NOffLA announces Gold Star wines

Duca del Salento Salice Salentino Riserva emerged as the Wine of the Year 2014-2015 at the National Off-Licence Association’s annual Gold Star Wine Awards which were held in the IFSC’s ely bar & brasseris as part of the Association’s SIP annual trade show.

The award also encompassed the wine being the Best Old World Red Under €15 while Louis Jadot Couvent des Jacobins’ Bourgogne Chardonnay was awarded the Best White Wine of the year, the Best Old World White Under €20.

The two were among 15 winners on the night, selected by a panel of NOffLA judges and independent wine writers.

Each of the winning wines will be sold in NOffLA member outlets, of which there are more than 315 nationwide.  The chosen wines will be recognisable by distinctive Award symbols on each bottle. In the pre-Christmas period NOffLA members will promote the Gold Star Awards 2014-2015 Collection as ideal Christmas gifts in a variety of special gift packs.

At the event, the Association called on the Government to address excessive excise duty on wine and alcohol in Budget 2015 which will be announced next week.

Speaking at the awards, NOffLA Chairperson Evelyn Jones, commented, Every year we celebrate the outstanding produce that our highly-trained members offer the Irish consumers on a daily basis. We’re uniquely committed to excellence across the board both in terms of the service we provide but also the quality of wines we offer”.

“This combination of personal service and quality of choice is however under threat due to Government policy. Independent retailers all across Ireland have struggled due to the economic downturn, however successive excise increases have driven 544 off-licences out of business since 2008. There has been a 62% excise increase in wine over the past two budgets with distributors and importers, SMEs, paying nearly €18,000 (€17,958) more on every 1,000 cases purchased.”

“As we’ve seen over the past few days, the Government stance on alcohol taxation does not make sense, a point reflected by the fact that the Department of Enterprise has come under pressure from members of the current Government to ban below-cost selling. Below-cost selling of alcohol is costing the exchequer over €20 million on an annual basis while the current level of excise duty unfairly punishes SMEs.

“An Taoiseach has claimed that Budget 2015 will create an extra 15,000 jobs due to new tax measures however this Government is potentially ignoring the risk to 92,000 jobs across the Irish alcohol industry if it does not address the issue of excise duty. These people, who are also voters, have been on the receiving end of successive excise increases and are approaching breaking point”

In excess of 600 wines were submitted to the Gold Star Award adjudication panel.  Points were awarded on the basis of appearance, smell, taste and value for money criteria and the winning 15 were selected as the best wines, from the key suppliers across a number of price categories.






2014 Gold Star Winners


Category Wine    Supplier
Old World White Under €10 Mureda Blanco Ecológico 2013  Taserra Wine Merchants
Old World White Under €15 Cantina Di Monteforte, Soave Classico `Terre di Monteforte’ 2013  Liberty Wines
Old World White Under €20 Louis Jadot “Couvent des Jacobins” Bourgogne Chardonnay 2013             Findlater Wine & Spirits Group
New World White Under €10 Deakin Estate Chardonnay 2012  Findlater Wine & Spirits Group
New World White Under €15 Boland Cellar Sauvignon Blanc 2014  Mackenway Distributors
New World White Under €20 TOHU Sauvignon Blanc 2013  Mackenway Distributors
Old World Red Under €10 Umbrele Merlot 2013  Mackenway Distributors
Old World Red Under €15 Duca del Salento Salice Salentino Riserva 2010  Taserra Wine Merchants
Old World Red Under €20 Villa Antinori Rosso 2010  Findlater Wine & Spirits Group
New World Red Under €10 Deakin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2012  Findlater Wine & Spirits Group
New World Red Under €15 Callia ‘Selected’ Malbec 2012  Mackenway Distributors
New World Red Under €20 Gnarly Head Zinfandel 2011  Cassidy Wines Distribution
Rose Under €15 Jacobs Creek Moscato Rosé 2012  IDL Pernod Ricard
Sparkling Wine Under €25 La Marca Prosecco Spumante NV  Mackenway Distributors
Sparkling Wine Under €60 Hattingley Valley, Classic Cuvée 2011  Liberty Wines


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