The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky 2019 Awards, which recognise the best business and first class wines served by airlines worldwide, were presented on Monday February 24 at The Langham, London, by Charles Metcalfe, co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge.
Malaysia Airlines won the coveted Gold medal for Best Overall Cellar, as well as taking home the Gold for Best Business Class Cellar. Qatar Airways and Air New Zealand jointly took Silver in the Business Class category, with Aer Lingus taking Bronze.
Qantas was awarded Gold in the Best First Class Cellar category. Cathay Pacific was awarded Silver, and ANA and Singapore Airlines were awarded joint Bronze.
Business Traveller magazine’s Cellars in the Sky Awards has been running since 1985.
This year’s competing airlines were Aegean, Aer Lingus, Aeroflot, Aircalin, Air Canada, Air Italy, Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nui, American Airlines, ANA, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Cathay Dragon, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Gulf Air, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, Jetblue, Jetstar, Korean Air, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Virgin Atlantic and Westjet.
THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS AND SHORTLISTED AIRLINES
BEST FIRST CLASS RED
Domaine David Duband, Nuit-Saint-Georges Les Pruliers 1er cru 2017, Burgundy, France
Judges said: Dark, alluring and perfectly complex. Incredibly good.
Les Forts de Latour 2005, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Judges said: Great drinkability and maturity with a lovely classic Bordeaux palate.
Giant Steps Tarraford Vineyard Syrah 2018, Tarrawarra, Yarra Valley, Australia
Judges said: Fragrant and crowd-pleasing. Very good for the air.
BEST BUSINESS CLASS RED
Gold: Air New Zealand
Brennan B2, 2016, Queenstown, Central Otago, New Zealand
Judges said: Lovely fresh, juicy red fruits with some oak. A lovely balance and very elegant. A sexy crowd pleaser.
Silver (joint): Air New Zealand
Trinity Hill Homage Syrah, 2015, Gimblett Gravels, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
Judges said: Charming and delightful. Savoury and oaky. Firm with rather dry tannins.
Silver (joint): Etihad Airways
Turkey Flat Butchers Block Red 2016, Barossa Valley, Australia
Judges said: Ripe with a hint of sweet oak. Has an intense, long palate.
Silver (joint): Qatar Airways
Astelia Syrah, 2017, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Judges said: Delightful oak and gentle tannins; fresh, juicy.
Bronze: Singapore Airlines
Catena Paraje Altamira Malbec 2016, Mendoza, Argentina
Judges said: Attractive raspberry nose. Soft with sweet oak and a long palate.
BEST FIRST CLASS WHITE
Shaw and Smith Lenswood Vineyard Chardonnay 2017, Adelaide Hills, Australia
Judges said: Modern, rich, ripe and toasty. Very good.
Silver: Cathay Pacific
Nik Weis St Urbans-Hof Saarfeilser GG 2016, Mosel, Germany
Judges said: Delicious and fragrant; a lean, fresh palate.
Bronze: Malaysia Airlines
Palliser Estate Chardonnay 2016, Martinborough, New Zealand
Judges said: Wonderful modern, oaky, elegant chardonnay.
Highly Commended (joint): Cathay Dragon
Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand
Judges said: Classy, fresh and balanced with crisp acidity.
Highly Commended (joint): Singapore Airlines
By Farr Chardonnay 2018, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Judges said: Lovely depth and texture while still gentle and delicate.
BEST BUSINESS CLASS WHITE
Stella Bella Skuttlebutt Sauvignon Semillon 2018, Forest Grove, Margaret River, Australia
Judges said: Delightfully fresh with grassy aromas. Wonderfully aromatic with a hint of oak.
Silver: Air New Zealand
Kumeu River Maté’s Vineyard 2016, Kumeu, Auckland, New Zealand
Judges said: Modern and smart with hints of citrus and toast. A lovely crisp, fresh palate.
Bronze: Virgin Atlantic
Van Volxem Saar Riesling 2016, Mosel, Germany
Judges said: Modern and complex with a nice fragrant and appley intense nose.
BEST FIRST CLASS ROSÉ
Gold: American Airlines
Château Gassier Le Pas du Moine Côtes de Provence Rosé 2018, Sainte-Victoire, France
Judges said: Lean and fresh with a bright, tangy palate.
Silver: Korean Air
Château d’Esclans Les Clans Rosé 2017, Côtes de Provence, France
Judges said: Refined and complex but well balanced.
Bronze: Etihad Airways
Château Les Valentines Rosé 2018, Côtes de Provence, France
Judges said: Had some great character as well as freshness and balance.
BEST BUSINESS CLASS ROSÉ
Gold: Air New Zealand
Two Rivers Isle of Beauty Rosé 2018, Southern Valleys, Marlborough, New Zealand
Judges said: Fresh, crisp, delivering a zesty palate with a clean, dry finish.
Silver (joint): ANA
Château La Castille Rosé 2018, Côtes de Provence, France
Judges said: Clean and fresh with a touch of pear drop.
Silver (joint): Emirates, Korean Air
Whispering Angel Rosé 2018, Côtes de Provence, France
Judges said: Crisp with red-berry fruits and good acidity.
Bronze (joint): Air Tahiti Nui
Perle de Roseline Rosé 2018, Côtes de Provence, France
Judges said: Clean, fresh and attractive with bright berry tones.
Bronze (joint): Jetstar
De Bortoli Rosé, 2019, King Valley, Victoria, Australia
Judges said: Peachy and crisp; a light-bodied palate.
BEST FIRST CLASS SPARKLING
Gold: Cathay Dragon
Champagne Rare Millesimé 2002, Piper-Heidsieck, France
Judges said: Restrained, with toasty intensity. Absolutely fab.
Silver: Singapore Airlines
Champagne Krug 2004, France
Judges said: Really impressive. Gentle and toasty. Very drinkable.
Champagne Dom Pérignon 2002 Plénitude 2, France
Judges said: Rich and creamy, with real depth on the nose.
BEST BUSINESS CLASS SPARKLING
Gold: Malaysia Airlines
Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2007, France
Judges said: Lovely – complex and serious with an interesting long palate.
Silver: Air Tahiti Nui
Champagne Charles Heidsieck Rosé Réserve, France
Judges said: Complex and very complete. Rich and long with lots of depth.
Bronze: EVA Air
Champagne Castelnau Millésimé 2006, France
Judges said: Complex, with a hint of honey and lemon curd. Good acidity. Really classy.
Highly Commended (joint): Aircalin
Champagne Pol Roger Réserve, France
Judges said: Rich; serious. Really good for business class.
Highly Commended (joint): Korean Air
Champagne Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, France
Judges said: Fresh, bright, vigorous and youthful.
BEST FIRST CLASS FORTIFIED/DESSERT
Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2013, South Africa
Judges said: Deep and sweetly intense. Wonderfully long and incredibly good.
Morris of Rutherglen Old Premium Rare Liqueur Muscat, Rutherglen, Australia
Judges said: Classy and outstanding.
Bronze: Cathay Dragon
Lions de Suduiraut 2015, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
Judges said: Rich, honeyed with a lovely lift. Very classy.
BEST BUSINESS CLASS FORTIFIED/DESSERT
Dow’s Colheita Port 1992, Douro Valley, Portugal
Judges said: Appealing layered nose with nutty and dried fruit aromas. Gentle and easy in the air.
Silver: Cathay Dragon
Château Filhot 2014, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
Judges said: Intense, ripe fruit; layers of spice and botrytis.
Bronze: Oman Air
Château Suau 2016, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
Judges said: Good Sauternes, creamy, honeyed and sweet.
BEST FIRST CLASS CELLAR
Gold – Qantas
Silver – Cathay Pacific
Bronze – ANA, Singapore Airlines
BEST-PRESENTED FIRST CLASS WINE LIST
Gold – Singapore Airlines
BEST BUSINESS CLASS CELLAR
Gold – Malaysia Airlines
Silver – Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand
Bronze – Aer Lingus
BEST-PRESENTED BUSINESS CLASS WINE LIST
Gold – Singapore Airlines
BEST OVERALL CELLAR
Gold – Malaysia Airlines
Silver – ANA
Bronze – Cathay Pacific
BEST AIRLINE ALLIANCE