Thursday, September 30, 2010

Concours Mondial du Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Picture: Concours Mondial du Sauvignon 2010

Concours Mondial du Sauvignon Blanc 2010

The Concours Mondial de Bruxelles – together with the ODG Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur – launched the first Concours Mondial du Sauvignon during the Bordeaux Fete le Vin wine fair earlier this year.

Over 40 tasters from ten countries took part. 512 wines were presented for this first edition, from France, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece and Brazil. France dominated both awards and entries – with over 300 entries and 90 awards. Chile was the next most successful, with 61 entries and 21 medals.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc originates from the Bordeaux and Loire regions in France. It is now planted in many of the world's wine regions.

In France, Sauvignon Blanc is grown in the maritime climate of Bordeaux (especially in Entre-Deux-Mers, Graves and Pessac-Leognan as a dry wine, and in Sauternes as a sweet wine) as well as the continental climate of the Loire Valley (as Pouilly Fumé, Sancerre, and Sauvignon de Touraine).

Along with Sémillon, Muscadelle and Ugni blanc, Sauvignon Blanc is one of only four white grapes allowed in the production of white Bordeaux AOC In the Sauternes region, the grape is blended with Sémillon to make the noble sweet Sauternes. The composition varies from producer and can range from 5-50% of Sauvignon Blanc, with the Château d'Yquem using 20%.

In Australia, particularly the Margaret River region, the grape is often blended with Sémillon. In the 1990s, Sauvignon Blanc wines from the maritime climatic regions of New Zealand, particularly the South Island, became popular on the wine market. In North America, California is the leading producer of Sauvignon Blanc with plantings also found in Washington State. In California wine produced from the Sauvignon Blanc grape is also known as Fumé Blanc. This California wine was first made by the Robert Mondavi Winery in 1968. Fume Blanc as an allusion to the French Pouilly-Fumé. Sauvignon Blanc is also beginning to gain prominence in areas like South Africa's Stellenbosch and Durbanville and Italy's Collio areas.

Around 80,000ha of Sauvignon Blanc are estimated to be planted worldwide, with the largest concentrations in France and New Zealand.

Special Trophies

Here are the winners of a Special Trophy.

Casa Marín Sauvignon Blanc
Cipresses Vineyard 2009 Chile
Valle de San Antonio y Leyda
Vina Casa Marín (Producer) +56 22 34 95 81

Château Penin 2009 France
Bordeaux Blanc
Château Penin (Producer) +33 5 57 24 46 98

Ghirlandaia 2009 Italy
Toscana IGT
Azienda Agricola Trequanda S.R.L. (Producer) +39 0577 66 20 01

Michel Laurent 2009
Val de Loire
Sancerre Blanc
Joseph Verdier SA (Producer) +33 2 41 40 22 50

Rose de Sigoulès 2009
Bergerac sec
Les Vignerons de Sigoulès (Producer) +33 5 53 61 55 00

Tokara Director's Reserve White 2008
South Africa
Western Cape
Stellenbosch Tokara (Producer) +27 21 808 59 00

Aufricht Estate at Lake Constance in Baden, Germany, Wins Gold Medal

The Aufricht Estate at Lake Constance in Baden, Germany, did not make it to the Special Trophy group, but won a Gold Medal. I visited the Aufricht Estate a few months ago.

In Baden, the wine industry is dominated by wine co-operatives; they account for 85% of the region's production. Private winemakers are the exception. One of these exceptions is the Aufricht Estate. They started out as a member of a wine co-operative and became independent about 20 years ago, after the brothers Robert and Manfred Aufricht had taken over from their parents.

Manfred, the younger of the two brothers, explained that all grapes are selectively hand-picked. For over ten years now the Aufrichts follow environmentally-friendly winemaking principles.

Pictures: Christian G.E.Schiller with Manfred Aufricht at the Aufricht Estate at Lake Constance in Baden, Germany

The Estate is located on the same latitude as Burgundy, on Lake Constance between Meersburg and Hagnau. The lake’s water reflects the sun like a mirror. The roots of the vines get their "food" from the glacial moraine of granite, limestone and gneiss of the Alps.

The vineyard area totals 24 hectares, with holdings in the Fohrenberg and Sängerhalde sites. The Aufricht brothers grow Pinot Noir, Lemberger, Pinot Madeleine and Regent, and Pinot Gris, Auxerrois,Pinot Blanc, Müller-Thurgau, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. The Aufricht brothers were the first to plant Sauvignon Blanc again in the Lake Constance region. The top red wines are matured in barriques for several years. Bottle-fermented sparkling wines are also produced.

The wine list contains about 30 wines. Half of them are white wines, starting from Euro 7.40 and going up to Euro 17.40. The red wines start at Euro 7.90; most red wines do not go beyond Euro 10. One of the two exceptions is a 2007 Pinot Noir for Euro 30.50, which is the most expensive wine in the portfolio. Lake Constance wines are, in general, no bargain wines – but still very good deals by American standards.

The last years brought Robert and Manfred Aufricht worldwide recognition and honors. The Aufricht Estate has now 2 Grapes (out of 5) in the Gault Millau Wine Guide.

Weingut Aufricht Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Germany
Weingut Aufricht (Producer) +49 75 32 124 27

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