Daniel Rogov Reacts to TerraVino 2008

13/11/2008
By: Daniel Rogov

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?13.11.2008

?By: Daniel Rogov

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Several general reactions on my part.

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1. For many years competitions awarded Gold, Silver and? Bronze medallions.? TerraVino has gone to Double Gold, Gold and Silver.? What that means is that wines that might once have won Silver can now boat that they won Gold, and what might once have been Bronze is now Silver.? A rather frivolous way, in my opinion, to make prizes “look even better”

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2. Because we have no idea of what minimum score was required to attain a given medal, it is difficult to say what medal is worth precisely what.? More than that, we are not told what minimum score was required to attain any medal at all.? Wines that earn scores of 85 are good wines.? Of that there is no question.? In my opinion, however, that is simply not good enough to take away a “prize”.

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3.? If I were organizing or supervising such a competition minimum scores for attaining various medals would be as follows.? Some may consider my guidelines too stringent but my feeling is that such medals should be for quality and not for effort or being a nice guy.

Gold:? 93 or higher

Silver: 89-92

Bronze: 87-89

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4.? Considering that this competition considers price of wines as a category, should one assume that a wine costing US8.00 that wins a gold medal is the quality equivalent of a wine that costs US$30 and wines the same medal?? Me doubts that.? The list of prizes, however, does not list the price category so it is difficult to say just what gold, silver or other medals are the equivalent of which other wines.?

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5.? Am I wrong or does it seem that every winery that entered the competition seems to have won at least one award?? One wonders (or at least I wonder) if that is statistically possible. I cannot help but think that as scores and medals awards are tabulated that the vote counting and adjustments should be overseen by a completely neutral office of certified accountants and not by those involved in the competition.

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6.? Not to be ignored is the question of those wineries that did not enter the competition.? Indeed some of the better wineries are represented but quite a few of the best wineries are not.? Believe me, I cannot run very rapidly but I would certainly come in first in a race with one-legged men.

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7.? With regard to scores in particular, I sit somewhat open-mouthed at the discrepancies between the ranking of the wines at the competition and my own ratings. That some wines I consider truly mediocre won major prizes and that some I consider truly fine barely came in with “silver” rather amazes me.

Scores aside, the results of this particular competition are at wide variation with the tastings and published tasting notes of Robert Parker and Mark Squires, the Wine Spectator, Decanter and yes, myself and even several of my local colleagues.

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8.? Considering that a mini-industry of wine competitions has developed (there are at least 400 “international” commercial competitions annually), I cannot help but think that such competitions are better business for the competition industry than the wine industry.? And I continue to ask ? of what possible use are such competitions for consumers??? As for me (and yes, the advice I give) ?? with the exception of several major competitions (e.g. those held at VinItaly and Vinexpo and the London Wine and Spirits Competition) ? consumers continu8e to be far better served by reading individual critics.

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9.? In summary ? as I see it,? competitions like this remind me of Abraham Lincoln’s axiom to the effect that “this is the kind of thing that people who like this kind of thing like”? I guess I’m just not one of those who likes this kind of thing.? That does not make me “right”.? It is, however, my honest opinion.

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Following is the list of prize winners with my own scores attached (in parentheses) for those wines that I have tasted.? Those wines that I have not tasted carry the notation NT.? Also a few footnotes?.

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????? (1)???? A winery with which I am not yet familiar

(2)???? A private label wine by Assaf Winery.

(3)???? Known to me as “Three Vines Winery”

(4)???? Note that this wine comes from Bustan HaMeshusheem winery and not Bustan winery

(5)???? I believe this wine is from the Tanya Winery

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