Concours General Agricole awards for local wines

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TonyGoodman
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Concours General Agricole awards for local wines

Post by TonyGoodman » Sat 03 Mar 2018 22:42

A list of local gong getters. Some familar names including Jonqueres d'Oriola and Lafage's reds I suggest are worth investigating. Some are also in the next edition. They must be POL readers!

http://www.lindependant.fr/2018/02/28/l ... 29.php[u]G[/u]

martyn94
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Re: Concours General Agricole awards for local wines

Post by martyn94 » Sun 04 Mar 2018 00:22

TonyGoodman wrote:A list of local gong getters. Some familar names including Jonqueres d'Oriola and Lafage's reds I suggest are worth investigating. Some are also in the next edition. They must be POL readers!

http://www.lindependant.fr/2018/02/28/l ... 29.php[u]G[/u]
The prizes at the Salon (and even more so the other shows that you see on sticky labels) have always seemed a bit like the Caucus race in Alice in Wonderland: “Everyone has won, and all must have prizesâ€￾.

TonyGoodman
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Re: Concours General Agricole awards for local wines

Post by TonyGoodman » Sun 04 Mar 2018 09:28

martyn94 wrote:
TonyGoodman wrote:A list of local gong getters. Some familar names including Jonqueres d'Oriola and Lafage's reds I suggest are worth investigating. Some are also in the next edition. They must be POL readers!

http://www.lindependant.fr/2018/02/28/l ... 29.php[u]G[/u]
The prizes at the Salon (and even more so the other shows that you see on sticky labels) have always seemed a bit like the Caucus race in Alice in Wonderland: “Everyone has won, and all must have prizesâ€￾.
Totally agree which makes me wonder why some missed out, I mean how bad does your plonk need to be to not get a gong? How must those producers feel who went there and got nothing? It would be interesting to get a list of all the local presenters and see who missed out.

This is off the website:

"Juries award medals according to quality levels. The gold, silver and bronze medals do not reward the 1st, 2nd and 3rd as in sports but a level of quality. Jurors have the option of not awarding medals if the level of quality of the wines presented is not considered sufficient."

Therefore if a wine went to the fair and returned gongless would it be best to avoid it? Of course many fine wines are produced here which are not submitted for reasons only known to the producers yet if they are guaranteed a gong why not submit? The same issues as per my previous outing? I'm a simple lad and this is another query I'd love local producers to answer in simple terms. Some sort of elitism/entitlement issue?

Cheers

Tony

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Santiago
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Post by Santiago » Sun 04 Mar 2018 12:43

I shall attempt an answer.

In a wine competition, wines are tasted blind by a small number of people, usually drawn from the wine industry. They are tasted without food in relatively quick succession.

The wines that get medals are those that perform well in those circumstances. That generally means being aromatic, fruity and easy to drink.

The judges are also conscious that their medals are being used mainly by average consumers buying in supermarkets, not by wine collectors, affionados or "amateurs". Therefore they may not give a medal to a wine they feel is too challenging or is not ready for immediate drinking.

The timing of competitions and the releasing of their results means that usually sample wines need to be prepared for the competion. It's quite difficult for small producers of interesting wine to make up lots of samples that will shine in a competition lineup. Also, we tend to sell out of those wines before the results come out.

On the other hand, certain big wineries put a lot of effort into making the "best" samples they can and entering them into all the competitions.

It's common practice for big wineries to submit samples that are more attractive than the final commercial blend. The Douanes found that 20% of wine submitted to competions varied significantly to that later sold on the shelves.

Finally, the results are almost random because the judges are different people. The same wine can win a gold in one, a bronze in another and nothing in three others. Of course, only the gold medal goes on the bottle.

So you can see that for producers who have built their reputation on making consistently desirable wines over several years that enjoy a loyal cutomer base, entering samples in a competition is an unnecessary and time-consuming risk for very little reward.
Domaine Treloar - Vineyard and Winery - www.domainetreloar.com - 04 68 95 02 29

TonyGoodman
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Post by TonyGoodman » Sun 04 Mar 2018 15:54

Santiago wrote:I shall attempt an answer.

In a wine competition, wines are tasted blind by a small number of people, usually drawn from the wine industry. They are tasted without food in relatively quick succession.

The wines that get medals are those that perform well in those circumstances. That generally means being aromatic, fruity and easy to drink.

The judges are also conscious that their medals are being used mainly by average consumers buying in supermarkets, not by wine collectors, affionados or "amateurs". Therefore they may not give a medal to a wine they feel is too challenging or is not ready for immediate drinking.

The timing of competitions and the releasing of their results means that usually sample wines need to be prepared for the competion. It's quite difficult for small producers of interesting wine to make up lots of samples that will shine in a competition lineup. Also, we tend to sell out of those wines before the results come out.

On the other hand, certain big wineries put a lot of effort into making the "best" samples they can and entering them into all the competitions.

It's common practice for big wineries to submit samples that are more attractive than the final commercial blend. The Douanes found that 20% of wine submitted to competions varied significantly to that later sold on the shelves.

Finally, the results are almost random because the judges are different people. The same wine can win a gold in one, a bronze in another and nothing in three others. Of course, only the gold medal goes on the bottle.

So you can see that for producers who have built their reputation on making consistently desirable wines over several years that enjoy a loyal cutomer base, entering samples in a competition is an unnecessary and time-consuming risk for very little reward.
Thanks mate, a rational explanation. The big guys fudge the results, the small guys do not have the resources so can't and bespoke producers such as yourself quite rightly recognise these events can be abused, ignore them and focus on export markets. Makes sense.

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Sun 04 Mar 2018 18:55

Santiago wrote:I shall attempt an answer.

In a wine competition, wines are tasted blind by a small number of people, usually drawn from the wine industry. They are tasted without food in relatively quick succession.

The wines that get medals are those that perform well in those circumstances. That generally means being aromatic, fruity and easy to drink.

The judges are also conscious that their medals are being used mainly by average consumers buying in supermarkets, not by wine collectors, affionados or "amateurs". Therefore they may not give a medal to a wine they feel is too challenging or is not ready for immediate drinking.

The timing of competitions and the releasing of their results means that usually sample wines need to be prepared for the competion. It's quite difficult for small producers of interesting wine to make up lots of samples that will shine in a competition lineup. Also, we tend to sell out of those wines before the results come out.

On the other hand, certain big wineries put a lot of effort into making the "best" samples they can and entering them into all the competitions.

It's common practice for big wineries to submit samples that are more attractive than the final commercial blend. The Douanes found that 20% of wine submitted to competions varied significantly to that later sold on the shelves.

Finally, the results are almost random because the judges are different people. The same wine can win a gold in one, a bronze in another and nothing in three others. Of course, only the gold medal goes on the bottle.

So you can see that for producers who have built their reputation on making consistently desirable wines over several years that enjoy a loyal cutomer base, entering samples in a competition is an unnecessary and time-consuming risk for very little reward.
That’s pretty much what I had imagined: hence my post. But a sticker for being easy drinking and not faulty is not nothing: that’s what I expect when I see the sticker, as long as I am not expected to pay more than 10 centimes extra for it. Even if they cheat, it shows that they are less sleepy than they might be.

TonyGoodman
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Post by TonyGoodman » Sun 04 Mar 2018 22:24

martyn94 wrote:
Santiago wrote:I shall attempt an answer.

In a wine competition, wines are tasted blind by a small number of people, usually drawn from the wine industry. They are tasted without food in relatively quick succession.

The wines that get medals are those that perform well in those circumstances. That generally means being aromatic, fruity and easy to drink.

The judges are also conscious that their medals are being used mainly by average consumers buying in supermarkets, not by wine collectors, affionados or "amateurs". Therefore they may not give a medal to a wine they feel is too challenging or is not ready for immediate drinking.

The timing of competitions and the releasing of their results means that usually sample wines need to be prepared for the competion. It's quite difficult for small producers of interesting wine to make up lots of samples that will shine in a competition lineup. Also, we tend to sell out of those wines before the results come out.

On the other hand, certain big wineries put a lot of effort into making the "best" samples they can and entering them into all the competitions.

It's common practice for big wineries to submit samples that are more attractive than the final commercial blend. The Douanes found that 20% of wine submitted to competions varied significantly to that later sold on the shelves.

Finally, the results are almost random because the judges are different people. The same wine can win a gold in one, a bronze in another and nothing in three others. Of course, only the gold medal goes on the bottle.

So you can see that for producers who have built their reputation on making consistently desirable wines over several years that enjoy a loyal cutomer base, entering samples in a competition is an unnecessary and time-consuming risk for very little reward.
That’s pretty much what I had imagined: hence my post. But a sticker for being easy drinking and not faulty is not nothing: that’s what I expect when I see the sticker, as long as I am not expected to pay more than 10 centimes extra for it. Even if they cheat, it shows that they are less sleepy than they might be.

OK so this conversation has highlighted a powerful blindingly obvious dynamic I missed. Big producers focus on consistent low cost easy drinking wine, smaller producers only point of difference is quality and exclusivity. Both do their best to manage the assessment process. My naive project to explore both sets of producers and jot a few things down in POL threatens that dynamic so causes stress. Stress produces anger. A classic example of the law of unintended consequences.

I’ll need to think about this, I’ve enjoyed the project to date and would love to do more. TBH I’m a bit stunned my jottings in a modest but well regarded local magazine have produced such emotion. While feedback for the reviews has been quite positive and I feel a responsibility to continue I need to find a mechanism to reduce the stress to the producers to a minimum while still being honest. Not sure what would be beyond the existing absolute guarantee of no negative reviews. I’m open to suggestions. While I do like robust discussion, banter I need to recognise my comments can have a direct impact of people's lives and families.

Thanks for the insight both.

Cheers

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