A white wine produced in eastern France has been crowned the world’s best.
The Sylvaner (Emile 2020 cuvée) wine beat off competition from 700 others to win the Mondial des Vins Blancs (White Wine World Cup), which was held in Strasbourg from April 15-17.
"We are really surprised and honoured to have received this distinction and also to be the first Alsatians to have won it,” wrote the estate that produces the wine, Le Domaine Xavier Muller de Marlenheim.
‘A wine that reminds me of myself’
Xavier Muller, owner of the estate, which is based in Marlenheim (23km from Strasbourg in the Bas-Rhin department) was particularly pleased as he believes Sylvaner wine is often overlooked in competitions.
“[Sylvaner wine is] often decried for being a small wine [but] it's a wine that I like, that reminds me of myself,” he said after the victory.
The estate has only been making Sylvaner wine for 20 years, so receiving the award is all the more impressive for Mr Muller.
Sylvaner wine has an AOC (appellation d'origine contrôlée) designation, meaning it can only be produced in specific regions, and due to the neutral grapes used in production, requires skilled winemakers to create a notable end product.
Toutes mes félicitations à l'équipe du domaine Xavier Muller de #Marlenheim dans le Bas-Rhin, qui remporte avec son Sylvaner Cuvée Emile 2020 le prix du meilleur vin blanc du monde !— Franck LEROY (@Franck_LEROY_) April 18, 2023
L'excellence et le travail récompensés ! Notre Région est riche de son patrimoine et de son... https://t.co/m6msxTcJU7
The wine's popularity has fallen in recent years, but after winning this prestigious prize, it may soon see a revival.
A strong showing for Alsace
The event saw 70 judges deliberate a dozen categories, with criteria including the visual and olfactory aspects of the wine, taste, uniqueness, and overall impression.
Wines from 18 different countries were represented in this year's edition.
Alsatian producers won a number of prizes, performing particularly well in the ‘dry wine’ category.
In particular, a 2021 Riesling won the ‘Grand Gold’ medal for dry wines, with a 2022 Muscat winning a gold medal.
The event was hosted by sommelier Serge Dubs, awarded the title of world’s best sommelier in 1989, and also included ‘Masterclasses’ on wine tasting by some of the judges.
Click to find out more about Le Domaine Xavier Muller.