Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, 2011

Published by Sally on May 22, 2011

The annual wine competition called Concours Mondial, which adopts a new city each year in which to do its judging, rolled into Luxembourg city in a gloriously warm May this year. 

Some 260 judges, me among them – sommeliers, writers, buyers, importers – from 40 countries gathered to assess nearly 7,500 wines.  The judges are grouped into around 50 panels, so each taster judges around 50 wines per day for three days.     

Flights might be simply red, white, rosé, sweet or sparkling. It’s up to the judges to assess the absolute quality of each wine, in a fully blind tasting where not even regional information is provided beforehand (though the flights are generally arranged into regional styles e.g. Douro reds, Bordeaux rouge, or by style e.g. sweet muscats, which might have varied countries of origin). 

“Great gold” medals (scores over 96%) were awarded to less than 1% of the entrants, including all the ‘best in style’ wines, below:

Best Sparkling: Champagne Gallimard Père & Fils, Cuvée de Prestige 2005, Champagne, France
Best White: Terre Cortesi Moncaro, Vigna Novali Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Riserva 2007, Marche, Italy
Best Rosé: Château de Berne, Terres de Berne 2010, Provence, France
Best Red: Altavins Viticultors, Domus Pensi 2006, Terra Alta, Catalonia, Spain
Best Sweet: Gonzalez Byass, Nectar PX, Jerez, Spain
Best Spirit: Highland Park 18 Years Old Single Malt Whisky, Scotland, UK

Despite this being the 18th edition of the competition, it grew at a healthy 6% over last year, and three new producer countries entered the competition – Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru.

However, with its origins in Belgium, it’s no surprise that the old world dominates the competition – the top three contributing countries correspond closely to the world’s top three producing countries – France, Spain and Italy – accounting for 63% of all the entries.

One of the world’s ‘new’ vinous firmaments, Portugal – even though it has one of the longest winemaking records in history – rocks up in the fourth place for the number of entries.  And it is Portugal which will host next year’s competition.

The panel I was in had a couple of good quality Portugal flights. Below are some of the wines we tasted that scored well (gold medal is 88 to 95%; silver medal is 85 to 87%).

Sogrape Vinhos, Callabriga Reserva 2007, Douro, Portugal. GOLD MEDAL   
Quinta do Chinchorra, Tinto Grande Reserva 2007, Douro, Portugal. GOLD MEDAL
Encosta do Sobral, Reserva 2008, Vinho Regional Tejo, Portugal. SILVER MEDAL
Marqués de Cáceres,  Rioja 2009, Spain. SILVER MEDAL
Bedegas Grupo Yllera, Viña Cantosán, Verdejo 2010, Rueda, Spain. SILVER MEDAL
Bodega Hermanos del Villar, Oro de Castilla, Verdejo 2010, Rueda, Spain. SILVER MEDAL 
La Tulipe de la Garde, 2010, Bordeaux blanc, France. SILVER MEDAL
Château Lamothe-Vincent, Intense 2010, Bordeaux blanc, France. SILVER MEDAL
Château Laforest, 2010, Bordeaux rouge, France. SILVER MEDAL
Dieu Donné, Merlot 2008, Coastal Region, South Africa. GOLD MEDAL


2 Responses to “Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, 2011”

  1. Tom Says:

    Interesting to see Portugal on a roll, they are working really hard to bring their underappreciated wines to the world’s attention – could be the Next Big Thing, do you think ?

  2. Sally Says:

    I’m relatively new to the modern incarnation of Portugal, and there are definitely some exciting things going on, and some seriously tasty wines being made. I reckon their smorgasbord of indigenous varieties also offers them an expansive church for followers.

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