This weekend I was once again privileged to be on the Jury for the 38th World Wine Challenge here in Bordeaux.

Hushed murmering filled the huge hall where we judged 5000 wines from 38 different countries.  As usual there was a huge media presence, with representatives from major TV stations, Journalists and photographers from, Wine Spectator, Decanter, all the French specialist wine journals, and the  major French national newspapers.

On the first day, (last Friday), highlights for me were a Pinot from Alsace, and a luscious Cote de Duras which I unhesitatingly gave gold. Decidedly underwhelming were 12 white Riojas, which threatened to spoil my day…

The second day, featured some beautifully made reds from Portugal’s Duero Valley (2011 and 2012) which easily eclipsed most of the Medocs (2011 and 2012) tasted on the same day. It confirmed for me that Medoc, (and St Emilion as well) are losing the value for money contest, one that is more crucial in these times, than ever before.

Once again the organisation was perfect, a testament to the dedication of President Herve Romat (see picture) and Directrisse,  Fabienne Cortadi (Also pictured below)

Herve is a consultant oenologist to a number of chateaux in France and other countries, and makes one of my favourite Cote de Bourg reds on his own chateau.

An interesting feature of this years judging, was that 15% of the Jury members came from foreign countries, Spain, Italy, the UK and South Africa among others.

The more I taste of 2011, 12 and 13 (primeur), the more pleased I am, that we bought so many 2009 and 10’s for me and you all.