Feb 20: The spring edition of bi-annual Mundusvini international wine competition got underway at Saalbau (City Hall), Neustadt in Palatinate with a record 7,200 entries from 47 countries and with judges from 49 countries tasting and rating over two 3-day sessions, will make it another record year when the 2019 edition is over in August this year, writes Subhash Arora who is present for the 15th time and has seen the competition grow by leaps and bounds, thanks to professionalism and judiciousness
The first leg of the competition is being held on 19-21 February with each judge tasting up to 50 wines a day in a panel of 5-6 judges whereas the second session will be held on February 22-24 with new judges and a few like me carrying on with the second Tasting.
Wines from 47 countries have been entered. Unfortunately, Indian producers have still not considered it relevant to their export efforts to enter, even though countries like Egypt. Liechtenstein, Ukraine, Taiwan and even Netherlands have had participation. As always, Italy is the biggest participant with 1856 samples. Germany is far behind at no. 4 position at 667 (they have a lot higher percentage in the Summer Session in September) with Spain (1458) and Portugal ahead (680) of it. Even China which used to be neck to neck with India in production about 25 years ago has gone miles ahead and has entered 72 samples.
The competition used to be annual till 2014 when the Spring Tasting was added to help the participants from the Southern Hemisphere enter their fresh vintages and others in the Northern Hemisphere enter the award winning wines in Prowein a month later in March. The total entries jumped from around 6000 in 2013 to over 12,500-13,000 expected in 2019.
Judges from 49 countries including the loan jurist from India (no prizes for guessing) constitute the 262 judges panels for the competition. Naturally, the highest number of 89 judges is from Germany, followed by 19 from Italy. Portugal, Spain and Switzerland have 10 tasters each.
As in most competitions, the still wines constitute 89% of the total while 9% are sparkling wines-balanced being perl wines and fortified. Red wines constitute the vast majority of still wines at slightly below 60%.
Getting bigger and better
Christoph Meininger, Owner- Director of the competition is quite pleased with the entries. But he is not willing to venture where the figure of over 12000-13,000 a year expected this year would place the competition. ‘To me it is the quality and the fact that the judges are like a family to us now, matters. We do organise several other competitions in which over 5,000 wines are tasted. But those are by German judges and since there is no expense of foreign journalists, they cost much less.
However, the competition is gaining in popularity throughout the world, presenting several styles which have to be tasted carefully, says Herr Fischer, the technical coordinator and on the Board of Directors. He explains to the judges about the process and focus expected during the competition, with a special focus on the commentary of each wine as they help making the flavour profiles useful to the producers. Backbone of the competition is Tasting Director, Christian Wolf who is super efficient in handling the job, starting from collecting the samples, proper storage, service, tabulation and announcing the results.
Each taster tastes a maximum of 50 wines a day. This is according to the directive of OIV which used to oversee the competition till a few years ago. Wines are naturally of diverse quality and styles as in all the other competitions. One may not discuss specifically about the quality of wines before the results are announced, but one of our flights had Rose wines from Portugal which were outstanding and SWAAD. Yet another flight had unfortunately, almost 50% of bottles on second call; any judge can call for the second sample if he or she finds the wine defective.
Results will be announced by next Tuesday, within 48 hours of the competition which will be over on Sunday, 24 February. The system is well tuned to make it possible to declared results within 2 days, thus also reinforcing the belief that the scoring is very professional.
Watch out for the Results on www.indianwineacademy.com on Tuesday the 26 February, 2019.
For a few of the earlier Articles on Mundusvini, please visit:
Mundusvini 2018: An Effective Well-oiled German Machine that spells Success
Mundusvini 2018: Visiting Organic, Vegan winery Pfaffmann 1616
Mundusvini 2018- Spring edition has record entries
21st edition of MUNDUSVINI concludes successfully
Mundusvini Wine Competition completes the record 20th edition
15th edition of MUNDUS vini 2014 concludes Successfully
Indian Wines debut at Mundusvini International Competition
MundusVini Concludes with Record Entries Tasted
MUNDUSvini Completes a Decade
MundusVini displays Strong Italian Accent
Record Wine Entries for Mundusvini
Mundus Vini: Judgement at Neustadt
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