The goal of the first ever Mondial du Sauvignon Blanc Concourse that took place in Bordeaux was to encourage the promotion of good quality wines from the Sauvignon vine and to familiarise the public its richness and diversity, according to the organizers, who are based in Belgium, writes Harshal Shah of Sommelier India who was a member of the international judging panel.
There was international representation on the jury with judges from as far afield as New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa) with myself here to represent India. As far as I can tell, there are no Indian wine submissions in this competition, but having tasted a few Indian Sauvignon Blancs recently, I am convinced that Indian wines could stand on an equal footing with many of the wines tasted today.
There is a smidgen of interest in Indian wines and the attitude of Indians towards Sauvignon Blanc wines. My response has been that generally speaking, Indians tend to order wine by style (light, fruity, dry etc) than by singling out grape varieties. With a little more education and exposure, I’m sure the Sauvignon producers will be able to rest easy in the knowledge that one day, Indians will specifically ask for Sauvignon Blanc off a menu!
The juries comprise of one head judge to whom all queries or disputes are deferred with anywhere from four to six members on the tasting panel scoring the wine by a process of negative points, deducted from a grand total of 100 per wine. (It is a lot simpler than it sounds.)
The highlight of the day was an incredibly elegant flight of Chilean (I’m told) Sauvignon Blancs that are far from the woody, over-the-top, pungent examples that one sometimes associates with new or inexperienced producers chasing a market fad. In fact, the Sauvignons were delicate and fruity, with some wines having persistent minerality and even smoky, flinty characters.
We are yet to determine the medal winners but keep following us here to know more as it unfolds.