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CMB Bratislava 2013: Record Ratings for Rosés from Roussillon & Mancha

Posted: Monday, 20 May 2013 11:49

CMB 2013: Record Ratings for Rosés from Roussillon & Mancha

May 20: The results of Concours Mondial Bruxelles held in Bratislava on 10-12 May were declared last Friday with 2408 wines out of a total 8200 wines awarded medals but it was a consistent medal-winning score of all the Rosé wines in two different flights from Castilla la Mancha and Languedoc Roussillon Corbieres in his panel that was a record ratings for him, says Subhash Arora a regular judge who avers that the wines from these areas would make a perfect source for value-for-money quality Rosé wines.

Click For Large ViewSomething unique happened in Bratislava at the 20th edition of Concours Mondial de Bruxelles for which I judged for the 5th time. For the first time, not one but in two flights on different days, all the wines received a Silver or Gold medal from our panel. A bigger surprise was that every judge awarded a medal! Now that the results have been officially announced, I am at liberty to disclose about the fantastic Rose wines from Languedoc Roussillon Corbieres in the south of France and Castilla-la-Mancha in Spain; one could expect them to be reasonably priced too.

It was the morning of May 11, the second day of the competition. We had tasted 50 Rosés on the previous day - from Bordeaux, Languedoc-Roussillon, Navarra (Spain), Savoie (France) and a few from Georgia, Czech, Moldova, Switzerland, Bulgaria. We had also tasted today a flight of Rosé sparkling wines that had later turned out to be from Champagne. The beautiful wines of my favourite Cotes de Provence from Provence had also been in another flight and had been a mixed bag for medals.

How do I know where the wines were from, one might wonder? Every international competition adopts its own style of giving out the information with each sample. At Concours Mondial, the judges are given the vintage and the category only for every sample. A master-sheet detailing the wines tasted and the winery, is handed over after the day’s tasting is over, but with an embargo on discussing the information outside the panel.

As we tasted one flight, we were pleasantly surprised, realizing that all the wines had won a medal from the jury-each of us had practically voted on a Silver or Gold. This was a second time that ever happened in the 30 odd international competitions I have judged. This flight of 10 wines had Rosés from Castilla-la-Mancha. Surprisingly, the wines were almost red in colour and it had taken some effort to judge the first one! An interesting flight, that.

It was a repeat the following day with a flight of 12 wines from Languedoc Roussillon Corbieres consistently getting medals and what’s more, each one of us had awarded a medal or close to one so that it averaged to one, setting a record of ratings for me with 2 flights in the same competition getting a medal. This does not mean that we had been extra generous. In the earlier flight of sparkling wines, one wine had all other jurors award a silver or gold whereas I found it undrinkable for many reasons one of them being that it had no fizz in the glass or the palate and the colour was totally faded out. I stuck to my guns and put down my reasons for this wild departure. Moreover, our President Lubos Barta from Czech Republic is a seasoned sommelier and a taster who had just been recognized as one of the five most consistent tasters at the Concours.

It would be natural to assume that all the 22 wines we awarded may not get the medals finally. Contrary to what some people believe, the number of medals are limited to around 30% in the competition (25-35% is the standard international practice)-this is achieved by a standard procedure of raising or lowering the bar to ensure that the number stays within this limit. But clearly, the expert opinion validates the quality of Rose wines from Spain’s Castilla la Mancha and Languedoc Roussillon Corbieres; and the prices being affordable, would make them an ideal choice for the Indian market and merit a closer look by the importers and hospitality persons alike.

Confirming the policy of limiting the total medals to delWine, Thomas Costenoble, Director of Concours Mondial de Bruxelles says, ‘I confirm that CMB strictly limits the number of awarded wines. We respect the rules of the OIV recommendations to assign a maximum of 30% of medals. For your information a contest like the Decanter allows until 70% of medals. From our side, the number of Great Gold medals is limited to 1% (0.83% this year) and the number of gold medals never exceeds 10% (9% this year).

Out of 8,200 wines submitted from 50 countries, 2408 were awarded medals this year. Preliminary results indicate (results are subject to labeling compliance or verification by the Belgian Public Federal Economy Service) that France remains the leader with 709 medals, followed by Spain (524 medals), Portugal (288 medals), Italy (276), Chile (109), Slovakia (60), Australia (47), Switzerland (45) and South Africa (40). As in the Olympics where the host country can afford to pitch in significantly higher number of players and generally bags more medals, Slovakia submitted over 3.5 times the entries for 2011 and managed 60 medals out of the 214 entries.

Click For Large ViewAs usual, less than 1% of the total entries were awarded a Grand Gold Medal. Interestingly, Spain usually leads the way in this prestigious category. This year also it had the highest number of Great Golds (GG) at 24 followed by France (18) and Portugal (9). Slovak wines managed 3 GGs and turned out to be the big winner for hosting the competition and thus making the world take note of its ever improving quality. It has already been winning more medals consistently during the recent years.

The 21st edition of Concours Mondial de Bruxelles will take place next year on May 9-12 in Brussels, the original venue to celebrate its 20th anniversary in the Belgian capital.

For details on results, CLICK

Subhash Arora

Tags: Bratislava, Castilla la Mancha, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, Languedoc Roussillon Corbieres


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