Writing on TimAtkin.com in 2014, Robert Joseph, has this fantastic introductory line to his piece What’s the point of wine competitions?:
It’s a sentiment we hear at SAWi from time to time – although far less often now than a few years ago. Joseph goes on to apologise to Churchill before concluding his introduction by pointing out that competitions “actually work better than the alternatives.” We have to agree; but when determining SAWi scores we also consider key listings, reviews and comments from the world’s leading wine authorities.
The SAWi ‘Algorithm of Excellence’ distills the collective wisdom of a multitude of authoritative wine competitions, reviews and listings into a single point score which is consistent and drowns out much of the subjective noise of various judging panels.
One of the competitions we include is the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA).
Together with the many entrants, we’ll be keeping an eye on the DWWA 2017 Timeline, so that we can feed the results into our SAWi algorithm ahead of the 2017 Grand Wines Collection update, as well as the 2018 SAWi Wine Excellence Awards.
According to the DWWA site, “DWWA has judges from around the world, including Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers, and many of them are the foremost experts in their field. Judging is organised into categories, initially based on region. For example, Champagne will be judged by a panel of Champagne experts.
The judges taste wines individually. They know the region, style and price bracket, but they don’t know who produced the wine or the brand name. They then compare notes on the wine and reach a consensus on each wine’s medal.
Medal categories correspond to the 100-point scoring system used by Decanter and many top wine critics around the world.”
SAWi also represents wine performance as a value out of 100, but the SAWi Index value is a unity-based normalised score that uses raw data comprised of the wine’s average score over a 10-year period, as well as additional points for consistent top performance and any additional accolades achieved.
As will be appreciated by the DWWA description above, the competition process is rigorous, and a wine that walks away with DWWA Gold Medal can truly claim to be exceptional. More so if it then receives a Platinum Medal or is crowned ‘Best in Show’.
For this reason, the Decanter World Wine Awards and its additional medal accolades carry SAWi’s full endorsement and make a sizeable impact on the SAWi wine rating methodology.
All the best to the many worthwhile South African candidates who will submit their wines over the upcoming months. We look forward to celebrating your success with you.