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Burgundy 2018: A vintage to rival the mythical 1947?

14 hours 41 min ago

There are whispers that Burgundy 2018 could become one of the region's all-time great vintages. Tim Atkin MW, Decanter's Burgundy correspondent, reports on the mood ahead of this year's Hospices de Beaune auction.

Working Bonneau du Martray vineyards in Corton-Charlemagne in the autumn sun. Temperatures were 15 degrees Celsius on 9 November.

This weekend’s Hospices de Beaune charity auction, which will see 828 barrels of red and white wine come under the hammer in Burgundy, is expected to break all previous records.

The word in region, at least in public, is that Burgundy 2018 is one of the greatest ever vintages. One local négociant, Philippe Pacalet, compared it to the mythical 1947 harvest and the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne (BIVB) described the year as ‘ideal’.

It’s too early to pronounce on the overall quality of the 2018s, some of which have yet to complete their malolactic fermentations, but the growing season that produced them was marked by extreme heat and lack of summer rainfall.

2018 was the hottest vintage in Burgundy since 2003, as well as one of the driest ever, with 55% of the average annual precipitation over the last 30 years.

As such, 2018 takes its place alongside an increasingly common run of warm, early harvests such as 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2015 and 2017, which appear to reflect global warming.

The bright sunny weather in late August and the first fortnight of September meant that picking took place over the space of nearly a month. As he often is, Arnaud Ente was the first to harvest on August 20th; Yves Confuron was one of the last to finish on September 25th.

Final volumes have not yet been confirmed by the BIVB, but this is the second large vintage in a row, which makes a welcome change after a series of small, mostly hail and frost-affected crops since 2009. The number of bunches that growers chose to leave on the vines will have a considerable influence on their styles of wine, which was also the case in 2017. So will harvest dates.

And yet, overall, it is concentration, colour and marked levels of alcohol that will almost certainly define the style of the 2018s, especially the reds.

Many growers picked their Grands Crus at 14% or more, 15% was not unheard of and one laboratory analysed a Bonnes Mares at 16.3%. Acidification is generally frowned upon in Burgundy, but was widely practised this year.

‘It was very, complicated,’ says négociant Mark Haisma, ‘and especially difficult to retain freshness and balance in the wines.’

With so much sugar in the grapes, stuck fermentations were an occasional problem as were early malolactics, which reduced stability.

The Hospices auction this weekend will almost certainly be a success, but a more considered assessment of 2018 will have to wait another year.

We will be publishing hundreds of Atkin’s tasting notes and scores for Burgundy 2017 en primeur wines in the next two months.

All will be available first, and exclusively, to Decanter Premium subscribers

You may also like:

Money-no-object Burgundy wines for Christmas Good value red Burgundy: 32 wines to look for

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Best Cava sparkling wines from top producers

15 hours 23 min ago

A new top-tier classification for Cava in 2017 has led to a renewed focus on quality for Spain’s premier sparkling wine producers. Here are ten names to know, with 20 wines to seek out...

Cava wines in the cellars in the Penedés region. Ten Cava producers to know… Scroll down for Ballesteros Torres MW’s top picks from 10 premium Cava producers


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Pedro Ballasteros Torres MW is the DWWA Regional co-Chair for Spain and is on the governing board of the Spanish Tasters’ Union.

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DWWA Regional Chair for Beaujolais & South of France: Bernard Burtschy

Thu, 15/11/2018 - 16:55

Bernard Burtschy is Regional Chair for Beaujolais, South West and Rest of France at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2019.

Bernard BurtschyBernard Burtschy

Bernard Burtschy writes for l’Avis du Vin, a weekly column in French publication Le Figaro. In addition, he contributes to a number of other publications in the French press, including Amateur de Bordeaux and Amateur de Cigare, as well as Wands in Japan and Feinschmecker in Germany.

He is a member of the Grand Jury Européen, president of the Association de la Presse du Vin, and contributes to books on wine.

Outside of the world of wine, Burtschy is a professor of statistics at the École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications in Paris.

Follow Bernard on Twitter at @Burtschy or visit his website

Find out how to enter the Decanter World Wine Awards here.


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DWWA Regional Chair for Spain: Ferran Centelles

Thu, 15/11/2018 - 16:25

Ferran Centelles is joint Regional Chair for Spain with Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2019.

Ferran CentellesFerran Centelles

Ferran Centelles is the Spanish wine specialist for Previously, he was a sommelier at elBulli restaurant from 2000 to 2011, and when elBulli transformed itself to become elBullifoundation, Centelles was made drinks director.

He has also been part of the team of Outlook Wine (The Barcelona Wine School). Centelles was named Best Sommelier in Spain in 2006  and was awarded the National Gastronomy Award in 2011.

He has published his first book about food and wine pairing called ¿Qué vino con este pato?.

See more 2019 Regional Chairs

Find out how to enter the Decanter World Wine Awards here

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DWWA Regional Chair for Middle East & Asia: Poh Tiong Ch’ng

Thu, 15/11/2018 - 16:19

Poh Tiong Ch'ng is Regional Chair for Asia at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2019.

Poh Tiong Ch'ngPoh Tiong Ch’ng

A lawyer by training, Poh Tiong Ch’ng published the world’s first Bordeaux guide in Chinese in 2000. He is also publisher and writer of and and a wine columnist for WineLife of China.

Ch’ng also contributes to the China, Japan and India sections of Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book. For the last 20 years, he has been consultant to FairPrice, Singapore’s largest supermarket chain.

Ch’ng is also author of 100 Top Chinese Restaurants of the World.

Follow Poh Tiong on Twitter @chngpohtiong or visit his website.

See more 2019 Regional Chairs

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Money-no-object Burgundy wines for Christmas

Thu, 15/11/2018 - 16:00

Burgundy can work brilliantly on the Christmas dinner table, and we've rounded up some reviews of the very best...

Christophe Roumier of Domaine Georges Roumier in the cellar...

You don’t have to spend a small fortune to get good, interesting Burgundy wines, as shown recently in our feature on 32 great value reds from this UNESCO World Heritage-listed region.

Despite sky-rocketing prices in the last decade, exacerbated in recent years due to a series of small harvest, few would argue that Burgundy is a reference point for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and regularly turns out some of the best examples of wines from these grapes.

Yet, it’s always interesting to see what is being said about the top names, whether it’s window shopping or you’re in the market to buy.

Below, we have highlighted some of the best, money-no-object Burgundy wines for drinking this Christmas, vintage by vintage – starting with a rather rare 1955 Corton-Charlemagne.

The list below is by no means a comprehensive who’s-who of the top Burgundy producers, but it does include some of the region’s most famous names.

Count yourself lucky if you have any of these in your cellar. If not, top Burgundy is today traded on the secondary market in higher quantities than in the past, so you may still be able to pick some up.

Introduction by Chris Mercer.

Top Burgundy for Christmas:


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You might also like: Best white Burgundy: Top-rated & top value Full Chablis 2017 vintage report with wine ratings Bordeaux for Christmas: Vintage by vintage How to match wines with Christmas turkey

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Comparing the last five great Bordeaux vintages

Thu, 15/11/2018 - 14:33

How do 2016, 2015, 2010, 2009 and 2005 stack up against each other in terms of style, character and pricing? Jane Anson draws on fresh figures and analysis to provide an overview of some of the key points to consider.

St-Estèphe wines at Bordeaux en primeur week for the 2016 vintage.

With due apologies for my part in it, you are probably surrounded by an avalanche of notes for the recently bottled Bordeaux 2016 wines right now from merchants, journalists, bloggers and producers.

See tasting notes here:

Bordeaux 2016: How Right Bank wines taste now Top Bordeaux 2016 wines: Full Médoc report

Perhaps you are wondering if it was wrong to miss out on buying the Bordeaux 2016 wines en primeur, or maybe you are suffering from buyer’s remorse and are interested in selling wines on.

With this in mind, I thought it might be useful to compare 2016 – in style but also in market enthusiasm – with the other top quality recent vintages that are competing for your attention and spend.

These other vintages are, I think we can agree, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2015. So five years in total, out of 13 harvests, that all have some claim to be called great, and that all required consumers to pay out more money than they did in the ‘classic’ years in between.

For perspective, I looked at brokers’ data here in Bordeaux, plus reports from Decanter and the Bordeaux School of Oenology.

Liv-ex provided some brilliant data on wider trends and the performance in the secondary market of individual estates, albeit the data below only shows price trends in pound sterling currency.

Styles and Weather Conditions

It’s easy to see a natural pairing between 2009 and 2015, plus 2010 and 2016.

The first two are warmer years with richer fruits, and the second two are more architectural, with high acidity and serious tannic structure.

For me, 2005 remains the most balanced of the five, although it has the benefit of 13 years in the bottle so perhaps has an unfair advantage in this assessment.

Appellation Highlights

2005: A 5-star vintage on both Right and Left Bank and one with great consistency, with many wines beginning to drink well today.

Small berries, high concentration, great fruit quality and balance from nights that were relatively cool – a combination that always seems to bring out the best in Bordeaux. Highlights include Margaux and Pomerol. This was a year that reminded Christian Moueix of 1982. 

2009: A 5-star vintage on both banks, with a slight leaning to the Right. Some excellent St-Emilion wines, particularly where limestone could temper the exuberance. Bordeaux 2009 majors on fruit-filled pleasure but has some high-alcohols, up to 15.5% in some cases. Coupled with low acidity, this gives rise to a risk of brett in some instances. Still, lots of pleasurable drinking ahead from now and over the next few decades, even if it is unlikely to last as long as the 2010 and 2016 in many cases. 

2010: 5-star on both banks, with rich, high drama wines that are still extremely young. Lots of sunshine with cool nights ensured plenty of thick skins, intense concentrated flavours and big, bold tannins. A great year for Pauillac and St-Julien, in particular, but still a long way from being ready to drink and will need patience. 

2015: 5-star on the Right Bank, and 4.5-star on the Left Bank. There were particular highlights in St-Emilion, Pomerol, Margaux and Pessac-Léognan. Alcohols went as high as 15%abv for some wines, but fruit flavours are rich, juicy and appetising. 

2016: 5-star on the Left Bank, but 4.5-star on Right Bank. Tastings so far show  particular highlights in Pauillac, St-Estèphe and St-Julien, with concentrated flavours and intense fruits. Will take their time to be ready to drink.

Perfect scores: 100 Point Wines

 Of wines from these five vintages that I have recently re-tasted in bottle, I gave 100 points to:

You may also like:

Bordeaux 1989 vs 1990: Battle of the vintages 

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Malibu Coast wineries report ‘extensive’ fire damage

Thu, 15/11/2018 - 13:54

Wildfires outside of Los Angeles have caused serious destruction to winery property and vineyards in the Malibu Coast AVA, according to winemakers, as firefighters across California continue to battle to save lives and homes in some of the deadliest blazes in the state’s history.

Vines helped to serve as a fire breaker in some cases in the Woolsey fire affecting Malibu Coast AVA.

Malibu Coast winemakers reported witnessing scenes of decimation due to fast-moving flames forming part of the Woolsey fire outside of Los Angeles.

At least 58 people were known to have died in the latest series of California wildfires, including two in the so-called Woolsey fire affecting Malibu Coast and 56 in the ‘Camp fire’ in the north of the state, according to CNN on Thursday (15 November). Hundreds of homes have also been destroyed.

While fire crews have naturally prioritised saving as many lives as possible, as well as protecting property, the president of the Malibu Coast Vintners and Grape Growers Alliance, Greg Barnett, said he was trying to reach the body’s 40 vineyard members.

‘We have been in contact with at least half of them, and we’ve learned there’s been extensive damage to virtually all of the vineyards and wineries throughout the AVA,’ Barnett said.

‘We are thankful that there were no reports of injuries and that everyone’s family got to safety before the inferno reached their property. The speed with which the fire escalated was terrifying.’

Cal Fire said on 14 November that the Woolsey fire was 52% contained and had burned through 98,362 acres of land, nearly 40,000 hectares.

Several Malibu producers said that vineyards, which do not burn easily, helped to mitigate fire damage.

‘Without a doubt, being surrounded by 10,000 vines saved my house and barn,’ said Richard Hirsh, owner of Cielo Vineyards. ‘We turned the vineyard’s drip irrigation system on.’

Still, Hirsh said that he would probably need to replant 3,000 to 4,000 vines. ‘All the stakes burned down, the posts are gone, the netting virtually evaporated, and the irrigation hoses melted away.’

He said that he had originally planned to stay behind to protect his property, ‘but when you see the ferocity of 100-foot flames, you feel their heat and the absolute roar of the sound I knew that no way could I stick around’.

Others were not so fortunate. ‘It’s complete, total devastation up here,’ said Jim Palmer, of Malibu Vineyard.

‘My vineyard was in Decker Canyon, and the entire place is all burned out, with 15 houses gone. Anything in the canyons is totally wiped out. I’m speechless – a friend who’s a fireman sent me a picture of what’s left of my house and vineyard and everything’s just ash, totally levelled.’

Krystian Orlinski, of South Slope Malibu Winery on Foos Road and a Reuters reporter who was out covering the fire, said that his vineyard received some damage and the flames took his guest house and work shed, as well as the water supply. But his house was still standing and his wife and children were safe in a hotel away from the danger.

‘I’ve worked for Reuters for 28 years, doing my time in the war zones and covering difficult stories, but this was just a whole other scene,’ Orlinski told the Malibu Coast Vintners Alliance.

During the attempts to rescue people from the fire’s path, it was also reported that billionaire winery owner Howard Leight used his luxury yacht to help rescue people from the Woolsey fire. Leight co-owns Malibu Rocky Oaks winery.

Malibu Coast became an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 2014 and comprises a little more than 18,000 hectares (44,590 acres).

‘We hope that our members are able to move on from this and rebuild,’ said Barnett. ‘Some were more fortunate than others but we’re doing what we can to help each other out.’

See also:

Signorello Estate opens new tasting room after fire

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DWWA Chairman Emeritus: Steven Spurrier

Thu, 15/11/2018 - 13:12

Steven Spurrier is the Decanter World Wine Awards Chairman Emeritus.

DWWA Chairman Emeritus: Steven SpurrierSteven Spurrier

Having been involved in the DWWA since 2004, Steven Spurrier is Chairman Emeritus for the Decanter World Wine Awards 2019.

Decanter’s consultant editor Steven Spurrier joined the wine trade in London in 1964 and later moved to Paris where he bought a wine shop in 1971, and then opened L’Academie du Vin, France’s first private wine school in 1973. Spurrier staged the historic 1976 blind tasting between wines from California and France, the Judgment of Paris, and in the 1980s he wrote several wine books and created the Christie’s Wine Course with then senior wine director Michael Broadbent, a veteran Decanter columnist.

In 1988 Spurrier returned to the UK to focus on writing and consultancy, with his clients including Singapore Airlines. He has won several awards, including Le Personalité de l’Année (oenology) 1988 for services to French wine and the Maestro Award in honour of California wine legend André Tchelistcheff (2011) and is president of the Circle of Wine Writers as well as founding the Wine Society of India.

In 2018 Steven launched his memoirs Wine – A Way of Life, which reflects on his career in wine.

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DWWA Regional Chair for Central Italy: Jane Hunt MW

Thu, 15/11/2018 - 12:44

Jane Hunt MW is Regional Chair for Central Italy (excluding Tuscany) at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2019.

Jane Hunt MWJane Hunt MW

Jane Hunt MW has a career in wine spanning over 40 years, which has encompassed sales, marketing, buying, education, writing and PR.

She moved back from Italy to the UK in 1977, becoming a Vintners’ Company scholar in 1981 and a Master of Wine in 1985. For 20 years she has been running Hunt & Coady Ltd, a company specialising in running trade tastings and competitions and is now also spending more time taking educational wine tours in Italy for Wine Scholar Guild and other organisations.

Hunt spends several months of the year in Italy, where she produces olive oil at her renovated farmhouse in Umbria.

See more DWWA 201 Regional Chairs

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DWWA Regional Chair for Southern Italy: Andy Howard MW

Thu, 15/11/2018 - 12:04

Andy Howard MW is Regional Chair for Southern Italy at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA).

Andy Howard MWAndy Howard MW

Andy Howard MW became a MW in 2011 and runs his own consultancy business, Vinetrades Ltd, which focuses on education, judging, investment and sourcing. Howard previously worked for Marks & Spencer as a buyer for over 30 years and was responsible as wine buyer for Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire, Champagne, Italy, North and South America, South Africa, England, Port and Sherry.

Although his key areas of expertise are Burgundy and Italy, he also has great respect for the wines of South America and South Africa, as well as a keen interest in the wines from South West France

Howard is a frequent contributor to Decanter and writes a regular column on the UK wine retail trade for

See more 2019 Regional Chairs


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DWWA Regional Chair for Provence: Rod Smith MW

Thu, 15/11/2018 - 11:41

Rod Smith MW is the Regional Chair for Provence at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2019.

Rod Smith MWRod Smith MW

Rod Smith MW is a wine educator, marketer and salesman, based in the South of France. He is the director of the Riviera Wine Academy and previously worked for Vins Sans Frontières, wine supplier to the super-yacht industry in the South of France, and a variety of fine wine importers and retailers in the UK.

An increasing love of wine won the day, however, and Smith’s career has seen him work for Seagram and Mentzendorff over the years, as well as judging at the Moscow Wine Fair and the Shanghai International Wine Challenge.

His personal interests include cycling, running, travel, literature, card magic and film.

Rod Smith MW was first a judge at the DWWA in 2009. Follow Rod on Twitter @RivieraWineac See more 2019 Regional Chairs

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DWWA Regional Chair for Germany & Austria: Markus del Monego MW

Thu, 15/11/2018 - 10:17

Markus del Monego MW is Regional Chair for Germany and Austria at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2019.

Markus del Monego MWMarkus del Monego MW

Markus Del Monego MW holds the title of Best Sommelier of the World 1998, as well as Master of Wine, and is both wine advisor to Lufthansa airlines and owner/managing director of consultancy company tasteTainment GmbH. Based in Essen, Germany, he advises merchants, producers and private individuals on wine.

Del Monego was born in Switzerland and grew up in Germany, where he began hotelier training at the Dorint Resort & Spa in Bad Brückenau.

He then worked as sommelier in the Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburg, and later at the Dorint Park Hotel Bremen and The Savoy in London.

Del Monego is also a Master of Saké, Sake Samurai, Ambassador of the Accademia del Barolo, and Ambassador of the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne in Germany.

Markus also publishes a website.

See more 2019 Regional Chairs.

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Trump provokes trade reaction with French wine tariffs jibe

Thu, 15/11/2018 - 00:41

A tweet by US president Donald Trump appearing to threaten a wine trade war with France was met with concern among several merchants and a Bordeaux producer at a private dinner being held at the French embassy in Washington DC at the time.

Donald Trump (L) and Emmanuel Macron meet in Paris ahead of the 100-year commemorations of the World War One Armistice.

As part of an apparent series of rebukes aimed at French president Emmanuel Macron, president Trump tweeted on 13 November, ‘France makes excellent wine, but so does the US.

‘The problem is that France makes it very hard for the US to sell its wines into France, and charges big Tariffs, whereas the US makes it easy for French wines, and charges very small Tariffs. Not fair, must change!’

Import tariffs are set at European Union level, meaning that Trump would be taking on Brussels in any trade dispute, not just France.

Still, several private wine buyers and merchants dining at the French embassy in Washington DC on 13 November said that any higher tariffs on French wines entering the US would harm wine sales in the country.

‘French wine sales are an enormous part of our business,’ said Phil Bernstein, of Washington-based MacArthur Beverages. ‘Of course any kind of tariff is going to hurt us.’

Marielle Cazaux, of Château La Conseillante, who hosted the dinner for 30 guests featuring 16 of the Pomerol estate’s vintages, said, ‘exporting wine to the US is already complicated, given rigorous customs regulations and the three-tier system for sales.

‘I love the US, and we have many fans of French wine here, but [higher] tariffs would not be good at all.’

How much wine travels between the US and EU?

US wine exports to the EU were valued at $553 million in 2017, down by 19% versus 2016 – largely due to a drop in the value of the pound sterling currency affecting sales to the key UK market.

EU wine exports to the US in 2017 were worth nearly 3.6 billion euros (around $4bn), according to European Commission figures. France accounted for 1.6bn euros of that total.

Are US tariffs on EU wine lower?

In terms of tariff reciprocity, figures from the California-based Wine Institute show that US import tariffs on EU wines are generally lower than for bottles travelling in the opposite direction.

For example, the EU import tariff per 750ml bottle can range from $0.11 to 0.29, depending on the type alcoholic content of the wine, according to Wine Institute figures. By comparison, the US import tariff on a 750 ml bottle is $0.05 for still wine and $0.14 for sparkling wine.

However, there is also debate within the US about the extent to which customs duties and the traditional three-tier distribution system add extra complexity – and so cost.

‘Restrictions on shipments from out-of-state retailers, for example, impact the sale of imported wines, since, in the United States, retailers are the only source of imported wines,’ said NAWR executive director Tom Wark.

Editing by Chris Mercer

Recently published on Decanter Premium:

Top La Conseillante wines: 21 vintages tasted by Jane Anson


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DWWA Regional Chair for the Rhône: Matt Walls

Wed, 14/11/2018 - 16:53

Matt Walls is Regional Chair for the Rhône at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2019.

Matt WallsMatt Walls

Matt Walls is an award-winning freelance wine writer and consultant, contributing regular articles to various print and online titles including Decanter, where he is a contributing editor. He publishes the blog, for which he was named the 2015 International Wine & Spirit Competition Blogger of the Year.

His first book on wine, Drink Me!, won Best Newcomer at the 2013 Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards. In addition to writing, Walls advises restaurants on wine lists, hosts tastings and judges at food and wine competitions.

He was previously fine wine manager at UK importer Mentzendorff and set up, managed and bought wines for the flagship store of London’s The Sampler. He writes about all areas of wine, but specialises in the Rhône.

Follow Matt on Twitter @mattwallswine

See more 2019 Regional Chairs

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DWWA Regional Chair for Portugal: Sarah Ahmed

Wed, 14/11/2018 - 13:35

Sarah Ahmed is the Regional Chair for Portugal at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2019.

Sarah AhmedSarah Ahmed

Ahmed is a London based wine writer, educator and judge. She was awarded the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s Vintners Cup in 2003, the Portuguese Annual Wine Awards’ Wine Writer of the Year 2009, and was shortlisted for the International Wine & Spirit Competition Communicator of the Year in 2009 and 2010.

In addition to publishing, Ahmed has contributed on Portugal, Port and Madeira to Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book and on Portugal to the fourth edition of Jancis Robinson MW’s The Oxford Companion to Wine.

She also consulted on Portugal and Australia for the 7th and 8th editions of The World Atlas of Wine. She writes a monthly column for Revista de Vinhos, Portugal’s leading wine magazine. In 2013, she was made a Cavaleiro of the Confraria do Vinho do Porto for her commitment and contribution to Port.

Find out about the DWWA 2019 Judging Process here and see more 2019 Regional Chairs.

Follow Sarah on twitter at @sarahwine or read her Wine Detective website.

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DWWA Regional Chair for Tuscany: Monty Waldin

Wed, 14/11/2018 - 13:23

Monty Waldin is Regional Chair for Tuscany at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2019.

Monty WaldinMonty Waldin

Monty Waldin is a British broadcaster, author, and occasional winemaker specialising in organics and biodynamics. His first book, The Organic Wine Guide, published in 1999, was voted Britain’s Wine Guide of the Year.

He was developing a biodiversity project for a biodynamic vineyard in California at that time, and has drawn on this and other winemaking experiences in both hemispheres for subsequent writing.

He has experience working in conventional, organic and biodynamic vineyards and wineries in both hemispheres, with the likes of the Lurton, Fetzer, and Gauby families. His other award-winning books include Biodynamic Wines and Wines of South America.

In 2008 he was the subject of ‘Château Monty’, a wine-making documentary series on biodynamic winemaking in the Roussillon, France.

As well as writing regularly for Decanter, Monty contributes the entries on organics, biodynamics and sustainability for the Oxford Companion to Wine.

Monty studied Italian whilst researching a travel guide to Tuscan wine in the mid-2000s. He co-created and now hosts VinItaly International’s Italian Wine Podcast.

In 2014, Monty produced a biodynamic sparkling wine from Surrey-grown Chardonnay made using the ‘petillant naturel’ method.

Follow Monty on Twitter at @MontyWaldin or visit his website.

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DWWA Regional Chair for Switzerland: Paolo Basso

Wed, 14/11/2018 - 12:51

Paolo Basso is Regional Chair for Switzerland at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2019.

Paolo BassoPaolo Basso

Swiss-Italian Paolo Basso was named Best Sommelier of the World in 2013. He started his wine career as a sommelier in Switzerland and gained experience with a leading Swiss-based fine and rare wines trader, where he focused on the wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux.

Basso is now a wine trader and consultant through his own company Paolo Basso Wine, based in Lugano, Switzerland, as well as a wine producer – his first own-label red was dedicated to his daughter: Il Rosso di Chiara.

Since 2014 he has been in charge of the wine selection for Air France and he is a member of the technical committee of the International Sommelier Association.

He has won many awards – including Best Sommelier of Switzerland 1997 and Best Sommelier of Europe 2010 – and is one of just six sommeliers to hold both the European and World titles.

In 2018, Glion Institute of Higher Education, a world-leading hospitality management institution, granted Basso an honorary degree, in recognition of his achievements in oenology and the wider field of hospitality.

Follow Paolo on Twitter at @BassoSommelier

See more 2019 Regional Chairs

The post DWWA Regional Chair for Switzerland: Paolo Basso appeared first on Decanter.

Cortese: A ‘new’ organic estate to watch in Sicily

Wed, 14/11/2018 - 12:44

Read a profile of Cortese, a long-running organic wine growing estate in southern Sicily that has been given a new lease of life under fresh ownership, and see tasting notes on the first wines of its new era.

The vineyards at Cortese.

Cortese in Sicily’s southern Vittoria region is owned by Stefano Girelli, who also runs nearby organic winery Santa Tresa.

Scroll down to see the tasting notes

Girelli is a big believer in organics, but he said that his first foray into organic farming methods caused consternation in the community.

‘Sicily is the perfect place to grow organic wines at a high quality level, though when we started to grow organically, everyone said, “Why are you doing that? Are you crazy?”

How the new-look Cortese started Cortese wine reviews


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DWWA Regional Chair Northern Italy: Alessandro Torcoli

Wed, 14/11/2018 - 12:10

Alessandro Torcoli is Regional Chair for Northern Italy (excluding Piedmont & Veneto) at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2019.

Alessandro TorcoliAlessandro Torcoli

Alessandro Torcoli is the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Italian wine magazine Civiltà del Bere. In his time as editor he has organised wine tastings and events around the world, including VinoVip Cortina, the biennial summit of the best Italian wines.

Torcoli has been writing about wine since 1998 and has won many awards, including the Comitato Grandi Cru d’Italia Best Young Italian Wine Journalist in 2009. He also contributes to Italian newspapers and appears on TV.

He holds a sommelier certificate from the Associazione Italiana Sommeliers, is a member of the Accademia Italiana della Vite e del Vino (Italian Academy of Vine and Wine) and is currently a second stage MW student.

In 2016 he wrote Vinology: Guida visuale ai vini d’Italia e del mondo (A visual guide to the wines of Italy and the world) for the Italian publisher BUR-Rizzoli.

Follow Alessandro on Twitter @TorcoliWine

See more DWWA 2019 Regional Chairs.

DWWA 2014: Southern Italy judging panel

Find out about our Decanter World Wine Awards 2014 Southern Italy judging panel with biographies of the Regional Chair Jane…

The post DWWA Regional Chair Northern Italy: Alessandro Torcoli appeared first on Decanter.

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