WINEGB ANNOUNCES ITS CALENDAR OF ACTIVITIES FOR 2021

WineGB has just released its 2021 calendar of activities as part of its UK market development strategy. This year there will be a strong focus on wine tourism and the retail sector, underpinned by industry values including sustainability, product excellence and innovation.

Activities kick off with a virtual three-day wine tourism conference next month. ‘Wine Tourism in the UK: the route to success’ will run 2nd – 4th March, 10 am-12 pm each day. Whilst aimed primarily at industry members, many of whom are actively engaged in wine tourism, the calibre and line up of speakers will be instructive and inspiring for anyone working within the wider tourism and hospitality industry.

English Wine Week is moving to June, taking place Saturday 19th – Sunday 27th June. Celebrating English vineyards and wines in a week that includes Summer Solstice and Midsummers Day as well as the beginning of flowering seemed a timely and seasonal move for both vineyards and the many retailers selling English wines. With the range of wines now readily accessible and reported record sales of English wines in the last year, the Week provides the perfect opportunity to team up with retailers to spread the strong message of availability, together with encouraging more people to visit the many vineyards that are open to the public (in times without lockdown restrictions). More information about how WineGB will be proposing to work with retailers will be released shortly.

There will be a separate Welsh Wine Week, scheduled to take place Friday 4th – Sunday 13th June. Supported by the Welsh Government’s Drinks Cluster, there will be a veritable toast to the growing number of vineyards across Wales. Further information will be available from https://drinkwelsh.co.uk

The pandemic last year meant that the annual WineGB Trade & Press tasting was cancelled. This year’s tasting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 7th September (subject to any restrictions of course) and promises to be the key showcase event for GB wines and the recent excellent vintages and releases.

The WineGB Awards will see judging taking place over the week of 7th June at Ashling Park Wine Estate, Sussex. Led by Co-Chairs Susie Barrie MW and Oz Clarke, the wines will go through a rigorous tasting process with the highest calibre of judges. The aim of the Awards is not only to celebrate excellence but to provide significant promotional opportunities for all the winners through an extensive social media campaign and supporting all stockists and resellers. The medal wins will be announced on Thursday 24th June (during English Wine Week). A trophy announcement and awards ceremony is planned and further details will be released in due course.

A number of dedicated social campaigns will also be rolled out over the year. Upcoming is a Valentine’s focus with a difference: #WineMyHeartAway is running in association with Susie Barrie MW and Peter Richards MW together with Majestic and encouraging followers and industry alike across their social channels (Instagram and Twitter) to share the first time they fell in love with wine. To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March, WineGB is teaming with Women in Wine London to run a series of Instagram Live interviews across that week until 15th March, featuring women from some of the many different areas of the Great British wine industry.

Comments Julia Trustram Eve, WineGB’s Marketing Manager: “Whilst last year was incredibly challenging for many of our members, the rise in retail and direct to consumer sales demonstrated that consumers are more clearly focussed on provenance, sustainability, buying from local producers – all of which our industry is proud to provide. Above all we want to set out a calendar of events and projects that focus on key consumer drivers and allows them and the trade to engage with this wonderful industry of ours, which is going through remarkable growth and bursting with confidence.

“We sincerely hope that the many tourism operations and our own trade tasting will be able to take place in person – we cannot wait to see everyone again and give the trade a chance to connect with our wines. Here’s to a great 2021.”

Further information – visit https://www.winegb.co.uk/trade/

The 35th Chablis Wine Competition: the results are in

The 35th edition of the Chablis Wine Competition was held, over the weekend, in Beine, at the Salle des Beauroy, on January 23, 2021.  The competition followed a strict protocol and health measures ensuring the taster’s safety.

This year, the competition focused on the 2019 vintage for the Petit Chablis, Chablis and Chablis Premier Cru appellations and on vintage 2018 for Chablis Grand Cru.

Organized by the Chablis tourist office and the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB), a distinctive feature of the event is that professionals having submitted wine samples may not become members of the jury. The tasters were journalists, restaurateurs, sommeliers, wine brokers, oenologists and enlightened amateurs.

The tasting goes through two stages:

Stage 1- the samples that received the best marks when tasted by all the jurors in the first round;

Stage 2 – then gets submitted to the Grand Jury, which alone can award medals.

The winning wines will be ambassadors for Chablis for 2021, and will be featured by the

Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) in its promotional events both domestically and abroad.

By the Numbers

35th Chablis Wine Competition

Number of samples: 321

Number of tasters: 46

Number of estates or producers represented: 77

Number of medal-winning wines: 27

 

list of Winning Wines

Petit Chablis 2019

Gold medal

William FEVRE
Domaine JOLLY et Fils

Silver medal

Domaine de LA TOUR
Domaine Vincent WENGIER

Bronze medal

Domaine Alain GEOFFROY

Nominated wines:

BILLAUD-SIMON
Domaine Sébastien DAMPT, Terroir de Fyé
GARNIER et Fils
Domaine MOSNIER
Domaine SERVIN

Chablis 2019

Gold medal

MOREAU et Fils
Domaine de LA TOUR
Domaine Guillaume VRIGNAUD, Les Champréaux

Silver medal

Domaine de la MOTTE, Vieilles Vignes, Cuvée L’Authentique
Domaine VENTOURA

Nominated wines:

Domaine de BIEVILLE
Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoît DROIN
GARNIER et Fils
Domaine Céline et Frédéric GUEGUEN
Domaine LONG-DEPAQUIT
Domaine SOUPÉ, Les Doyennes

Chablis Premier Cru 2019, Left Bank

Gold medal
Domaine de la MOTTE, Beauroy
Domaine Guy ROBIN, Vieilles Vignes, Vaillons
Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoît DROIN, Vosgros

Silver medal
Domaine MOSNIER, Beauroy
Domaine PINSON, Montmains
Maison SIMONNET-FEBVRE, Montmains

Bronze medal
Domaine des Hâtes, Butteaux
Maison HENRY, Vaillons

Nominated wines:
Domaine Gérard TREMBLAY, Beauroy
Domaine DUPRÉ, Butteaux
Domaine DE LA TOUR, Côte de Cuissy
Jean COLLET et Fils, Montmains
Domaine Guy ROBIN, Vieilles Vignes, Montmains
Domaine CHEVALLIER, Montmains
MOREAU et Fils, Vaillons
Domaine VOCORET et Fils, Vaillons
Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoît DROIN, Vaillons
Domaine Daniel DAMPT et Fils, Vaillons
Domaine Céline et Frédéric GUEGUEN, Vosgros

Chablis Premier Cru 2019, Right Bank

Gold medal

Domaine du COLOMBIER, Vaucoupin
Domaine GAUTHERON Alain et Cyril, Vaucoupin

Silver medal

La CHABLISIENNE, Vaulorent
Domaine des MALANDES, Fourchaume

Bronze medal

Domaine Jean JACQUIN et Fils, Montée de Tonnerre

Nominated wines:

Domaine du COLOMBIER, Fourchaume
Domaine Guillaume VRIGNAUD, Fourchaume
La Chablisienne, Mont de Milieu
Jean COLLET et Fils, Mont de Milieu
Domaine VENTOURA, Mont de Milieu
Domaine SERVIN, Montée de Tonnerre
MOREAU et Fils, Vaucoupin
Domaine GAUTHERON Alain et Cyril, Vaucoupin
Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoît DROIN, Vaulorent

Chablis Grand Cru 2018 

Gold medal

Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoît DROIN, Vaudésir

Silver medal

Domaine VOCORET et Fils, Blanchot
Domaine VOCORET et Fils, Les Clos

Bronze medal

Domaine SERVIN, Blanchot

Nominated wines:

Domaine PINSON, Les Clos
Domaine BILLAUD-SIMON, Preuses
Maison SIMONNET-FEBVRE, Preuses
Domaine Guy ROBIN, Valmur
Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoît DROIN, Valmur

The Top Wines from Global Riesling Masters 2020

One of the favorite grapes of the true wine connoisseur, Riesling comes in many types, from sparkling to dry, from medium to sweet. Here is an analysis of the results and a list of all the medalists from the 2020 competition.

If you want proof of Riesling’s versatility, then look at the spread of top medals in this year’s competition. Held for pure Riesling only, there were many entries for sparkling wine, dry still wines, medium-dry and sweet ones, including an outstanding Icewine at the end of the tasting. It shows that not only can Riesling be used to make a wide array of wine styles, but in each case, it can achieve excellence. This is rare in the wine world, where noble grapes tend to create something exceptional in one or two styles, with only Chenin Blanc, and perhaps Furmint, being other grape varieties that of that are capable of yielding excellent sparkling, dry and sweet results.

CRISP FINISH

At higher prices, there were two brilliant Rieslings from Domaines Schlumberger, representing a pair of Alsace grand crus: Saering and Kessler, with the former showing a touch riper peachy fruit, honey and tangerine, and the latter more pear and apple, along with chalk and salt characters on its crisp finish.

Germany was the source nation of the final Gold in this sweetness category, with the powerful Rheingau Grosses Gewachs Riesling from Weingut August Eser, loaded with apricot richness, a touch of sweetness, and a stony, dry, lime-fresh finish.

The rest of our outstanding wines came at higher sweetness levels, notably the Riesling Rotschiefer from the Mosel’s Weingut Sorentburg, with peach and strawberry, a whiff of kerosine, and a persistent clean citrus note.

The final wine of the tasting turned out to be another Master. It was layered with fruit flavors from mango to apricot, along with dried apple and raisins. It was unctuous too, with almost 190g/l of sugar, but offset by a tangy freshness. It had the characters of great Icewine, which we later learned it was, and from Canada’s Andrew Peller Estates.

The 2020 competition was judged by David Round MW, Patrick Schmitt MW and Patricia Stefanowicz MW in December at London’s 28°-50° Wine Workshop & Kitchen. The top wines were awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stood out as being outstanding in their field received the ultimate accolade – the title of Riesling Master.

“After a glorious day of judging the Riesling Masters in 2020, it is difficult to understand what is not to love about the Riesling grape variety. This great grape shows its range of styles beautifully, far beyond its ‘homeland’ of Germany, Alsace and Austria. Dry Rieslings can sometimes appear ‘acidic’ or ‘stretched’. Not this category here. With just a tiny bit of residual sugar and ripe fruit, these wines have purity of citrus flavors, ranging from lemon-lime in the Clare Valley (Australia) through tangerine to orange zest (Eden Valley, Australia). Apple, pear, honey and minerality are more apparent in the wines from Germany or Alsace. Many of them have a lovely accent of lemon or orange blossom adding interest.” Patricia Stefanowicz MW

Here is the link which features all the medalists from this year’s competition.

https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2021/01/the-best-wines-from-the-global-riesling-masters-2020/ 

Source:  Drinks Business

The 2020 Sommelier Wine Awards celebrates wines from across the globe

The results of the Sommelier Wine Awards 2020 are in, revealing the competition’s most diverse line-up of winning wines to date. The UK’s leading on-trade wine competition has seen some of the fastest-growing trends in the industry come to light, with stand-out entries from categories including orange wines, Semillon and Japanese wines, with a record year for Ribera del Duero and less prominent sparkling wines.

Stand-out regions in this year’s competition included Spain’s Ribera del Duero, with a record-year of 37 awards and 80% of entrants taking home a medal. Chilean Sauvignon Blanc producers, namely from Leyda Valley, were unexpected stars amongst the judges, commended for their refined style, which stood head and shoulders above the other Sauvignon Blancs tasted from Chile.

As well as Chilean wine, many other New World wines enjoyed the spotlight. This year saw Japanese wine represented for a second year, with even more entries this year, and every Koshu taking home a medal, including one Gold. Red wines from Australia and Argentina made a name for themselves by experimenting with different grape varietals and blends, regarded highly amongst the judges for moving away from oak and often high price points. As a result, they received more Gold medals than ever before.

Although quality Prosecco and Champagne continue to perform well, this year saw less prominent fizzes on the rise, with Crémants, frizzantes, Franciacortas, Cavas and New World sparkling wines, all performing extremely well.

Sicilian wines were praised by judges for their quality and affordability, with a third of the red wines entered at under £10. Greek reds have increased considerably in quality according to the judges, with the country receiving almost 50% more Gold medals since 2019. Wine entries from Alsace and Germany were applauded for their compatibility with food. These two categories are always big hits amongst the judges, leaving them thirsty for even more entries.

Grapes performing fantastically well at this year’s awards included New World Semillon, with over 85% of entries receiving a medal. Many other unique trends emerged from the awards this year and are expected to grow in the coming months, including orange wine, now a category in its own rights for a second year, was very warmly welcomed by the judges, paving the way for modern and interesting wines that have not previously been frequently represented in the on-trade. A huge trend across beer and spirits, the no and low category has begun to gain traction within wine, with the competition showing that it is moving in the right direction and the trend expected to see further growth in response to consumer appetite.

Speaking about the 2020 awards, Micaela Martins Ferreira, Competition Director, commented: “A huge congratulations to all our medal winners. Year-on-year there is such a high standard of wines, it’s so fantastic to see entries spanning all corners of the globe, and with diversity, this year, really shining through.

“Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the industry, and when it bounces back, which I’m sure it will, there is an incredibly strong line up of wines available to the hospitality sector. I look forward to seeing these trends develop over the next 12 months and in particular, can’t wait to see some of the exceptional wines tasted during this year’s SWA appearing on wine lists across the UK.”

SWA, now in its fourteenth year, is judged by Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wines and some of the best names in the world of wine, including Director of Wine at Ten Trinity Square, Jan Konetzki; Wine Development Manager at Le Cordon Bleu, Matthieu Longuère MS; and Director at Vinoteca, Charlie Young.

In light of the worldwide pandemic, the Sommelier Wine Awards will be donating £5,000 to The Drinks Trust – a charity which provides support, care and assistance to the drinks industry workforce, who need support now, more than ever.

All winning wines from the Sommelier Wine Awards 2020 can be found on www.sommelierwineawards.com

 

26th Grand International Wine Awards Mundus Vini Spring Tasting 2020

The Mundus Vini wine awards are held in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, in the heart of the Palatinate region in the Pfalz, south of Frankfurt every spring.  268 wine experts from 54 countries gathered at the 6-day tasting in February to blind taste and assess around 7500 wines from 45 countries. Jenny Ratcliffe-Wright, Cape Wine Master, was invited to be a judge for another year in a row and this time as Canada’s first-panel chair.

Over the days of tasting, Ratcliffe-Wright chaired a panel with judges from Germany, Australia, Russia, Ukraine and Portugal who tasted wines from 11 countries.  Garnacha based red blends from Germany and Spain showed solid quality with very few faulty bottles or winemaking faults. A flight of Sauvignon Blanc from Trentino and Veneto in Italy and white blends from various regions in Italy showed good varietal character, while the blends highlighted the great quality of white wines coming out of Italy recently, being super easy to every day drinkers to enjoy.

The Pinot Noir flight from Chile and New Zealand was outstanding with judges awarding many medals.  Merlot from various Spanish regions ranging from La Mancha to Catalonia was solid without too many surprises.

The sparkling wine and Prosecco flight from Italy and Germany showed wines that were whistle clean and market-ready.  Rioja from Spain was interesting in that there were many different styles from the region, but in general, the quality was very high.

The Shiraz and Shiraz blends from South Australia showed beautiful balance and fruit.  There was a Pinot Gris flight from Germany, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Serbia and North Macedonia, while being from a wide range of countries, the grape showed its character and it was obvious why this varietal is so popular worldwide.

Chenin Blanc from various regions in South Africa from Swartland to Walker Bay was promising with a wild card of a Chenin Blanc from Armenia included in the lineup and that had been blended with Aligoté and Kangun.

Valpolicella Ripasso from Northern Italy was an interesting flight with many excellent wines.

Each judge is measured daily on a tasting and scoring graph against their peers to ensure precision of tasting without too much deviation and to ensure consistency.

Christian Wolf, tasting director for Mundus Vini said: “We can see purely by the figures and the feedback from our tasters that the level of quality has risen considerably this year.”

Australia emerged from the competition as number one in the overseas category with a total of 72 medals with Kilikanoon Wines being named, once again, the best Australian winery with 19 medals. South Africa came in 2nd of the wines from overseas with 55 medals and Argentina 3rd with 49. The best Argentinian winery was Gruppo Peñaflor who received a total of 11 medals

Some of the top-rated wines of the show were:

2016 Kilikanoon Oracle Shiraz (Best of show, Australia red)

2018 Jaraman Chardonnay (best of show Australia white)

2016 DeWetshof Estate The Site Chardonnay (best of show South Africa white)

2016 Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Shiraz (Best of Show, South Africa red)

2015 Felipe Staiti Honor (Best of show Argentina)

For the European wines, Italy scored the most medal with 658 with Spain a close second with 631 and France with 325.

“It was an exciting tasting this year to see high quality from so many regions and a privilege to judge with so many accomplished international palates.” Says Jenny.  “I look forward to judging in the competition again next year.”

Jenny Ratcliffe-Wright