Who are this year’s judges at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show?

Monday, 11 March, 2013
OutSorceress Marketing
Each of the  around 1 000 wines entered in the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show will be judged blind by a panel  comprising an international panellist, three South African judges and an associate judge on a mission to identify South Africa’s top wines and the apparent trends in winemaking.
This year’s panel of judges again looks like the red carpet of international wine judging.   Australian Tom Carson, a Trophy Wine Show judge in 2005, is chairman of The National Wine Show in Canberra (the youngest person ever to occupy the position), Panel Chair at The Royal Sydney Wine Show, a member of the Qantas wine panel and Dux of the Len Evans Tutorial in 2002.   Carson, a graduate of the Roseworthy Agricultural College of the University of Adelaide, is General Manager and Chief Winemaker at Yabby Lake and Heathcote Estate, Victoria, since 2008.  His first vintages as a winemaker were at Tim Knappstein in the Clare Valley, followed by vintages as assistant winemaker to James Halliday at Coldstream Hills.  In 1996, he joined Yering Station in the Yarra Valley.  During his 12 years at the helm, both he and the winery met with international acclaim including ‘International Winemaker of the Year’ at the 2004 International Wine and Spirit Competition in London.

Well-known BBC personality Oz Clarke also returns as a Trophy Wine judge in 2013 (judge at inaugural show in 2002).  Renowned for his extensive wine knowledge combined with an unorthodox wit, Clarke is the author of several bestsellers including Pocket Wine Book, 250 Best Wines Wine Buying Guide, Let me tell you about wine, Bordeaux, Wine Atlas and Grapes & Wines (with Margaret Rand).  He has won many writing awards in the UK and the USA, including the Glenfiddich Drink Awards, André Simon Drink Book Award, James Beard Wine & Spirits Award, Julia Child Cookbook Award and Le Prix Lanson.  He has also been awarded the Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Special Millennium Award for his outstanding contribution to wine communication and education, the International Wine & Spirit Competition International Drinks Communicator of the Year Award, the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Award and the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Wine Literature.  A celebrated television and radio broadcaster, Clarke has presented several BBC programmes/series and has been the recipient of the Television and Radio Industries Club TV Arts/Documentary Programme of the Year Award.  Clarke was created an Officier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole by the French government for services to French agriculture in 2010.  

The newcomer is France’s Eric Goettelmann, Executive Sommelier of the Relais Bernard Loiseau Group in Burgundy.  Heading up the cellar at the 3-star Michelin restaurant in Saulieu for the past 10 years, Goettelmann was voted Best Burgundy Sommelier in 2004, 2006 and 2008.  In 2007 he created, with Dominique Loiseau, a sophisticated wine-by-the-glass service which was rewarded with the Grand Prix of the Wine Press of Burgundy, the Palmes Award of the Leaders Club in 2008 and an additional Michelin star from 2010. The Relais Bernard Loiseau at Saulieu is the highest ranked international establishment offering over 40 wines-by-the-glass from a cellar composed to meet the exacting standards expected of a Michelin 3 star restaurant. He was also named Sommelier of the Year in 2006 by Le Chef Magazine and then again in 2010 by the Champérard Gastronomic Guide.

The international trio are complemented by well-known South African experts Christian Eedes (Trophy Wine Show judge since 2007), Gary Jordan (judge since 2007), Angela Lloyd (judge at every show barring one), James Pietersen (judge for the third time), François Rautenbach (judge since 2011) and Rianie Strydom (judge for the second time).

Demonstrating an overall quality upward trend, the 1023 wine entries in 2012 yielded the following awards: 27 trophy winners (up from 24 in 2011), 42 gold medal winners (up 68% on 2011), 178 silver medal winners (up 53% on 2011) and 390 bronze medal winners (down 9% on 2011).     

Producers are reminded to submit their wine entries for the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2013 by Thursday, 28 March, i.e. just prior to the Easter weekend.  Judging takes place in Paarl from 6 to 9 May by a star-studded panel of wine experts chaired by wine authority, Michael Fridjhon. 

The Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2013 timeline is as follows:

28 March Deadline for submission of entry forms and documentation
5 April Deadline for payment of entry fees
2 May Submission of wine samples to Grande Roche, Paarl
6 to 9 May Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2013 Judging – Grande Roche, Paarl
9 May Judges’ Feedback Session – Grande Roche, Paarl
30 May Announcement of the competition results
7 June Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show Johannesburg Public Tasting, Sandton Convention Centre
13 June Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show Cape Town Public Tasting, CTICC

For more information and entry kit, visit www.trophywineshow.co.za or contact Alex Mason-Gordon on  011 482 5936 or alex@outsorceress.co.za.
Tom Carson
Tom Carson

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