2018 MW examination wines revealed

The wine and questions put to the latest batch of candidates taking the Masters of Wine stage two examinations have been revealed.

Over 160 students in London, San Francisco and Sydney sat the theory and practical exams from 5-8 June.

The students had three blind tastings each of 12 wines and then five theory papers on subjects relating to viticulture, vinification, handling of wines, business and contemporary issues.

As well as those sitting their stage two papers, over 100 students also took their stage one exams, comprised of a 12-wine blind tasting and a theory paper.

For the stage two students, the first flight comprised:

  1. Chardonnay, Yellowtail 2017 South East Australia 13%
  2. Chablis, Grand Cru Les Preuses, Domaine William Fèvre 2012 Burgundy, France 12.5%
  3. Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, Shafer Vineyards 2015 Napa Valley, California, USA 14.9%
  4. Hunting Hill Chardonnay, Kumeu River 2015 Auckland, New Zealand 14%
  5. Semillon, Lovedale, Mount Pleasant 2011 Hunter Valley, Australia 10%
  6. Viña Gravonia, Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia 2007 Rioja, Spain 12.5%
  7. Ried Lamm, 1, Gruner Veltliner, Schloss Gobelsburg 2016 Kamptal, Austria 13.5%
  8. La Rocca, Soave Classico, Pieropan 2015 Veneto, Italy 13%
  9. Old Vine Chenin Blanc, Raats 2017 Stellenbosch, South Africa 13.5%
  10. Torrontés, Susanna Balbo 2016 Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina 13%
  11. Kiedrich Gräfenberg, Riesling Trocken GG, Robert Weil 2016 Rheingau, Germany 13%
  12. Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhof Riesling Auslese, Karthäuserhofberg 2007 Mosel, Germany 9%

The second flight covered:

  1. Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Lupi di Serene, Podere Le Ripi 2011 Tuscany, Italy 14.5%
  2. Chambolle Musigny, Domaine Roumier 2014 Burgundy, France 13%
  3. Côte Rôtie, La Landonne, Delas Frères 2012 N. Rhône, France 13.5%
  4. Château Clos de Sarpe 2000 Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, France 13.5%
  5. Baron de Ley, Gran Reserva 2011 Rioja, Spain 14%
  6. Pinot Noir, Du MOL, 2015 Russian River Valley, California USA 14.1%
  7. Pinot Noir, Felton Road 2016 Bannockburn, Central Otago, New Zealand 13.5%
  8. Pinot Noir Reserve, Argyle 2015 Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA 14.1%
  9. Syrah, Te Mata Estate 2016 Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand 12.5%
  10. Syrah, Homage, Trinity Hill 2014 Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand 13.5%
  11. Zinfandel, Old Vines, Ravenswood 2014 Lodi, California 14.5%
  12. Cabernet Sauvignon, Viñedo Chadwick 2014 Puente Alto, Maipo, Chile 13.5%

And the third and final flight:

  1. Dom Pérignon, Moët & Chandon 1999 Champagne, France 12.5%
  2. Dom Pérignon, Moët & Chandon 2009 Champagne, France 12.5%
  3. Château Coutet 2002 Sauternes-Barsac, Bordeaux, France 14%
  4. Château Coutet 2013 Sauternes-Barsac, Bordeaux, France 13.5%
  5. Taylor’s Vintage 1985 Douro, Portugal 20.5%
  6. Taylor’s Vintage 2009 Douro, Portugal 20.5%
  7. Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2010 Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, France 14%
  8. Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc, Domaine Bousquet des Papes 2014 Rhône, France 13.5%
  9. Saint-Romain, Sous le Château, Olivier Leflaive 2015 Burgundy, France 13%
  10. Cinsault, Bechthold Vineyard, Birichino 2016 Lodi, California, USA 12.5%
  11. La Garnacha de Mustiguillo, Toni Sarrión 2015 El Terrerazo, La Mancha, Spain 14%
  12. Bandol, Château de Pibarnon 2013 Provence, France 14%

From each flight, the students were instructed to identify the variety and origins of the wines as well as other factors such as the winemaking styles, quality and maturity.

For this year’s theory paper, questions posed included how to identify and treat trunk diseases; whether cover crops are worthwhile; the challenges of maintaining old vines; the advantages and disadvantages of including and excluding stems; the options available on bulk wine; the changes in global supply and demand and their implications; can wine be considered a social good; elitism in the wine world; do wine consumers need experts and if a global disease were to wipe out all known varieties but you could preserve two, which would you save and why?

The full paper can be viewed here.

One Response to “2018 MW examination wines revealed”

  1. Renos says:

    Interesting choice of wines and interesting choice of questions. The the two questions I like the most is “options available on bulk wine” as a winemaker/bulk wine broker I found this most interesting. It’s an important part of the wine industry that is still quite unknown. And for those who understand (properly), the industry is an important part of the industry. The other question is “do wine consumers need experts?” Do we week MWs? This is a loaded question and I do not have enough space to write on the different levels on the hierarchy of the wine industry, which includes the bulk wine part of the business that is included in my answer. One MW thought his position so important he said to me “Did you know there are more astronauts than there are MWs?” Is this how they see themselves? The exam which I have seen past questions are obviously industry specific. Can MWs translate to other businesses? There there is the idea of “expert” within the wine industry. 95% of consumers don’t know much about wine. And 95% of wine bought is consumed within 24 to 48 hours. So really the expert caters only to about 5% of the wine buyers. But significantly influence more the producer than the buying public and then set themselves up in buying positions or as wine judges – and sometimes too critical of a wine and sometimes too glowing of a wine to endear themselves to a famous winery – to get a freebie. And of course, those wineries use reviews to validate what they are doing in their winery and the style of wine they are making.

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