Decanter World Wine Awards: The world’s best sweet wines

DWWA judging sweet wines

From outstanding classics to new-wave discoveries, the world of sweet wines is well worth exploring. The best examples can be transformative – which is perhaps why dessert wines go hand in hand with the end-of-year holiday season – yet these sweet treats deserve attention year-round.

Bringing to light some of the finest sweet wines from across the globe, results from the 2022 Decanter World Wine Awards saw a number of luscious dessert wines awarded top scores.

Of the classics, Tokaji Aszú was ‘in great form thanks to the glorious 2017 vintage’ according to Caroline Gilby MW, Regional Chair for North, Central & Eastern Europe. Sauternes, too, impressed the experts, with Château Laville 2019 awarded the competition’s first-ever Best in Show for the appellation.

‘We have colleagues at DWWA who are winemakers, sommeliers, retailers, wine buyers – each one of them is assessing the wines from a slightly different aspect, and out of that what we get is a brilliant independent decision.’
Sarah Jane Evans MW, Co-Chair

Scroll down to discover 15 top-scoring sweet wines from DWWA 2022

From Croatia, Slovenia and Greece to Canada, South Africa and China, nations around the world saw sweet success.

‘There’s always a “handbag” wine – one you want to smuggle out at the end of the day,’ commented Sarah Jane Evans MW of Sim?i?’s Leonardo 2013 from Primorska, Slovenia, which was awarded a Platinum medal at the 2019 competition, Best in Show the following year, and was Slovenia’s highest-scoring sweet wine in 2022. It’s just one to look out for.

Below discover a selection of the highest-scoring sweet wines, from 15 different countries, at this year’s competition, with many more to search at

Decanter World Wine Awards: the world’s best sweet wines


Château Laville, Sauternes, Bordeaux 2019

97 Best in Show
£23/37.5cl Tim Syrad
The first Best in Show for a Sauternes. It has ample luscious sweetness, botrytis complexities and lanolin oak. Generous, creamy palate, with crème anglaise and chantilly richness, and a hint of lemon. It’s not a Sauternes to keep for a decade or more, but it offers fine value and huge pleasure in the short term. Alcohol 13%


Colmano, Vin Santo del Chianti Riserva, Tuscany 2000

97 Best in Show
This distinguished vin santo is a light, translucent russet brown. The aromas evoke old libraries, but with a falling crystalline sweetness. On the palate, it is intense and almost bracing, despite its extravagant sweetness. Lingering flavours of fig, dried fruit, caramel and toasted almond. Alc 13.5%


Jackson-Triggs, Okanagan Estate Reserve Riesling Icewine, British Columbia 2018

97 Platinum
Perfumed and inviting, with gorgeous aromatics of lifted, floral rose, plus apricot and lush mango, leading on to a textured, honeyed palate of zesty tangerine and inviting caramel, all underpinned with a laser-like acidity. Top class! Alc 9%


Benvenuti, San Salvatore Muškat, Istria, Coastal 2017

97 Platinum
A classic style that’s powerful, rich and reminiscent of Sauternes. Fully botrytised, it has gorgeously concentrated
dried apricot, orange peel, brown sugar, buckwheat, honey and baked apple flavours, finishing with a long honeyed tail. Alc 13%


Hans Wirsching, Iphöfer Kalb Gewürztraminer, Trockenbeerenauslese, Franken 2018

97 Platinum
Aromatic, with rose water, Turkish delight, lychee and Oriental spices. There’s an opulent sweetness on the palate, balanced by a noble acidity. A reverberating finish. Alc 6.5%


Estate Argyros, Vinsanto Late Release, Santorini 2002

97 Platinum
A beautifully developed nose opens with burnt caramel, fig, buckwheat, honey and notes of pine forest. The palate is
rounded and lusciously sweet, offering toffee, caramel and candied black fruit. Well developed, with outstanding
freshness. Alc
Source :

Decanter World Wine Awards: The world’s best sweet wines  
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