The final of this year's Left Bank Bordeaux Cup was held on Friday night in the cellars of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, with Cambridge University placing first among eight teams competing from prestigious international business schools and universities from around the world.
The winning trio, comprising Ellie JY Kim, David Beall and Vaiva Imbrasaite (pictured), triumphed over a total of 43 teams who entered this year’s competition which was revamped three years ago with a name change and an opening to competitors outside of Europe.
The initial rounds of the competition, now in its twelfth year, were held in France, England, the United States, Hong Kong and China, with the top two schools in each heat getting to the finals in Bordeaux.
This year’s were Copenhagen Business School, Wharton, Yale Law, ESSEC Business School in Paris, EDHEC Business School in Lille, Cambridge, Hong Kong University SPACE and Chongqing University in China.
The format of the night itself took place over three rounds; the first general knowledge questions about Bordeaux, set by organisers The Commanderie de Bontemps. This was then followed by two tasting rounds – a series of blind tastings of reds from the Médoc or Graves, and sweet whites from Sauternes and Barsac. The last stage was an oral round, where teams were presented with one wine and asked to describe it down to vintage and chateaux.
Last night, it was the Cambridge team – comprised of one Lithuanian, one South Korean and one American member – which prevailed, winning a double magnum each of Lafite Rothschild 2009, along with the Cup itself. They were narrowly followed by Wharton and Copenhagen Business, coming in second and third respectively.
Richard Stibbs, President of Downing College and Cambridge trainer told decanter.com that team had trained weekly from October, ‘with intensive claret training in the last six weeks’. Commenting on the team’s ability he said, ‘they have wonderful taste memories’.
Feng Chaolan of the Chinese team came in last, but remained upbeat. ‘I am doing this competition because I love wine, it’s simple’.
Since 2012, the tasting competition has been sponsored by Decanter.
Full list of final placings
1st Cambridge University
3rd Copenhagen Business School
4th EDHEC Business School Lille
5th Yale Law School
6th ESSEC Business School Paris
7th HKU Space
8th Chongqing University