And the Madame Bollinger Medal for top taster goes too…
Anne McHale MW of Berry Bros. & Rudd has been awarded the Bollinger Medal for excellence in tasting and outstanding achievement in the Institute of Masters of Wine Practical Examinations by The Madame Bollinger Foundation.
The presentation occurred at the annual Institute of Masters of Wine Awards held at the stunningly refurbished Vintners’ Hall in London, and marks the 25th occasion that the Bollinger medal has been awarded since 1988. First awarded to Australian Michael Hill Smith AM MW in 1988, the winners of The Bollinger Medal have included eight different nationalities of Master of Wine, with twelve coming from Great Britain.
Madame Bollinger Foundation Chairman Etienne Bizot said; “It always gives me great pleasure to present this award for excellence in tasting which my father Christian Bizot founded to honour the memory of his aunt Madame Lily Bollinger. Anne received outstanding results in her practical examinations and her hard work is being duly rewarded. The wine industry needs and deserves leading experts like Masters of Wine, and we are proud to support their progress!”
The Madame Bollinger Foundation was founded in 1987 and became the first partner of the Institute of Masters of Wine in 1988. It serves to promote excellence in oenology and all matters relating to wine at an international level.
Mentzendorff put to work in the Bollinger vineyards
Members of the Mentzendorff team were drafted in to assist pickers with the start of the 2013 Bollinger harvest this month. MD Andrew Hawes was joined by Lara Sills, Victoria Hughes, James Dodsworth and John Franklin, some of who experiencing harvest for the first time, in collecting the precious Pinot Noir grapes of La Cote Aux Enfants in Aÿ. A quick safety and quality control briefing from Bollinger President Jérôme Philipon and they were off, resplendent in pink harvest t-shirts (the year is Rosé for Bollinger) , with cries of ‘Pannier’ soon being heard throughout the vines as another basket was filled to the brim. All this was conducted under the watchful eye of Chef de Cave Gilles Descotes, preparing for his first year in charge of the process, who is happy with the quality of the grapes but concerned for the workers getting cold given the very late start to the harvest! Harvesting in Champagne is an activity traditionally undertaken at the end of August or start of September, but began much later this year due to early summer rain. July and August however say the most hours of sunshine for the last 30 years. This gave the grapes, particularly those in La Cote Aux Enfants all the necessary maturity levels and, importantly, no botrytis. We all look forward to tasting the results of the 2013 harvest in years to come, especially as it includes our colleagues’ handiwork!
Vin de Constance 2008 launched with an historical vertical tasting spanning 20 years
With a vertical tasting of Vin de Constance spanning 20 years, Matthew Day, Klein Constantia Winemaker, has launched the 2008 vintage of Vin de Constance. Guests at an exclusive event in The Stafford Hotel wine cellars on Wednesday tasted vintages of the near mythical South African natural sweet wine from 1988, 1992, 1996, 2005, 2007 & 2008.
Matthew Day, Klein Constantia winemaker, reveals that “2008 was a very warm year in Constantia and thus we had a much higher degree of raisining, which is evident in the wine. There is a higher perception of sweetness, although there is some great acidity that helps to balance out and round off the wine.” In terms of flavour, the 2008 shows “typical Vin de Constance flavours of dried fruit, sweet citrus zest and roasted almonds that all seem to flow through from nose to palate, rounded off with an acidity that forms a great core and backbone to the wine.”