jamie goode's wine blog: The final day's tasting at the IWC

Friday, April 25, 2008

The final day's tasting at the IWC

A full day of tasting today - the final day of the International Wine Challenge (although there's a further trophy tasting day next week). Once again, I was with a fun, competent team of tasters. We worked hard, and were the last to finish - an extra flight of Sicilian reds had been found hiding behind a fire extinguisher, so we did the honours.

Our tasting today consisted of:

white Burgundy (6)
Californian Merlot/Cabernet (7)
Chablis (7)
Californian Zinfandel (5)
Chenin Blanc (5)
Californian Zinfandel (4)
Touriga Franca-based Portuguese reds (3)
Portuguese and Spanish whites (3)
Gruner Veltliner (1)
France Rose (1)
Chile Rose (1)
Portuguese reds (2)
Australian Grenache (1)
Chianti (1)
Canada and California Cabernet Franc (2)
Portugal reds (2)
Coonawarra Cabernet (3)
Australian Cabernet (6)
Sherry (1)
Sicily reds (3)
Fortified Muscat (3)

Which makes 65 wines, which isn't too tough on its own. But if you want to do a proper job you probably end up tasting all the wines twice, or even more, in consultation with your fellow judges. The surprise flight of the day was the second bunch of Californian Zinfandels. Now I hate Zinfandel, which is a rubbish grape. But these four wines were all excellent, and I gave them all gold medals. My team were also impressed, although not quite as impressed as me - I think we ended up golding a couple and giving the others silver.

Now I am exhausted.

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At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

guilding surely?

At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Now I hate Zinfandel, which is a rubbish grape"

Now, I hate generalisations.

At 12:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're rubbish

At 12:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

zinfandel hates you too

At 4:23 AM, Anonymous Richard Smith said...

Jamie, obviously I am not alone in my surprise at your blanket Zinfandel slating but "anonymous"? C'mon, show some backbone!!

I am quite fond of California Zinfandel. Granted, much of it is rubbish but the same can be said of Pinot Noir. Great Zinfandel is, well, great.

I suspect that your English palate is part of the problem. Release your inner 'dude' and learn to love California wines for what they are. There are some really good ones out there whatever Alice Feiring says.

At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Alex Lake said...

Surely you don't hate Ridge?

But thanks for provoking such an amusing series of responses from "anonymous" - the funniest thing I've seen here for weeks!

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Doug said...

Obviously, according to anon, Jamie committed a cardinal zin!

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Doug said...

Obviously, according to anon, Jamie committed a cardinal zin!

At 10:50 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

You are speaking to a panel chair who awarded a flight of four Californian zins four gold medals. Doesn't that prove that I'm an open-minded sort of guy who judges each wine on its own merits? Forget the English palate thing - you can't pigeonhole me so easily.

But I still maintain that zin is a crappy grape variety, and if it makes great wines it is doing it despite itself. Old vines, low yields and all that.

At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You are speaking to a panel chair"

That would explain your wooden opinions, then!

At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jamie, if you were as open-minded as you claim to be, you wouldn't dismiss certain grapes as "rubbish".

Having said that, I'm sure bloggers feel the need to chuck a few trolls in, just to raise the comment count.

At 3:23 PM, Blogger AndyG said...

This member of your team has been enjoying Californian Zin for 25 years. Glad that have gone from a Zin hater to lover in 4 wines. I had 3 in gold & the last in silver, it lacked the depth & power of the other wines. Avoid Indian Zin like the plague.


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