Could do better!

Could do better!

We are extremely proud of the quality of our Gold and Silver medal winning wines, but it is clear that we did not communicate all aspects of our message to everyone in the first year of this competition. Ultimately the buck stops with me, so here are the points I failed to get across, including the classes I did not communicate with sufficiently, leaving them wide open for entrants to make their mark next year. This is more for producers and potential entrants than for general readers.

NO DRACONIAN AVAILABILITY RESTRICTIONS There are no minimum production levels or stock availability, only that the wines must be available, even if they are exclusively available from the cellar door in restricted volume and likely to run out once serious fizz geeks willing to jump on a plane hear about it.

BEST NEXT VINTAGE RELEASE Don’t worry about it not being ready, I have “tasted forward” for more than 30 years and between Essi, Tony and myself, we have more experience of assessing unformed fizz than anyone else on the planet. The only proviso is that all entries must be due for release within 12 months of tasting.

LIBRARY VINTAGE We did not award a single Gold medal in this class in our first year. We received quite a few and looking at the crib after the tastings, there was one magnum that certainly stood an excellent chance based on previous tastings, but it was very disappointing. Producers should taste different disgorgements in-house before submitting. The minimum age is 20 years.

BLANC DE NOIRS The best Chilean wine was a blanc de noirs, but as good as it was it was not deemed good enough for the World Champion trophy for that style.

SWEET AROMATIC I have tasted fabulous Espumante Moscatel from the Serra Gaùcha region of Brazil, but we did not even receive the best from Asti or Brachetto d’Acqui, let alone Brazil.

DRY AROMATIC Where were the stunning slowly evolved Riesling Sekt.

GERMAN SEKT FROM CLASSIC CHAMPAGNE VARIETIES There might not be many top class producers, but there are some and we totally failed to attract any to enter.

FRENCH CRÉMANT APPELLATIONS Very disappointing quality received. Surely there are better producers keen to show their best …

LOIRE SPARKLING WINES More disappointing quality. Is there no one in Vouvray, Montlouis or Touraine capable of entering Silver quality, let alone Gold?

NEW ZEALAND SPARKLING SAUVIGNON We had a very good response from NZ for Traditional Method made from classic Champagne varieties, but the Kiwis seem to be ashamed of their fizzy Sauvignon Blanc and they should not be. With the popularity of Sauvignon Blanc, a sparkling version is such a no-brainer that, properly marketed, it could overwhelm Prosecco sales.

ORGANIC AND BIODYNAMIC The highest award any of these wines achieved was Silver. These two classes are obviously wide open for awards.

MAGNUMS We received a fair number of magnums, but there are a lot of producers who are unaware that as a rule of thumb any Champagne or sparkling wine capable of winning Silver would probably win Gold in magnum format and entering a magnum automatically qualifies for two classes.

USA Although the entries we received were high quality, there were not as many entrants as should have been for a sparkling wine country of this calibre.

By | 2015-01-24T15:14:20+00:00 January 23rd, 2015|Articles|0 Comments

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