Off-trade

Ampersand dominates NOffLA Wine Awards

Ampersand's Willie Dardis might as well have stood by the podium for the duration of the NOffLA Irish Wine Show Star Awards to save himself some walking, so many accolades did the company receive for its range of wines this year including Best White Wine in LoLo Albariño DO 2021 & Best Wine Overall in Rioja Vega Crianza DOC 2018.

 

Wine of the Year was won by Ampersand Wines with Rioja Vega Crianza DOC 2018. The award was presented by NOffLA Chairman Gary O'Donovan (right) and accepted by (from left): Willie Dardis, Sinead Smith and Luis Mareculeta.

Wine of the Year was won by Ampersand Wines with Rioja Vega Crianza DOC 2018. The award was presented by NOffLA Chairman Gary O’Donovan (right) and accepted by (from left): Willie Dardis, Sinead Smith and Luis Mareculeta.

This year’s competition, held as part of NOffLA’s annual SIP Irish Wine Show Star Awards & Christmas Showcase, was again held in the Morrisson Hotel last night. Now in its 22nd year, the awards were hosted in-person for the first time in two years and – apart from Ampersand’s winning a clutch of awards – saw 48 wines win awards.

In excess of 600 wines were submitted to NOffLA’s Star Award adjudication panel and independent wine journalists. Points were awarded on the basis of appearance, smell, taste and value-for-money criteria; the winning 16 were selected as the best wines from key suppliers across a number of price categories.

The winning wines will be available to consumers from NOffLA outlets across Ireland and are recognisable by distinctive Award symbols on each bottle.

It’s hoped that in the pre-Christmas period NOffLA members will promote the Irish Wine Show Star Awards 2022-2023 Collection as ideal Christmas gifts in a variety of special gift packs.

Prior to the awards, NOffLA Chairman Gary O’Donovan told those gathered that he believed that the Sale of Alcohol Bill was to be introduced “shortly” but was unlikely to be enacted before 2023.

He also expressed the Association’s disappointment that an alcohol excise reduction was not considered as part of Budget 2023.

“Unfortunately Irish drinks sector businesses are burdened with the highest levels of alcohol excise in the EU and UK and excise increases from a decade ago remain in place and continue to impact these small, independent businesses,” he stated, “It’s disappointing that an excise reduction was not included in Budget 2023 given the increasingly uncertain economic conditions these businesses now face.

“It is also particularly disappointing given that with Minimum Unit Pricing coming into effect earlier this year – which now safeguards against the retailing of alcohol at dangerously low prices – Ireland’s punitively high excise levels are no longer justified from a public health perspective.”

NOffLA Vice Chairman Cathal McHugh also brought the audience up to speed via a trading update.

 

 

2022-2023 GOLD STAR AWARD WINNERS

 

CATEGORY WINE VINTAGE COMPANY
Old World White Under €12 Giovinello Pinot Grigio 2021 Ampersand Wines
Old World White Under €15 Cantina di Custoza, Custoza Bianco 2021 Liberty Wines
Old World White Under €20 LoLo Albariño DO 2021 Ampersand Wines
New World White Under €12 Corla Reef Chardonnay Semillion 2021 Ampersand Wines
New World White Under €15 Nuevo Mundo Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Febvre Wines
New World White Under €20 Salentein “Barrel Selection” Chardonnay 2021 Mackenway Wines
Old World Red Under €12 Rioja Vega Semi Crianza 2020 Ampersand Wines
Old World Red Under €15 Rioja Vega Crianza DOC 2018 Ampersand Wines
Old World Red Under €20 Vale D. Maria Douro Superior 2020 Mackenway Wines
New World Red Under €12 Coral Reef Shiraz Cabernet 2019 Ampersand Wines
New World Red Under €15 Portillo Malbec 2020 Mackenway Wines
New World Red Under €20 d’Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Febvre Wines
Rose Under €15 Domaine La Colombette 2021 Cassidy Wines
Sparkling Wine Under €25 Villa Conchi, Cava Brut NV Tindal Wine Merchants
Champagne Under €60 Champagne Jean Pernet Réserve Brut Chardonnay Grand Cru NV Febvre Wines
Non Alcoholic Under €15 Faber Sauvignon Blanc NV Ampersand Wines
White Wine of the Year 2022-2023

 

LoLo Albariño DO 2021 Ampersand Wines
Wine of the Year 2022-2023 Rioja Vega Crianza DOC 2018 Ampersand Wines

 

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