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Wine Champions 2020

I tend to agree on the under £10 point. Well, not that you can’t find a decent bottle of wine under £10 but just it is rare to find a wine under £10 that really blows you away.

I understand that they do taste in price brackets, and it took me a few years to work this out. So they will have a session of £5-10 wines, £10-£13, £13-15 etc. I am not sure they are the exact brackets but it is a similar system. They don’t overly publicise this so I think there may be some valid confusion that someone thinks that as they are all declared champions, and tasted blind, the £7 bottle will be as good as the £15 bottle.

So, you’d have to assume that when they declare a £8 wine a Wine Champion that it is very much a ‘Wine Champion’ if you tend to spend £8 on a bottle of wine but probably very much not a wine champion if you tend to spend £15 on a bottle of wine. Obviously, this may not always be the absolute case but they do not taste price blind. So just because you see two white champions, one at £8 and one at £15 does not necessarily mean they are actually comparable in quality, just that they should be better than other similar types of wine at similar prices.

To make it slightly more confusing, there is a secondary announcement of fine wine champions later in year starting at roughly the £15 bracket. Personally, I’d rather they did the whole lot in one go or at least raise the price point for the ordinary competition to £20. It would also be nice if the wines declared Champions were identified in the bracket they were tasted (new world white under £10 as an example).

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Thanks!

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I agree. I would taste/score them all together. You can then segment by price. Sort of Quality/price ratio.

Yeah, in fairness, I think they wanted to do this but Covid got in the way. It just slightly hard to make purchasing decisions when you look at a £15 bottle but wonder if it’ll be announced a similar but better one is going to be in the Fine Wine list at £17.

That being said, my personal view point is that there are still some crackers in the list, based on the ones I’ve previously tasted, and I do take this as a good opportunity to put in a wide ranging order to try wines of all price points and styles I may not be familiar with and see what sticks. No one is happier than me if they’ve managed to find an absolute belter at £9.

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Hello all! We have launched our Wine Champs events - very exciting!

Louis Brochet, d’Arenberg, Rizzi, Zephyr, Esporão, Chéreau-Carré!

[Check them out and sign up for free here]
Winemaker zoom - Zephyr
Winemaker zoom - Rizzi
Winemaker zoom - Chéreau-Carré
Winemaker zoom - d’Arenberg
Winemaker zoom - Esporao
Winemaker zoom - Radford Dale
Winemaker zoom- Louis Brochet

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same for me

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I too purchased one bottle at the discounted price in February and drank it in April. My gob remained so unsmacked that I haven’t ordered any more; I’m giving this one a try next

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Well as you are looking for an excuse to crack it open, hopefully you can join our winemaker event on the 12th July and Enrico of Rizzi might be able to convince you of its merits.

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For anyone with any questions about the Wine Champions offer I do strongly recommend this thread where the buyers give a great deal of detail about the selection process and why it is such an important offer for us.

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It’s a great suggestion Tim, was thinking exactly the same thing earlier this afternoon after @annaspooner’s post.

I opened this a couple of weeks and enjoyed it very much, so I’m cautiously optimistic about the Langhe Nebbiolo.

Not sure if I’ll be able to join live at 5pm on Sunday, but here’s hoping.

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I have tried Esporao’s ‘S’ Syrah any thoughts on selling this and their more expensive wines? I really enjoyed this one. Will try to join the zoom

I received my Wine Champions booklet in the post today, nice presentation in an A5 booklet. It kept me busy for quite a while.

There are three wines described as “from organically tended vines” (IT28171), “organically grown grapes” (IT28361) and “from organically cultivated” (IT29711). Are these organic wines? If so why aren’t they shown as such by the white ‘O’ symbol as in the main list?

I was puzzled to see two ‘pairs’ in the 50 or so wines selected out of some 1100 tasted. Pauletts Polish Hill River and Vasse Felix on pages 7 and 15. It seems quite a coincidence that two producers could each have a white and a red selected!

It is nice to see a straightforward Barbera (IT29781) but checking the website for more information I note it has lost half a degree of alcohol since the WC list went to print.

I expect the terms denote that part but not all of the production process is organic, e.g no chemicals used in the vineyard, but perhaps something added during the winemaking process?

There was some discussion on here about the use of the word organic. I seem to recall that there are a lot of wine producers who are producing their wines organically but cannot justify the time, effort and cost of fully certifying. And without the certification the wine cannot be labelled as organic. Something along those lines anyway!

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That does ring a bell. Certainly it takes time and money to be certified and I have seen produce declared as being ‘in the process of organic certification’.
I had a look at the websites for these three wines and two use roughly the same words as TWS does and the Chianti Rufina says:-
Agricolture: organic since 1999.
and
Our agricultural firm has followed since 1998 a completely organic production, for both grapes and olives.
so none of them actually claim to be certified and I haven’t seen images of the labels to check if they have any organic symbols.

I have had bottles in the past with organic certification symbol and numbers but not listed as such on the TWS website hence my question.

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P.S. I see that other merchants of the Frascole Chianti say they are fully organic certified and have been since 2002.

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Don’t know if anyone else has watched Helen McGinn aka The Knackered Mother chatting to @PierreM about her desert island wines (great watch, definitely recommend) but her choice of drinking wine for the chat was Black Chalk Classic 2016 (Hampshire fizz). It was revealed that it’s going to be offered by TWS later this year as a wine champion.

Helen was pretty excited about it so I now need to see if I can wait to see it appear on the list or book a visit straight to the winery next week :thinking:

Anyone else tried it?

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No, unfortunately I missed that one. But thanks for the info - I’ll be on the lookout for that one. Presumably it will be a Fine Wines champion.

Incidentally, I don’t think their own winery is finished (or maybe even started) yet. Jacob Leadley used to be Emma Rice’s no. 2 at Hattingley Valley, and so far as I know, he has made their existing wines there. But it all sounds really interesting, with provision for people to use it for small and experimental batches. Article here: Black Chalk winery

(Hattingley Valley themselves often do trial cuvées - this year they seem to have a sparkler made from a blend of Bacchus and Pinot Gris!)

Looks like you’re right, but it’s on the way.

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Ordered mixed case from 2020 Wine Champions prompted by Marce talking about the Sarria Rosado. Not tried that yet but can’t recommend the Chiroubles Domaine du Moulind’Eole 2018 highly enough. Lots of fruit on the nose( in fact it might almost have been a Fleurie) and great Gamay in the mouth. Certainly a champion for us who are Beaujolais fans.
Tonight we are trying the Underagga Finca Las Lomas Pinot Noir 2019- let’s hope it as much of a champ.

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