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Delhi Wine Club
Meeting Bacchus 2012 in Madrid

Posted: Friday, 20 April 2012 12:04

Meeting Bacchus 2012 in Madrid

Apr 20 : Bacchus 2012, the 10th Concurso Internacinal de Vinos was held as usual in Madrid at the Casino de Madrid with 1520 samples tasted over 4 days with 90 Spanish and international judges participating, with a Turkish wine bagging a Grand Gold Medal for the first time in an International Tasting Competition, writes John Salvi MW who is a regular taster at the competition.

This year, as always, the organisation was without fault and our hotel was the Husa Paseo del Arte, in the centre of Madrid.  A bus took us each morning to the tasting at the Casino de Madrid, where the daily tastings and the Gala Dinner were held.  The Casino is a magnificent venue.  It is one of the most exclusive, dignified and elegant private clubs in Madrid where a jacket and tie are mandatory.

The grand room, the SALON REAL, in which we taste, is decorated with magnificent tableaux by famous painters, the library is internationally reputed and superb and there is a great restaurant on the top floor.

Some stats for the statistical minds

The tasting lasted 4 days.  There were 12 juries of 5 tasters each making a total of 60 tasters each day.  The International judges tasted on all 4 days but the Spanish judges were varied every day and 60 were used in all, making a total of 90 judges participating in the event.  This year there were 1520 wines to taste from 22 countries.  945 were red and 346 white and 63 rosés, in addition to 115 sparkling, 30 vins de liqueur and 21 late harvest wines. Judges came from even more countries than samples – no less than 26.  85 points out of 100 were required for a Bacchus de Plata, 88 for a Bacchus de Oro and 93 for a Gran Bacchus de Oro.  I tasted a total of 127 wines over those 4 days – a piece of cake!

Tasting conditions were as near perfect.  The magnificent salon, comfortable chairs, white tablecloths, spittoons,dry breadsticks, mineral water and no less than 12 good glasses.  Having 12 glasses means that it is possible, if one does not throw the wine out, to look back and compare with previous wines even if one cannot change the marks.  Lighting was by immense chandeliers, but there were also some spotlights. Service was impeccable and nary a drop was spilled.  The rhythm was slow, perhaps a fraction too slow, and I was fortunate in having a meticulous and knowledgeable President.  The marks of all 5 tasters were taken into consideration unless one gave marks greatly different from the other four.

Results already announced

Unlike most other competitions of this kind, the results were declared during the exotic Gala Dinner in the Salon .  Just 6 wines won Gran Bacchus de Oro.  Four of these went to Spain with a Txacoli,Itsasmendi Urezti from Bodegas Itsamendi, a 1927 Pedro Ximénez, Montilla-Moriles, from Bodegas Robles, a 2009 Toro,Marqués de Peñamonte from Bodegas Torreduero and another Pedro Ximénez, Jerez, from Bodegas Tradición.  The other two came from Austria and Turkey.  A rich 2010 Syrah Trockenbeerenauslese from Erich Scheiblhofer and finally a 2007 Red Wine from Corvus and Corpus owned by Resit Soley. 

The Young Turks

This is the first time in history that a Turkish wine has won a Grand Gold Medal in an International Tasting Competition. 161 Bacchus de Oro and 289 Bacchus de Plata completed the awards, making up exactly the 30% of medals allowed by the rules and regulations of the OIV, who gave their patronage to the competition.

The gastronomical experience

The Social programme was largely based on wine and food.  A long, rich and delicious lunch was served after each tasting and a long and gastronomic dinner each evening.  Different meals featured different wines and sponsors.  Every lunch was generously offered by” the Foundation for the Defence of the Quality of the Food”.  These at the restaurants Balzac, Un Lugar, Casa Patas and Real Café Bernabéu.  Dinners were at: Casa José, sponsored by Vinos de Madrid; Piñera, sponsored by Rias Baixas, Europa Deco of Hotel Urban sponsored by Wines of Portugal and the final Gala Dinner sponsored by theComunidad de Madrid at the Casino as mentioned above.

The Model Wine Competition

This is a competition that is organised with impeccable care and attention to every detail.  BothFernando Gurrucharri Jaque, President of the Unión Española de Catadores and Miguel Garrido de la Cierva, President of Bacchus 2012, were present from morning to night and always available for questions, problems or advice.  The atmosphere is friendly, genial and relaxed, but protocol, timing and rules and regulations are scrupulously and meticulously adhered to. 

This tasting competition is a model and a guideline for many of the other newer or less perfected ones and everybody concerned with Bacchus 2012 is warmly to be congratulated.  It MUST continue and I feel absolutely certain that it WILL!

John Salvi Master of Wine


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