One-fifth of the world’s Masters of Wine have gathered in London to begin the annual Decanter World Wine Awards judging week.
Two hundred and fourteen judges, including 58 MWs and 12 Master Sommeliers, will judge over 12,000 wines from 44 countries.
This gathering of MWs represents exactly one-fifth of the 288 people who have the qualification.
The DWWA judges come from 23 different countries. Wine experts such as Fabrizio Portelli from Argentina, Jeannie Cho Lee MW from Hong Kong, Ignatius Chan from Singapore, Cathy Van Zyl MW from South Africa, Mai Tjemsland MW from Norway, and dozens of others, are tasting all week under the overall chairmanship of Steven Spurrier.
The number of wines entered is up on last year and there are some notable increases from particular regions, Decanter’s tastings director Christelle Guibert said.
As well as every major wine-producing region, countries sending in wine include India, Thailand, Macedonia, Japan, the UK, Luxembourg, Egypt, Turkey, Malta, Romania, Russia and China.
‘There are more Portuguese table wines, many more from the Middle East, Far East and Asia, almost double the number of Israeli wines.’
Portuguese table wines show an increase of 74% on 2010, Middle East, Far East and Asia is up 112%, a figure including China (up 140%), Japan (up 140%) and Thailand (up 110%).
Israeli wines are up 52%, an increase which will be due, Guibert says, to the boost the country’s industry was given last year when Carmel Winery in Galilee winning the International Red Rhone Varietal Over £10 Trophy – the highest accolade – for its Kayoumi Single Vineyard Shiraz 2006.
English wines are up by 40%. Again, the entry will have been given a boost by Ridgeview Wine Estate in Sussex last year lifting the International Sparkling Trophy for its Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs 2006 – beating top Champagnes from Taittinger, Heidsieck and Thienot.
Sarah Kemp, Decanter’s publishing director said, ‘We continue to attract the world’s best palates – and we are ruthless in our selection of judges. The DWWA has moved into a new era.’
The Decanter World Wine Awards results will be announced on 17th May 2011.
Written by Adam Lechmere