Thursday, 4 March 2010

Respect At Last

Zerotes are like opinions, everyone's got one.  Which I suppose makes me and my wine gang qualified enough to judge in the 2nd Annual Vinya Cellar Masia Catalan Wine Contest.  And the fact that we were willing to part with €60 for the privilege.

The structure of the contest is thus: the products of 50 wine producers are judged by 100 anonymous and probably totally amateur judges via the internet.  The first round sees each judge consider six wines and cavas, my selection is pictured above.  The ones with the best scores are then sent out again to the judges, so each judge evaluates three of the wines that scored best in the previous round.

I decided that it would be fun to agree on the marks with a few friends, which we often didn't, so we ended up taking the average opinion from the six participants.

The wines had to be graded from 'insufficient' to 'excellent' on a number of points, namely:
  • appearance (cleanliness)
  • appearance (attractiveness)
  • nose (impact)
  • nose (intensity)
  • nose (quality)
  • taste (impact)
  • taste (intensity)
  • taste (persistence)
  • harmony
  • presentation
After each wine, our opinions were entered into the world wide web, through a screen like this:

followed by a screen like this:
whose design resembles that of a sixth-form website project.

Of the two cavas, one rosé, one white and two reds that we were dealt, only the first red, a 2007 Costers del Segre coupage of Ull de Llebre, Garnatxa Negra, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot named 'Saó Abrivat' recieved unamimous praise from the panel.

It was a good experience to value wines in this new way, and to feel a part of the official opinion formers, albeit a tiny one; and we look forward to rating the finalists and passing on these hot tips on to you, dear reader.

Mark D.

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