Eugene Mlynczyk MW is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)Eugene Mlynczyk MWEugene Mlynczyk MW
Eugene Mlynczyk MW’s love of wine began in California while studying at Stanford University, where he earned his BA in Painting and Drawing.
His interest in wine grew further after his return home to Toronto, Canada, inspired by the emerging local Niagara region. Eugene started studying wine in earnest in the late 1990s and launched a new career in the wine trade in 2001 while also completing his WSET Diploma.
Eugene’s role is luxury portfolio manager at Arterra Wines Canada (formerly Constellation Brands), where he is responsible for selling a global range of wines to Vintages, the speciality division of the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario), and actively supporting luxury wine sales across the country.
With the support of many, Eugene became a Master of Wine in 2015, one of only five in Canada, and was awarded the Robert Mondavi Winery Award for the most outstanding performance across all the theory papers. His research paper topic was on local VQA Sparkling Wines.
When not tasting and talking about wine, Eugene focuses on family activities, and can often be found running in the woods competing in his favourite sport orienteering.
Michaela Morris is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)Michaela MorrisMichaela Morris
Michaela Morris is an international wine writer, educator, judge and speaker based in Vancouver, Canada, with frequent engagements in Italy.
Besides writing for several Canadian publications including Taste and Quench, Michaela contributes to Meininger’s Wine Business International and Decanter online and print magazines.
- Tignanello wines rated: Eight vintages from 1997 to 2013
- Tasting Conti Costanti: Eight vintages compared
- Elvio Cogno Barolo: Tasting the Ravera cru
- Top Jesi restaurants
- Le Marche wineries to visit
She was one of the first certified Italian Wine Experts through the Vinitaly International Academy (VIA) in 2015 and co-created the curriculum for VIA’s Italian Wine Maestro course. Michaela also holds the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s (WSET) Diploma and is currently a 2nd stage student of the Institute of Masters of Wine.
With 20 years’ experience in the wine industry, Michaela has worked as an importer, ran the Bordeaux en primeur campaign for a private retailer and co-owned her own company offering private and public wine tastings, as well as cellar management for collectors.
- Gianni Brunelli: A Brunello vertical
- Salicutti Brunello vertical: The past, present and future
- Brunello di Montalcino 2013: Report and top wines
- Brunello Riserva 2012: Report & Top wines
- Chianti Classico 2017: A first look
- Chianti Classico new releases – Full report & top wines
- GD Vajra’s Bricco delle Viole: Tasting 2004-2014
- Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2015 preview
Follow Michaela on Twitter: @MichaelaWine
Mario Meštrović is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)Mario MeštrovićMario Meštrović
Mario is an experienced Croatian sommelier with the international A.S.I. Diploma and the Croatian Sommelier Club Diploma.
He acts as commissioner for the Croatian Sommelier Club in Zagreb and is an executive board member and lecturer.
His interests lie in the promotion and improvement of wine culture in Croatia, and restaurant service and table culture improvement through education and workshops.
Kelli White is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)Kelli WhiteKelli White
Kelli White is the senior staff writer for GuildSomm. Prior to that, her work as a sommelier, first at New York City’s Veritas and then at PRESS in St. Helena, was covered by many of the wine industry’s top publications, including Food & Wine, Vinous, The Wine Advocate, The Wine Spectator, the San Francisco Chronicle, World of Fine Wine, and Forbes.
In 2013 she was named as one of Food & Wine’s top ten sommeliers in the country.
Her writing has appeared in World of Fine Wine, Robb Report, Sommelier Journal, Le Pan, and Vinous. At Vinous, Kelli was a key member of the maps team, and worked with famed Italian cartographer Alessando Masnaghetti to map many of the appellations of Napa Valley.
Her book, Napa Valley, Then & Now, was released in November 2015 and has received critical acclaim, winning both the IACP award for Best New Wine, Beer, or Spirits Book as well as a Graphis design award.
In 2011, she co-founded a small wine brand called Houndstooth and she also made a brief appearance in the 2015 documentary Somm II: Into the Bottle.
In October of 2016, Kelli led a wine tasting seminar at Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women’s Summit in Laguna Niguel, CA.
Most recently, she was nominated for Sommelier/Wine Director of the Year (2017) by Wine Enthusiast magazine.
Follow Kelly on Twitter: @kelliwhitewine
Julie Dupouy is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)Julie DupouyJulie Dupouy
Originally from the south west of France, Julie Dupouy has been living in Dublin since 2004.
Her early career in Ireland started in one of Ireland’s most reputed restaurants, the 2 Michelin star Patrick Guilbaud. Julie holds the title of Best Sommelier in Ireland since 2009.
In 2016, she finished 3rd at the ASI World Sommelier Championship.
She founded her consultancy company Down2Wine in 2014 and has also been working as a sommelier at the 1 Michelin star Greenhouse Restaurant since 2015.
Julie loves discovering new styles of wines and her real passion is in sharing them with guests and friends.
Follow Julie on Twitter: @JulieDupouy1
Gennaro Buono is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)Gennaro BuonoGennaro Buono
Gennaro Buono is currently head sommelier of the Capri Palace Group, heading up the sommelier team and wine cellars of 4 Michelin stared restaurants.
Gennaro speaks 5 languages and in 2012 won the Best Sommelier of Italy, and has represented Italy in the last editions of the Best Sommelier of the World, and the Best Sommelier of Europe and Africa.
Since 2013, he has also been director of the technical committee for the professional sommelier competitions in Italy (ASPI) and also a judge at the International tasting ITQI in Bruxelles.
Gemma Crangle is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)Gemma CrangleGemma Crangle
Gemma Crangle’s heart belongs to the wines of the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
She began her wine career at Wine and Spirit International Magazine and subsequently moved to a role in the Buying Department at Corney & Barrow which included delivering WSET courses for the C&B Wine Bar staff.
In 2003, Gemma set up Terroir Languedoc which specialises in importing the finest terroir-driven wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon and demonstrating to the UK market the diversity and quality of the region’s top wines.
Follow Gemma on Twitter: @gemcrangle
Giovanni Ferlito is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)Giovanni FerlitoGiovanni Ferlito
Giovanni Ferlito is head of wine and beverage at The Ritz London.
An Italian and French native, Giovanni grew up in Sicily in the wine region of Etna. At an early age he discovered a passion for mixology (from watching the iconic Tom Cruise film, Cocktail) and first began a career in the hospitality industry as a bar tender in 2002.
He went on to become bar manager for an Italian group of hotels and resorts and within this role was able to travel throughout the world.
In 2010, Giovanni moved to London and started his career as a professional sommelier. He worked in several of the city’s most prestigious restaurants before joining The Ritz London in 2014 as the hotel’s head sommelier.
In 2017, having relaunched The Ritz London’s wine list (which now includes approximately 800 references, of which 150 new wine listings have been added during Giovanni’s tenure), he was promoted to his current position as head of wine and beverage at the hotel, overseeing the Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant, Palm Court, Rivoli Bar and private dining and events as well as a team of 7 sommeliers.
Last year, Giovanni was awarded MCA Master of Culinary Arts.
Follow Giovanni on Twitter: @NanniFerlito
Frederic Marti is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)Frederic MartiFrederic Marti
Frederic Marti was born and raised in the south of France, close to Toulouse.
He started as a waiter at the age of 14, working his way up through Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, such as Gravetye Manor and Le Gavroche in the UK, El Celler de Can Roca and El Bulli in Spain, and Le Crillon in Paris.
His foray into wine came when he met his soon-to-be life mentors Josep Roca and Eric Zwiebel.
He is now GM of Fred’s Wine Bar and Wine Director at The Typing Room located in East London’s Town Hall Hotel.
Follow Frederic on Twitter: @fredmarti1
Fred Bulmer is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)Fred BulmerFred Bulmer
Following working for a couple of independent merchants in North Yorkshire, including Firth & Co and Yorkshire Vintners, Fred Bulmer joined The Wine Society in 2013.
Freddy became a buyer at the beginning of 2017 and is now responsible for the buying of The Society’s Austrian, English and Eastern European wines, as well as craft beers.
Follow Fred on Twitter: @freddybulmer
Three bottles of 'vin jaune' from 1774, some of the oldest preserved wines in the world, are to be sold at an auction in Jura and are expected to fetch up to £20,000 each.
- 1774 vin jaune wines to be sold at 26 May auction
- Sale will also include a white wine from 1811
On 26 May, the final 102 wines from a wine cellar in Arbois in France will be sold at auction, both live at Jura Encheres and online.
This collection includes three bottles of the ‘Vin Jaune d’Arbois’, millésime 1774, which have been aged for more than eight generations.
The three bottles are estimated to sell for between £15,000 and £20,000 each.
All of the wines in the collection have been stored in a protected place called the ‘Tabernacle’, in the Jura region of France.See also: 200 year old ‘Napoleon wine’ up for auction See also: Pol Roger unearths long lost 19th century Champagne
‘It is very rare to find a wine, still in good condition, which was made before the French Revolution,’ said Anthony Barne MW.
‘Vin jaune, made in the Jura mountains of Eastern France, is probably the only French wine capable of this longevity.’
‘Vin jaune is made from the rare Savignin grape and owes its longevity to a lengthy period of exposure to oxygen while in cask, protected from a premature demise by a film of the same yeast that occurs in Tokaji Szamorodni and Fino Sherry.’
These wines are some of the oldest preserved wines in the world. Two bottles from the original lot were sold in 2011 and 2012 for €57,000 and €38,000.
The auction will also include a white wine from Arbois, from 1811.
Andrew Jefford reviews progress in Hawke’s Bay’s red-wine hot spot.Gimblett Gravels vineyards in autumn.
Three acres to feed one sheep? It’s not much. Good-quality lowland pasture in the UK should support five sheep per hectare, equating to 12 per acre. I make this brief detour into husbandry simply to point out just how poor and stony this zone of Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand’s North Island is. In pre-vine days, the low sheep load made Gimblett Gravels the region’s cheapest land.
No one other than gravel extractors wanted it until the first Chenin Blanc and Müller-Thurgau vines were planted in the late 1970s – and for some time after. Pioneer Alan Limmer of Stonecroft had to fight a battle with quarrying company Fraser Shingle to get the area zoned for viticulture; he only won in 1992. The serious red-wine-making for which Gimblett Gravels is known today is just three decades old.
Every new wine-region needs a head-turning debutante. It was C.J.Pask’s 1985 and 1986 red blend, based on Bordeaux varietals, which played this role, sweeping awards at New Zealand’s national wine shows. Chris Pask had failed with Bordeaux varieties planted elsewhere in Hawke’s Bay: over-fertile soils created profuse canopies and unripe fruit. He thought he’d give the stony stuff a try – and it worked. It later emerged that this zone was just a little warmer than other parts of Hawke’s Bay.For Premium members: Go straight to Andrew Jefford’s tasting notes for Gimblett Gravels 2015 red wines
These early struggles gave the region a drive and a cohesiveness which resulted in ‘Gimblett Gravels’ becoming a communally owned trademark. There are no official sub-zones of Hawke’s Bay, so the trademark is a pre-emptive move and perhaps a model for other sub-zones elsewhere in the country to follow.
The 800-ha geographical zone was defined by “soil type and its interaction with mesoclimatic conditions”, and anyone with a vineyard lying at least 95 per cent inside the zone can apply to become a member. The zoning covers all the local gravel types, but excludes an area of pumice sands. If members want to use Gimblett Gravels name on a label, they must prove that 95 per cent of the grapes used for a wine come from within the zone. “No other controls over viticultural or winemaking methods are prescribed or indeed needed,” the Association confidently announces. “Internal peer pressure and a natural competitive spirit along with the appropriate legislative controls will ensure basic quality standards are met and indeed advanced.”
For the last few years, the Association members have circulated a sample case selected annually by Andrew Caillard MW – an excellent idea, since the carbon footprint of a surface-shipped case of wine is much lower than transporting human palates around the globe. I last wrote about the case of 2013 wines back in January 2016, and since then have had a chance to look at the 2014 and, more recently, 2015 selections. The case is made up of Bordeaux blends and varietal Syrah wines, though the balance between the two groups varies each year. (This year a minority were under screwcap.) Tasting notes for the 2015 selection are given below, but here are a few general observations.
- Progress is being made. The 2012 case was a disappointing selection from a difficult year, but on my score sheet the 2013 case won an aggregate score of 83, the 2014 case 89.66 and the 2015 case 90.33. That’s a significant jump in a year. Not only do the 2015 wines carry none of the historical baggage of New Zealand reds (green notes; too much overt oak; over-insistent acidity), but they are attractive, well-crafted and deliver value for money.
- Love the purity. If you’ve never tasted a Gimblett Gravels red, what should you expect? Their hallmark for me is a limpidity, a cleanness of articulation and a purity of aroma and flavour which sits very happily with New Zealand’s national image as the environmental jewel (and bolt-hole) of the southern hemisphere. The wines are unintimidating and gratifying, as well as highly consistent. They brim with fruit – and it’s classy fruit, too, without obviousness or exaggeration. It has energy and drive as well as purity.
- Syrah trails the Bordeaux blends. Others may disagree, and the difference isn’t huge, but viewing the wines in the global context I find the Bordeaux blends more successful and compelling than the Syrah wines, with slightly more emphatic structures, more enjoyable and food-friendly balances and a more hinterland to the fruit. (This may be a question of vine age.) I’m glad to have both, though.
- Narrow aesthetic width. The flip side of their remarkable consistency is that the wines can come across as stylistically homogenous. As I tasted, I found myself longing for at least one crazy outlier in each sub-group: a wine evidently made by someone with unhinged ambitions or different aesthetic dream to push and shove the region’s potential around a bit.
- Structure, density, tannin. Anyone producing ambitious Bordeaux-blend reds anywhere in the world must take a look at the upper-echelon wines of two regions: Bordeaux itself, and Napa. In terms of price, they’re long strides ahead of the competition – and those prices are sustained, vintage after vintage, which means that consumers aren’t disappointed when they pull the corks.
I don’t see why those running Sacred Hill, Babich or Villa Maria shouldn’t hope, one day, to sell Gimblett Gravels Cabernet blends at the same price as middle-ranking Médoc classed growths or Napa Cabernets. If they’re going to do this, though, the wines will need more structure, density and tannic mass allied to impeccable full ripeness – more ‘authority’, if you like. The same goes for any producer of Syrah who might wish one day to compete head on with leading Rhône producers’ Cornas or Hermitage.
It’s important, of course, that every terroir finds its voice – but these structural elements are hallmarks of all of the world’s finest ageworthy reds. Vine age? Planting densities? Skin-optimising viticulture? Yields? Further use of whole-bunch for Syrah? Harvesting practices and fruit sorting? The style of extraction or the length of maceration? IPT analyses; a consulting gig? May it’s one of these; maybe it’s all of them – but that’s the next stage. Can Gimblett Gravels do this?Tasting Gimblett Gravels Annual Vintage Selection 2015
Read more Andrew Jefford columns on Decanter.com here
David Forer MW is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA).David Forer MWDavid Forer MW
Born in England, raised and educated in Canada, David Forer’ lived in San Francisco for almost 20 years. There he formed relationships within the US wine community and gained an in-depth knowledge of the wine business in the US. After becoming an MW in 2017 he moved with his family to Barcelona. David strives to see opportunities in the wine business and aims to create businesses across all segments of wine. He is also an independent consultant helping brands and wine associations, and also judges at wine competitions internationally.
Ieva Markaityte is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA).Ieva MarkaityteIeva Markaityte
Ieva Markaityte’s passion for wines started 14 years ago in Minneapolis (US) where she was managing an Italian wine bar. After working there for 4 years she moved back to her home country of Lithuania, where she worked as a brand manager for an international wine company dealing with fine wine brands, alongside studying economics at university. Craving more wine educations she moved to London and graduated with her WSET Diploma. Since then she has been working as a senior sommelier at ‘Zucca’ restaurant, head sommelier and wine buyer for Portuguese restaurant ‘Taberna do Mercado’ and now along that running a natural wine project curating tastings and workshops called ‘SLO Wine’ at ‘OSM Bar’ in Spitafields Market, London.
Harriet Kininmonth is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA).Harriet KinninmonthHarriet Kininmonth
Head of Wine Buying at Enotria & Coe, Harriet Kininmonth has spent the last 9 years in the Buying Team and now manages the team, looking after an array of countries and regions such as Loire, Champagne, South Africa, USA, Iberia and South America. She is now looking after the countries she is most passionate about: Spain, Portugal and South America. She is responsible for the range and pricing, and works closely with her colleagues and the customers to ensure that they have an exciting and evolving range of wines that the Premium On Trade and Independent Off Trade are eager to get their hands on.
In the last few years she has brought in some high profile scale agencies such as: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Chateau Ste Michelle, Trapiche, El Esteco, Ramon Bilbao & Sierra Cantabria and an assortment of premium boutique producers such as Fillaboa, Abadia Retuerta, Casa da Passarella, Humberto Canale, La Guita and many more.
Emma Dawson MW is a judge at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA).Emma Dawson MWEmma Dawson MW
Emma Dawson MW is a wine buyer for Marks and Spencer. Her role at the supermarket has seen her focus on bringing in new emerging regions to their range including: Greece, Lebanon, Israel, Croatia, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico, Japan and India. She also covers wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Italy, South American and Fine wines for their range.
She came to the wine world late, having previously worked in film and media and studied wine as an enthusiast. Before her current position she worked in Sainsburys wine team and also ran a new format of wine tastings for charity called “Naked Grape Tastings”.
This year Emma has launched a new venture 52grapes.com with her partner Andy. A free participation website that offers consumers the chance to join in the challenge to taste 52 grapes in 52 weeks; with Emma and Andy acting as their guides.
Why it makes the Decanter hall of fame...Wine Legend: Château Ausone 2005, St-Emilion 1GCCA, Bordeaux, France
Bottles produced: 18,000
Composition: 55% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot
Release price N/A
Price today: £1,050 per bottle in bond (BI )A legend because…
Find more Wine Legends on Decanter.com here
Michaela Morris compares several vintages of Antinori’s Tignanello and Solaia, looking at the stylistic evolution of two wines born several years apart in the 1970s but from the same Tuscan property.Comparing the evolution of Tignanello and Solaia.
One of Italy’s most famed wines, Tignanello is pushing 50. The vineyard was first referenced on a label of Antinori’s 1970 Chianti Classico Riserva and the following year, Tignanello eschewed the domination for the lowly Vino da Tavola designation. Its counterpart, Solaia was born soon afterward in 1978.
Both wines have gone through an evolution. In the early years, their blends modified gradually. Tignanello eventually landed at 80 to 85% Sangiovese supported by Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc while Solaia’s 75% Cabernet Sauvignon is rounded out by Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. With the wines’ identity well-established, Antinori has devoted the last 20 years to fine tuning the style.
To explore the transformation of the last two decades, I was invited to Antinori’s California-esque headquarters in San Casciano Val di Pesa just within limits of the Chianti Classico region.
Other articles like this one, available to Premium members:Sassicaia 2015 released: Here is how it tastes Brunello di Montalcino 2013: Top wines and vintage report
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Can we judge the 'two worlds' of wine in the same way, asks Andrew Jefford...Mas Estela
A few months ago, I stood in a steep vineyard chiselled out of the acid schists of the Cap de Creus. This jagged headland, stabbing the Mediterranean in Spain’s far northwest, forms part of DO Empordà; it’s just a few miles from France’s Banyuls, but still more exposed. The icy Tramontane wind cut through my layers of clothing with dismissive ease.Andrew Jefford is a Decanter contributing editor and the Louis Roederer International Columnist of 2016 for this and his ‘Jefford on Monday’ column on Decanter.com
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Beautiful lands, stunning vineyards and brilliant wines; New Zealand has quite a lot going for it. How much do you know about the country's eclectic wines? Test your knowledge with our Kiwi wine quiz....Copyright owned by Yealands Winery Start the Kiwi wine quiz below
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