If it’s April, and the primeurs have passed, then it must be time for Decanter World Wine Awards judgng. Indeed it is, so I’m heading down to London today for a few days judging on the Loire panel, with Jim Budd (pictured below) and no doubt one or two other Loire-knowledgeable tasters.
I really enjoy judging at Decanter. The wines are streamed into categories and prices, so alongside the reams of Touraine Sauvignon Blanc I know I can anticipate flights of Anjou (Blanc and Rouge), Savennières, Coteaux du Layon, Vouvray, Sancerre, Chinon and more. We even get the occasional Romorantin. It’s always fascinating to compare and contrast the wines in flights, totally blind as to the identity of the wine other than appellation and price point. And there are usually some real gems in the line up, somewhere; the tasting has certainly switched me onto one or two domaines I was previously unfamiliar with, once the results have been revealed in the Awards edition later in the year (there is absolutely no revealing of labels during the tasting week).
Despite being holed up in London I will continue writing and updating my Bordeaux 2012 updates. This was going to be the case anyway, but with the campaign likely to crack on this week – there’s no reason for any domaine to wait now that Parker’s scores are out – it seems even more important. Because of this, as I wrote in my last post, I will be jumping forward to the major communes of the right bank this week, going to Pomerol and St Emilion first, then Castillon and the other appellations including the satellites and Fronsac. Hopefully the only notable effect of posting while on the road will be in timing of some updates.