Pieter Rosenthal's Wine of the Month - 'Cave de Lugny Chardonnay'Posted on: 14 February 2012 by Alexander Hay
Wine awards and the Oscars collide, via a very nice Chardonnay
And the winner is…
This time of year sees the focus shift to the movie buffs. Everyone with even a passing interest in cinema will be talking about who will win an Oscar statue, before turning into an emotional wreck as they thank everyone they've ever known in their acceptance speech.
Wine has its own versions of the Baftas and Oscars, of course. The UK is host to a number of internationally acclaimed wine competitions, dishing out the medals on an annual basis.
For example, Decanter has its World Wine Awards, the International Wine Challenge (IWC) has long been sticking medals on the best bottles, and so has the International Wine and Spirit Competition. The question is how much attention we should really pay to these awards and do they give us, the consumer, any guidance to what is good or bad on the shelves?
The truth is that any competition is only as good as those that enter it. And all these competitions rely on producers or importers entering their wines to be scrutinised. That means a producer can make a deliberate choice as to whether they want their wines to be judged or not. Producers who have little trouble selling their wines may simply choose not to enter, especially if they have a small production and a loyal following. So don’t write off a wine just because it hasn’t got a medal stuck to the bottle!
That said, the standard of judging in these competitions is generally very high and is usually done by panels of experienced tasters - from wine buyers to writers, critics and sommeliers and in some cases even members of the wine drinking public. Medals will only be awarded if the quality of the wine merits it. This means medals can still be something of a guide when buying your wines.
Still, what the judges look for in the wines is typicity, so a medal is not necessarily a guarantee you're going to like the wine. That, of course, is your decision - and you should always follow your own instinct.
Cave de Lugny Chardonnay 2010
Widely available – around £7
This month's wine is one of the Trophy winners in the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) and I've always liked this wine for its accessible and easy drinking style. It comes from the Macon region, which is part of Burgundy, spiritual home of Chardonnay, and is made by a very reliable co-operative, the Cave de Lugny. They have been producing mostly un-oaked Chardonnay in the region since 1927 and they consistently provide the wine consumer with great value for money. So it is good to see this wine gaining the plaudits, particularly as the price is very keen around the £7 mark. It's also very readily available in most supermarkets as well as Majestic.
By Pieter Rosenthal C/O Love That Wine
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