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Spiegelau International Wine Competition 2014 Wine Options

By July 15, 2014No Comments

The Bosses – Belinda, Margaret and Shona

The Spiegelau International Wine Competition, run by Belinda Jackson and Margaret Cresswell is a wine show for modern times. They’ve designed the show to give as much return to the exhibitors as possible, more than just the scores and medal rating (if any) their wines received in judging. The show ensures that the judges work load is not excessive, so that due consideration is given to the wines without undue pressures of very larges classes and a time limit for the judging process. Being sponsored by Spiegelau, the stemware used is specific to variety and style, to give the best medium of expression. The show is an open one to the industry in that there are opportunities for exhibitors to taste the day’s wines and meet the judges and talk to personnel involved. And a trust fund has been set by where bottles unused are auctioned, the returns going back to the industry as grants for research and the like. Another aspect is the support for the associate judges to grow their skills and performance. www.spiegelauiwc.co.nz


Jane, Nick, Ralph and Hannah

It’s clear from these innovations that there’s camaraderie among all the personnel involved from management to the judging team to the backroom team. One of the events organised to promote this is a wine options game where competing teams mix the guest international and local judges with the stewards, so that a greater degree of interaction happens. I’m involved in running this as the MC, where I get to choose a selection of wines, serve them and ask some awkward multi-choice questions to test the participants.


Sue and Mike – part of the winning team

The previous two years saw teams with English Masters of Wine win the competition. With no MWs involved in this year’s game, it was wide open. For much of the night, it was a tussle between a team composed in part of winemakers from Saint Clair and the team with two of the senior Australian judges, the later eventually winning the game and bottles of Spade Oak Methode Blanc de Noirs 2009.. The winning score was 110 points out of a maximum of 150, with two teams tied on second place on 95 points. Springing from nowhere, a team including another guest Australian judge, which was middling for much of the game, claimed last place, and were awarded a ‘Fail Pale Ale’. Their score was a miserable 60 points, just above chance probabilities.


Sarina, Pete, Olly and Shigehisa

The wines served were:
  • Domaine Servin Chablis 2012
  • Lamont Bendigo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013
  • Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese Trocken ‘Alte Reben’ 2012
  • Domaine Bellene Nuits-St-Georges ‘Vieilles Vignes’ 2009
  • Torres ‘Celeste’ Ribera del Duero Crianza 2010
  • Penfolds ‘Bin 128’ Coonawarra Shiraz 2010

Tim, Lydie, Sam and the irrepressible Mike

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