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DWWA 2014: New Zealand judging panel

Find out about our Decanter World Wine Awards 2014 New Zealand judging panel with biographies of the Regional Chair Bob Campbell MW plus Adrian Garforth MW, Allan Cheesman, Arvid Rosengren, Carmel Kilcline MW, David Jean, Dee Blackstock MW, Isa Bal MS, Jan Konetzki, Justin Liddle, Laurent Chaniac, Melanie Brown, Philip Tuck MW, Sebastian Braun and Susan Hulme MW.

Regional chair: Bob Campbell MW

Campbell is the New Zealand editor for Gourmet Traveller Wine and wine editor of Your Home & Garden, Taste and the Air NZ in-flight magazine, as well as contributing to wine publications in seven countries. More than 22,000 people have attended Campbell’s wine diploma courses in New Zealand, Asia and Europe, and he is in high demand as an after-dinner speaker and lecturer. He has been a senior judge in wine competitions in 10 countries and is chairman of the New Zealand International Wine Show.


Adrian Garforth MW

Adrian Garforth MW runs an export agency business concentrating on New Zealand and South African wines, and also consults internationally as director of Blackrock Wines. His consultation work involves advising over 1,000 restaurants in the UK, as well as a variety of overseas importers, distributors and retailers. In 1993 he became an MW, and in the late 1990s Garforth was involved in the creation of the Spier wine business and lived in South Africa, leading to him becoming a specialist in the country’s wines. Garforth also helped create and build Jamaica’s only specialist fine wine importation business, established in 2004, which represents the likes of Chapoutier, Drouhin, and Gaja, among others.

Allan Cheesman

Allan Cheesman has been in the UK wine trade for 42 years, spending 31 of them at Sainsbury’s, where he was trading director. As he was responsible for the supermarket’s own-label development in the 1970s and 1980s, Cheesman is attributed with demystifying and popularising wine in the UK. Now semi-retired, Cheesman consults for several global wine businesses, undertakes ad hoc work in the industry, and is the Chairman of the WSET Awards Supervisory Board. A member of the Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino and an Officier dans l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole, Cheesman has lifetime achievement awards from Off Licence News and the IWSC and, in 2011, he was awarded the Order of Isabel the Catholic by the King of Spain, the country’s highest civil award, for services to Spanish wines.

Arvid Rosengren

Arvid Rosengren is the wine director of restaurant group Copenhangen Concepts, which owns and runs eight restaurants along three concept lines: MASH (steakhouse), Umami (Japanese/French fusion) and Le Sommelier (French brasserie). Joining the company in June 2011, Rosengren was previously the head sommelier at two of the group’s restaurants in Copenhagen, and prior to that worked in Stockholm at Restaurant Le Rouge, and spent a few months in the UK at the Hotel du Vin in Birmingham in 2008. Winning many awards on the sommelier competition circuit, Rosengren was named Best Sommelier of Sweden 2010 and last year became the Best Sommelier of Europe 2013, going on to compete in the Best Sommelier of the World semi-finals in Tokyo. Rosengren also teaches at sommelier schools in Scandinavia and writes for publications, including Livets Goda, and publishes his own blog at arvidrosengren.com.

Carmel Kilcline MW

Irish biotechnology graduate Carmel Kilcline MW is the Innovation and Wine Development Director for Percy Fox, a division of Diageo Wines Europe. She began her wine career working for a major UK retailer in their wine technical department, a role which saw her visit most of the world’s wine regions. Over the years she has been involved in wine education with both the WSET and other wine organisations. In 2005, Kilcline became a Master of Wine, and she currently works at the interface of brand marketing, sales and wine production.

David Jean

David Jean has always been fascinated by aromas and flavours, which lead to him studying enology in Switzerland. After graduating in 2005, he became a wine buyer for Coop Switzerland, with responsibility for the Swiss, French, Austrian and German categories. In 2008, he moved to Stockholm to work as a buyer for the Swedish retail monopoly, Systembolaget, with responsibility for Australia, North America and Eastern Europe. Jean is also strongly involved in their QC/QA-program, has been a judge at the Mondial du Pinot Noir for several years.

Dee Blackstock MW

Dee Blackstock MW began her career in the wine trade in 1984 through Gerard Harris Wines in Aston Clinton, the wine side of the Bell Inn. She joined Waitrose in 1991 and passed the MW exam at the first attempt in 1992, securing a bursary scholarship for the marketing paper. She then went on to study for the Institute of Grocery Distribution diploma and was awarded a scholarship for overall marks by Safeway Supermarkets. She has been made a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole in recognition of her services to French wine in her buying role. Blackstock sits on the Government Wine Committee, which selects wines for visiting heads of state and other dignitaries. She has the WSET qualification to teach up to Diploma level. Blackstock spent 22 years as Buyer at Waitrose (the food and beverage section of the John Lewis Partnership). During this time her buying responsibilities were: Alsace, Australia, Burgundy, Champagne, Germany, New Zealand, Rhone, South Africa, South of France and Sparkling wines from around the world, latterly specialising in Burgundy, New Zealand, sparkling wines and Champagne. Having retired from Waitrose in 2013, she acts as a consultant through Rootstock & Barrel.

Isa Bal MS

Bal has been head sommelier at Heston Blumenthal’s three-starred Michelin restaurant, The Fat Duck, since 2005. He studied hospitality in his native Turkey before moving to the UK in 1999, where he began his sommelier career at The Vineyard at Stockcross, working his way up to head sommelier. Last year he represented Turkey in the Best Sommelier of the World competition in Tokyo, and he was previously named Best Sommelier of Europe 2008.

Jan Konetzki

Jan Konetzki began his professional career with an apprenticeship as a baker before leaving his native Germany to work in Switzerland, Greece and the USA. Returning to Germany, he worked as a bar manager and then apprenticed as restaurant manager in the renowned Hotel Louis C. Jacob, before moving into the role of sommelier. In 2007 Konetzki moved to London to join Gordon Ramsay Holdings where he worked as sommelier for Maze, Maze Grill and Claridge’s and as assistant head sommelier at the Michelin three-star Gordon Ramsay. In 2010 Konetzki was promoted to head sommelier and, since then, he has achieved WSET qualifications and the Court of Master Sommeliers Advance Sommelier Certificate. In 2012 he won both Moët UK Sommelier of the Year and the Prix Le Montrachet. In 2013 Konetzki co-founded WineMeister, an app which helps users select wines from German supermarket shelves and features Konetzki’s tips to help you enjoy wine even more.

Justin Liddle

Justin Liddle joined the wine trade in 1990, seduced by the heady mix of food, wine and travel. He has spent time working in all areas of the trade – from in the vineyards of the Rhein-Phalz to being a director for Mentzendorff, via Oddbins and Yapp Brothers. Currently a partner in Stokes Fine Wines, a Somerset-based agent and consultancy working with producers from around the world, Liddle is fascinated by all wine regions but likes to keep especially up-to-date on New Zealand, Portugal and Spain.

Laurent Chaniac

Laurent Chaniac is food and wine consultant to The Cinnamon Club and Kitchen in London, exercising his expertise in matching wines to Indian cuisine (previously described as a sommelier who “has pioneered some revolutionary ideas on pairing wine with the constantly evolving Indian flavours”). Chaniac has also worked in various managerial positions with some of London’s finest dining experiences, including L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, The Square Restaurant and The Stafford Hotel.

Melanie Brown

A New Zealand native, Melanie Brown completed her chef apprenticeship in Christchurch, before moving to the UK in 2005 to follow her passion for food and restaurants. She joined the team at The Providores and Tapa Room in London in 2006, starting in the kitchen and later moving to front of house, where she discovered her love of New Zealand wine. In 2009, Brown took over managing the restaurant’s wine list, transforming the wine list to feature the largest selection of premium New Zealand wines in Europe. Her passion has led her to establish her very own specialist New Zealand wine shop, The New Zealand Cellar, which is due to open in summer 2014.The shop is an extension of the wine list at The Providores and Brown hopes to showcase a diverse and ever-evolving selection of New Zealand wine to the UK.

Philip Tuck MW

Philip Tuck MW has been in the wine business for 26 years, starting in the industry straight out of university in 1986 when he joined Avery’s in Bristol. From there, he spent time working for wineries in various countries including South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Chile and Italy. He returned to the UK in 1993 to help set up Hatch Mansfield, where he is currently wine director, and became an MW in 1999.

Sebastian Braun

Stockholm native Sebastian Braun has held a variety of positions at Systembolaget, the Swedish retail monopoly, since 1998. Starting in roles including salesman, product info and description writer, and customer relations, Braun moved into his current position of wine buyer in 2005. He has managed areas such as Chile, Portugal, Switzerland, the UK, Luxembourg, Hungary, Bulgaria and South Africa, and since 2009 has been responsible for Italy, Austria and New Zealand. In his free time, Braun enjoys cooking, riding his racing bicycle, DJing, and playing in his rock band.

Susan Hulme MW

Susan Hulme MW runs Vintuition, her own wine education and consultancy company, based in Windsor, which provides wine-related training and courses for both the trade and members of the public. A major part of her work is running in-house training and WSET exams for sales executives at some of the leading on-trade and retail wine companies. Hulme is a regular judge at the DWWA, a contributor at Decanter tasting panels, and a panel judge at the International Wine Competition. She is a member of the Circle of Wine Writers, a former chairman of the Association of Wine Educators (AWE) and the current editor of the AWE newsletter. Since 2007 she has been on the Institute of Masters of Wine events committee. Hulme became a Master of Wine in 2005, winning the Madame Bollinger tasting medal for outstanding performance in the tasting exam.

Written by John Abbott

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