Monday, 30 April 2012
SPIRITED WINES Putney store Manager judging at IWSC 2012
Judging report at IWSC 2012
It was raining in the morning...but the prospects of spending my day judging wines with respectful personalities from the industry made me feel positive and excited. Table 10 (team of 4) was waiting for me with Jane Mastering the team, the Nice David writing the tasting notes and then this 3rd guy, that was taking been professional to a step I never seen before! To start champagne, that early showed that the tasters were analyzing and giving more importance to different characteristics...but the same principle.
Some Champagnes were just too oxidised, but others you could see how some producers went in a big effort to create delicious products. Some medals awarded and time arrived for Rioja red...Is really hard to give a medal to a wine without the main context that is obvious the average price that a consumer would paid. Price aside the beautiful fruit of Tempranilho (Tinta Roriz, Aragonez) was literally there and aged in oaks from around the world.
First unusual blind tasting that came to the table and was from Bulgaria (Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon Blend). Was strange, unusual and for me hints of sulphur in some. I assumed that they had the normal contents but the weak body wouldn’t cover even that! Time for Portuguese wine arrived and completely out of context, I mean heavy dry red wine from Alentejo 2011. All done with traditional wine making and by experience I know that they are perfect for the local gastronomy (sopa da pedra, Carne alentejana,etc)...no medals at all but the 3rd guy could save some unpleasant comments and the chain of laugh like it was something personal...lol.
One hour break arrived to have lunch and rest our exhausted senses. Satisfied and replenish some pink champagne was waiting for us, when is good is a really pleasant taste and overall some deserved medals were given. Then more red wine, the strong and famed Corbieres full of wild berries jams flavours and amazing roundness and complex richness. Second round for Portuguese wine but this time they were Douro red 2008 with some pretentious reserves in the middle. They were good and represented proudly the region, exception to a few producers that decided to cover the natural fruit with heavy oak. After, in my opinion the first gold medal arrived and should go to a Pouilly-Fume from Loire Region, amazing balance between crispness, minerality and cleanliness in the palate and some passion fruit in the nose...After that I decided to join the tasting mood of my colleagues and like we say around the world THE CAPTAIN IS ALWAYS THE LAST TO LIVE THE BOAT and for last ICE WINE suited perfectly the position, sophisticated and Imaginative WINEMAKING...