jamie goode's wine blog

Friday, March 24, 2006

The last two days I've spent judging the top 100 Vin de Pays competition. As part of a 16-strong team of elite tasters (of whom I was the junior and least of all), we whittled 2000 wines down to just 100, with 12 trophy winners. We worked in teams of three, and it was actually pretty good fun. On Thursday I was with Sam Harrop MW (consultant) and Jo Aherne (M&S) (pictured), and today I was with Chris Hardy (Majestic) and Anthony Rose (The Independent).

It's useful to taste with experienced tasters, and then share perceptions. It's a learning experience and you can't have too many of those. Overall thoughts? Some really nice wines, but Merlot (especially) and Cabernet in the Languedoc are a bit of a waste of time. Ditto for Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, which tend to make very boring wines. The organization of the tasting, by Sopexa, was great, and Tim Atkin chaired the whole event with good humour and professionalism.


At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Ian W said...

I agree that they shouldn't really bother with most of the big international grapes in the Languedoc, but I hope that some of the vin de pays you tasted were varietal roussane and marsane. I have been drinking it for a number of years from the Pic St Loup and nearby areas, and some of it is very good. Well defined varietal character and a certain gout de terroir. I also think that the viognier will improve, most of the producers I know only have fairly young vines, in 5 or 10 years it might well be pretty serious stuff.

At 4:52 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Agree, and there were some nice Viogniers. One of the trophy winners was a Rolle, and another a Sauvignon Gris from the Loire. Some smart Rousannes, but I didn't get to try any Marsannes - must have been done by one of the other panels.

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