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Posted: Friday, 04 September 2015 17:45


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MundusVini 2015 International Wine Award attracts Record Entries

Sep 04: The summer leg of the 17th edition of the MundusVini to be held on September 3-6 in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse as every year, got underway with a record number of 8,432 entries this year, split into 4,175 earlier this spring before Prowein and 4,257 samples received for the second leg that is usually held during the last week of August, writes Subhash Arora who has been invited for the 9th consecutive time as an international judge

Click For Large ViewWelcoming 150 judges from 36 countries yesterday, including one from India, at the 4-day tasting during which over 4,200 samples are being tasted by Panels of 6 judges each, Christoph Meininger, CEO of MundusVini GmbH, said, this was the record number of total entries for the MundusVini 2015. He conceded that breaking the competition into 2 parts gave the producers an opportunity to participate just before Prowein and one during the summer as usual and thus also helped in increasing the number of samples received to a record number of over 8,400 this year. This change to two tastings a year last year brought a jump of over 10% to 7304 last year after a rather stagnating period of 2009 (5726)  to 2013 (6219) which also included the period of global meltdown.

The international nature of the competition can be gauged from the fact that maximum samples were from Italy (1051) where the producers find Germany a very important market. This is followed by the home country with 800 labels. Spain is third with 693 samples submitted. Portugal and France follow but between the three leading participants, there are 60% samples.  India did not submit any samples although for producers seeking German market, this is the most important wine competition which was being conducted under the patronage of OIV until a couple of years ago.

Still wine category represents 90% of the total presentation with 8% samples submitted for sparkling wine, 75% of which are white. Balance 2% is evenly split between Perl Wine and Fortified Wine. All samples vie for a Great Gold Medal. Gold or a Silver medal and is conducted thoroughly professionally with Meininger being totally detached from it for any policies or results.

The competition does not allow judges to discuss their scores before they are submitted to the President of the jury although in the interest of maximum justice to the wines, the judges are allowed to discuss and debate to justify the high or low scores. Consensus is welcome but not mandatory. The judges are given the vintage of the wines, whether oaked or not, band of sugar level. Grape varieties or the dominant player in the blend are also disclosed. Though the competition is not more under the aegis of OIV, it follows the cardinal rule as dictated by OIV to keep the amount of wines tasted in a day at 50 or under.

Another plus point of the competition is that unlike some of the other international competitions like Vinitaly, the tasting is done in the Pre-lunch period. After lunch the judges are taken to wineries in different regions or landmark places to give them an opportunity to learn about German wine culture and their wines. For example, on day one, preceding the competition the group was taken to a quality wine producer in Pfalz (Palatinate), Weingut Schneider owned by Markus Schneider. Yesterday was a visit to the famous Fritz-Walter Football Stadium in Kaiserslautern where around 25 young winemakers selected by the region presented 3 of the best wines, a sure indication that the future of German wines in this region is in safe hands.

Another trip to Erbeldinger Winery in Bechtheim is planned for tasting Rheinhessen wines. Yet on other day has been reserved for a guided tasting by Pedro Ballesteros MW for DO Rias Braxas Wines.  No matter how one looks at it the judges go back highly enriched experience. It is hoped and assumed that they will give their best to the competition.

Thanks to Robert Joseph who is a Director of the Competition and the President of my Jury no. 10, discussions are welcome before the scores are handed to him, thus ensuring a balanced result. I would hopefully, learn a lot because of intelligent discussion with the wine makers and the Sommeliers

Subhash Arora

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