Day One of the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon

670 wines from 22 countries, 9 juries, 50-odd judges held in Bordeaux over two days.  This is the third running of a competition which has three aims: to promote Sauvignon Blanc around the world; to become a promotional tool for producers and to become a reliable quality seal for consumers.  Entries are up 30% this year, which is impressive as the Euro crisis has seriously shrunk producer marketing spend.  One Kiwi judge has been un-invited from three trips to Portugal this year as funds have dried up like the tears on the statute of a plaster of Paris virgin in the upturned bathtub.  Seems that Portuguese marketers now give their marketing moolah to UK retailers to list Portuguese wines.  Perhaps WOSA should consider this rather than blowing R1 million on a party for themselves to launch Cape Wine 2012 in September?

cm2 300x225 Day One of the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon

Panel 3 chaired by yours truly with the camera

An offshoot of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles competition that has been running for a generation, the CMdS is efficient and transparent without any of those funnies that crop up in South African competitions: show owners popping up asking judges to “relook” at certain wines or technical directors deciding to exclude sweet wines for consideration for the best wine of show trophy because they are “sick of stickies always winning.”  Being Belgian, beer is provided after a morning spent tasting acidic whites, which comes as a welcome relief.

My top wine of the day was a Marlborough single vineyard 2011 wine.  News from the land of the long white cloud is that harvest 2012 will be a disaster.  Later than usual, it may never take place for some producers.  Which, as some insensitive Australian marketers noted after the Chilean earthquake wreaked havoc with that country’s wineries, is an excellent opportunity for other Sauvignon Blanc producers to step in and supply their markets.  Something for the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group to look into, forthwith.

It can’t be left to WOSA, those jolly bumblers who are paid R35 million a year to promote foreign sales, for their latest wheeze is to try and palm off visiting Tesco wine buyers on SA supermarket chains who have commercial links with Tesco competitors in the UK.  A naievety and babes-in-the-wood mentality which would be charming, if it wasn’t so costly to producers.