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CMB 2017: Concours Mondial de Bruxelles ready in Valladolid

Posted: Friday, 05 May 2017 11:40


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CMB 2017: Concours Mondial de Bruxelles ready in Valladolid

May 05: Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (CMB)-World’s only travelling International wine competition continues its steady growth of 5% as it gets ready for the 24th edition to taste over 9,000 wines at Valladolid in the region of Castilla y Leon, Spain on May 5-7, writes Subhash Arora who is already in the Castilla y Leon region visiting wineries and vineyards and will be tasting for the 9th consecutive year

Click For Large View9,080 wine samples are ready to be tasted for medals from 50 countries by 320 judges who are journalists, wine writers, sommeliers, producers representing over  50 countries at the 24th edition of Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (CMB). ‘This represents a steady annual growth of over 5% over the past 10 years’, says Thomas Costenoble, Managing Director of the world’s only travelling international wine competition. ‘There has been an increase in global wine production combined with consumption stability and the continued growth in volume and value. There has also been a greater international awareness and recognition of CMB and the value of its medals,’ adds Thomas. There has been 80% growth in organic and biodynamic wines with the host country Spain posting an increase of around 25%.

The top ten countries participating in terms of number of samples are- France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Chile, China, South Africa, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Greece and Slovakia. The Top Three entrants are in consonance with the figures announced by the international Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV of which India is also a member) which places Italy, France and Spain as the Top Three wine producers of Europe and in fact the world. France continues to lead the participating countries despite the fact that both consumption and production decreased last year. Spain is ahead of Italy because of increased entries being the host nation, a solid 25%. Two new countries have entered the competition for the first time in 2017: Azerbaijan and Andorra.

Click For Large ViewChina has been charging ahead during the last few years. It has entered 112.5% more samples than 2016 and has posted an increase of nearly 250% since 2015. ‘CMB medals are highly valued in China. Some Chinese distributors require a wine to have won a medal at an international competition before adding it to their portfolios. Wine producers view these Awards as an opportunity to enter new markets and thus encouraged o participate”, explains Costenoble.  According to OIV, China’s vineyard surface area is the second largest in the world, surpassed only by Spain, indicating the exponential growth in both its production and consumption of wine.

Another interesting feature is that Bulgaria is the leading Eastern European country based on the number of entries. Although it dropped down two slots since it hosted the competition last year in May 2016 in Plovdiv, it still ranks in the top ten, ahead of many other well- known wine making nations of the world. The Bulgarian producers seem to have realized the value of this competition.  

The organizers report tremendous growth of more than 80 % in organic and biodynamic wine entries over the last three years. Thomas believes it is due to a strong consumer interest in both categories. He says, “Over the last few years, consumers have shown an increased awareness of the origin and production methods for wines, thus increasingly favouring organic and local products. Recognizing this market development, we decided to introduce a new category dedicated to organic and biodynamic wines. The first Organic Wine Trophy by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles will be awarded this year.”

Click For Large ViewA recent informal survey among judges showed that the post-event quality checks of the awarded wines were among the competition’s main distinguishing features. CMB is reportedly the only wine competition to perform such quality control tests.

Started in 1994 by Louis Havaux, father of the current Chairman Boudouin Havaux in Brussels, the competition has gone from strength to strength in the past 23 years. In 2006 the venue went international, starting with Lisbon. It went on to Maastricht (2007) and Bordeaux (2008) followed by Valencia in 2009 when Cavaliere Subhash Arora was invited as the first and sole Indian judge. He has been invited on the panel every year since- in Palermo (2010), Luxemburg (2011), Guimarães-a town situated between Vinho Verde and Douro in Portugal (2012), Bratislava, the Capital of Slovakia (2013), home city Brussels (2014), Jesolo in Italy (2015) and Plovdiv in Bulgaria (2016). He has been invited to be the Panel President this year.

Click For Large ViewAccording to Boudouin, CMB is the only wine competition in the world that is held in different country every year. This gives the international judges an opportunity to visit wineries and vineyards of the host country and taste diverse wines. There are also official tours organised to the nearby wineries. Besides, if other competitions tried to copy the style, they would have insurmountable difficulties during the initial years.

Post Event Checks

CMB was the first competition to introduce post-event checks of award-winning wines and in-depth statistical analysis of judging performance. Every day, one sample of the same wine is served twice to observe the consistency of the taster in rating. Data is also collected about the individual taster’s scoring compared to the rest of the panel and the relative spread of scores as compared to the other panellists in the group. The competition works with a University to improve the consistency of results and keep them as professional as possible.

Here are a couple of related Articles in the past:

CMB: Concours Mondial completes 10 Years on Tour

CMB 2016: Sweet Success for Concours Mondial and the Host Bulgaria

Subhash Arora

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