage Burgundy (Red), which includes the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, La Tache Grand Cru Monopole and its Romanée-Conti Grand Cru. Also in contention are the 2005 Domaine Leroy, Musigny Grand Cru, and the 2005 Domaine Armand Rousseau, Pere et Fils Chambertin Grand Cru.
Other notable categories: Best 1999 Vintage Barolo, Best 2002 Vintage Champagne, Best 2005 Vintage Rioja/Ribera Del Duero, and Best 2007 Vintage Tuscan (Red).
Some the finest from the New World are divided into categories such as Best 2008 Vintage Australian Shiraz and the Best 2009 Vintage Cabernet Based Californian Wine, as well as the Best Recent Release categories for New World Pinot Noir and Non-Burgundy Chardonnay. Interestingly, all the nominated wines in these two categories are from either New Zealand or Australia.
The Unexpected Finest
Of course, one of the key points of such an event has to be its capacity to embrace a wider and sometimes unexpected range of fine wines.
With the rise of the natural wine movement in recent years, the category for the Best Organic/Natural Wine of the Year is one that pundits like Doug Frost, MW, are most excited about. Aptly, the nominees stretch quite a distance across the globe, from Domaine Sébastien Riffault’s Sancerre Auksinis from Loire in France to Ochota Barrels’ 186 Grenache from McLaren Vale, Australia.
The five environmentally-conscious winemakers being honoured are Isabelle Legeron, MW (UK), Jacques Néauport (France), Lalou Bize-Leroy (France), Miguel Torres (Spain) and Nicolas Joly (France), and one of them will be crowned Best Friend of the Earth.
Closer to home, fans would be happy but not entirely surprised to see the likes of Ao Yun included in the running for Best Chinese Red. But it’s also worth noting that Ao Yun Vineyard’s Maxence Dulou is one of the five considered for the Unsung Hero award.
Speaking of honouring the unanticipated, wine lovers will appreciate the fact that the list of the “most thought-provoking wines” up for the Black Swan of the Year award is just as geographically diverse. They are Arnot-Roberts, Sonoma Coast Syrah, California, USA; Château Pierre-Bise, Savennieres Roches aux Moines, Loire, France; Gravner, Anfora Pinot Grigio Venezia Giulia IGT, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy; Luke Lambert, Syrah, Yarra Valley, Australia; and Radikon, Ribolla Gialla Venezia Giulia IGT, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy.
Kicking off the three-day celebration is the by-invite-only Wine Pinnacle Awards Gala Dinner & Awards Ceremony on October 10. One wine, chosen amongst the 23 winners in the wine categories, will also be presented with the highly-anticipated Grand Jury Award; nominees will only be revealed on the day.
Normandy native Nicolas Masse of two Michelin-starred La Grand’Vigne will helm the evening's avant-garde six-course menu that will be expertly paired with sought-after expressions from Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, as well as nominees of the Wine Pinnacle Awards 2019.
Much To Savour
The public, on the other hand, can look forward to The Great Wine & Dine Festival, held in tandem with the Wine Pinnacle Awards over the same three days at the Resorts World Ballroom. Over 400 wines, including Wine Pinnacle Awards nominees, will be showcased and available for sampling on festival grounds and during masterclasses. Highlights include three wines that have been ranked thrice in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of The Year. The festival will also have a special zone featuring craft sake specially flown in from Japan. These unique sakes will be showcased in Singapore for the first time.
And because some of the best tipples are best enjoyed with good food, guests can look forward to a smorgasbord of festival exclusive from restaurants like table65, Fratelli Trattoria and Teppan by Chef Yonemura, not to mention a first-in-Singapore pop-up dining concept—Los Angeles’ Lobsterdamus, which is known for its grilled wild-caught Maine lobsters.
Event details and tickets can be found at winepinnacle.com.