Newsletter September 2016
  The Institute and Study Programme

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New Masters of Wine

We look forward to announcing our new Masters of Wine on Monday 5 September 2016. The Institute does not announce the results of each individual MW student. If you are a Mentor, it will be up to your Mentee to let you know their result.

Maison Louis Latour - Supporter of the Institute 

Louis Latour.pngThe Institute was delighted to announce in August that Maison Louis Latour joined our global family of Supporters. Speaking on what the announcement means to the Institute, Sarah Jane Evans MW, Chairman, said: “It’s a great pleasure to welcome Louis Latour to the IMW as Supporters. Even more so when the Chairman of Louis Latour Agencies is John Clevely MW who is celebrating his diamond anniversary as an MW next year. We look forward to building an ever closer relationship between the MW community with Maison Louis Latour, a historic family business.”

The Latour family are long established in Burgundy's wine trade and Maison Louis Latour will be joining the existing IMW family of Supporters in the region, including Maison Louis Jadot, William Fèvre and Domaine de l’Arlot (part of AXA Millésimes). Read the full press release here


2016 Study Programme Admissions
Message from Cathy Van Zyl, Education Committee Chair

A record number of applicants applied to join the MW Study Programme this year – over 170. This meant a mammoth task for the admissions panel, which carefully went through the applicants to decide who would be offered a place on the programme. Each applicant was assessed to check that they meet the Institute’s entry criteria; that is holding a wine qualification that is of at least WSET Diploma (or equivalent) in level and having at least three years’ experience in the wine trade. As you will know, all applicants are also required to sit the Institute’s entry exam, which comprises a Theory and a Practical component. Applicants must achieve a minimum average of 50% to be considered for the programme.

We will be offering a place to around 50% of those that applied this year, 88 people. Those that won’t be offered a place will not have met one or more of the above criteria. Each applicant will be given feedback on their application. We do hope they will share this with their referees and we do hope that you will encourage them to apply again in the future once they have addressed the areas identified.

Thank you to all of you who provided a reference for an applicant this year. Each reference was carefully considered alongside the candidate’s other application information and helped to build a picture of a candidates’ readiness for MW-level studies.


MW Examination – changes to grade boundaries

This year slightly revised grades have been introduced to give MW students a more precise indication of how they fared in each Exam paper. C+ grades are being introduced and this represents the 60-64% grade boundary. Previously the C grade represented the 55-64% grade boundary and so it was difficult to tell if the C score was a ‘close fail’ or whether there was still some way to go.

The revised grade boundaries are:

A (pass) 70+
B (pass) 65 - 69
C+ 60 - 64
C 55 - 59
D 45 - 54
E Less than 45

These have been introduced for the 2016 MW Examination results and all subsequent exams and assignments during the 2016-17 academic year.


2016 Annual General Meeting – 14 September 2016, London

Newsletter AGM (1).pngThe 45th Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Masters of Wine, and the 16th Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Masters of Wine North America will take place the week after next, and we hope that you are able to attend. The meetings will be held at Vintners’ Hall, Upper Thames Street, London, EC4V 3BG and will begin at 1345. All AGM documents can be viewed and downloaded by signing into the Member area of the website here. During the meeting there will be an election for four spaces on the Institute’s Council. All the relevant documents are posted online; you will find the agenda there, and various other documents which will be discussed at the meeting. Please note that proxy forms and ballot papers must be returned to the AGM Secretary, Sarah Kirkpatrick by 1700 BST on 9 September 2016. Do please let Penny Richards know, by the same date, if you would like to include any other items for discussion on the agenda.

The Council of the Institute is, in effect, the Board of Directors, with a statutory responsibility for the safeguarding of the Institute’s assets – both tangible such as cash balances, and intangible such as reputation. Council is also collectively responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Institute and for Institute policy. So if you can’t attend the AGM in person, please do take time to vote.

The AGM will be preceded by a Tasting of Contemporary Australian Chardonnay, and there are some tickets still available (please see below).

MW Trip and Events

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Bordeaux MW Trip, 12–14 March 2017

Each year the Conseil des Grands Crus Classes 1855 hosts up to 50 Stage 1 students from the Institute’s Study Programme. They have been organising this generous trip for 20 years, and to celebrate this anniversary, they are inviting 12 Masters of Wine to Bordeaux from Sunday 12 March until Tuesday 14 March 2017, (or until Thursday 16 March if you would like to join the students as they visit some of the member producers of the Conseil). The Conseil will provide accommodation in a Medoc Château, and host you at a dinner on the Sunday evening. On Monday 13 you will spend the day visiting ‘La Cité du Vin’, and then attend a reception in the afternoon with the students and invited journalists. That evening sees another dinner, at Château d'Yquem, for the whole Institute group. You will then be free to leave, or stay with the students until Thursday. There are 12 spaces on the trip. All costs on the ground including transport, accommodation and meals will be covered by your hosts.

Please note that your travel there and back is at your own expense. To sign up your interest for this trip, please email by 26 September 2016. Once signed up, we will collate all of the names in a hat and select them at random. We will then let the lucky ones know if their names have been selected the following week. As with every trip an administration fee of £100.00 payable to the Institute will be required as confirmation of your attendance.

Contemporary Australian Chardonnay Pre-AGM tasting – 14 September 2016, London

Newsletter Pre AGM.pngThere are still tickets available for the pre-AGM tasting which will feature 30+ Chardonnays from Australia, including established and emerging names. The wines have been selected to illuminate a hot topic in Australia; has the search for restraint led to market-unfriendly austerity, or has the reaction against the bold, ripe styles of the 1990s led to generally greater complexity, terroir expression and age-ability? Come and see for yourself! The tasting will be held at Vintners’ Hall, Upper Thames Street, London EC4V 3BG, and will begin at 0930. Tickets for MWs are £30. To book, please email Anna Nicklin or call +44 (0)207 383 9136.


The 12th Annual IMWNA Champagne Tasting – 26 September 2016, San Francisco

Newsletter Champagne Tasting NA (2).pngThe 12th Annual IMWNA Champagne tasting is one of the largest and most distinguished tastings of top quality Champagne in North America. The event starts at 1300 for a two-hour seated tasting of prestige cuvees and vintage selections, a wonderful prelude to the evening walk-around tasting which is held in two sessions from 1600 to 1800 and 1830 to 2030. The seated afternoon event will feature curated flights of prestige selections, while the walk-around tastings will include many exceptional Champagnes organised by style: non-dosé, brut, dosé, blanc de blancs/noirs, rosé.
Book tickets and more information

21 Club Lunch – 3 October 2016, London

Newsletter 21 Club Lunch 2016.pngFor the fourth year in succession, the 21 Club lunch will be held on 3 October at the Oxford and Cambridge Club on Pall Mall, London. We hope for a good showing of the class of 1995, who are now eligible to attend this event, reserved for those who have been Masters of Wine for 21 years or more. A Bollinger Reception at 1230 will be followed by a three course lunch accompanied by wines brought from Members. As corkage is by head rather than by bottle, all attendees are encouraged to bring one or two bottles to share. To book your place at the lunch, please contact Anna Nicklin by calling +44 (0) 207 383 9136 or email by the 16 September 2016. If you are planning a 21 Club gathering in another geography, please do let the IMW Office know; so we can spread the word and organise a treat! 


Minerality Seminar – 11 October 2016, London

Newsletter Minerality new (1).pngThere are a few tickets left for the highly anticipated IMW Minerality Seminar. Don't miss the opportunity to see Prof. Alex Maltman, Dr.Wendy Parr and Richard Smart share their views and expertise on minerality. The panel will explore the consistency and consensus of minerality that is becoming available through research, geology aspects, wine components and sensory analysis. To book a place, please email or call +44 (0)207 383 9136.




American Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting – 24 October 2016, San Francisco

American Cabernet Sauvignon (2).pngThe third Annual IMWNA tasting of American Cabernet Sauvignon will be held at the Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco on 24 October 2016. Building on the success of last year's tasting which featured over 100 top-quality Cabernet Sauvignon wines from around the country, this event is one of the largest and most important tastings of its kind, and is a must for wine students, trade professionals and keen amateurs with an interest in America's most important red grape variety. This year's tasting will focus on the 2013 vintage and will include many outstanding Cabernet Sauvignons from across America, from states including California, Washington, New York, Virginia, Texas and Colorado.
Book tickets and more information


Jeannie Cho Lee MW talks pairing for Asian palate

JCLee.pngIn the Korea Herald last month Jeannie Cho Lee MW shared her tips and advice for pairing wine with Asian cuisine. “Versatile, refreshing wines pair best with most Asian dishes because Asian cuisine has much greater diversity and intensity of flavors compared to most western cuisines. There are no secrets to pairing wine with Asian cuisine. We just need a keen interest and solid understanding of both wine and various Asian cuisines. ‘Solid understanding’ means that one is able to judge a wine’s quality and respect a wine’s flavor profile when food is introduced." Read the full article here 



RAW WINE Events - free entry for Members

errazuriz (1).pngRAW WINE, which Isabelle Legeron MW created in 2012, has grown to become the UK’s largest wine fair dedicated to low-intervention organic, biodynamic and natural wines. Their annual gatherings have expanded to include two additional events overseas: the first in New York (6 and 7 November) that will feature 118 growers, and an event in Berlin (27 November) that will this year host 140 growers from all over the world. Isabelle would love fellow MWs to attend the events, and so has generously created a special IMW code (see below) so that you can gain access for free. Isabelle hopes to see many of you there!

Code: IMW-FreeEntry

How to use the code for New York: visit here and click on the ‘BUY TICKETS’ button. In the pop-up window which appears click on the link 'Click here to enter a promotion code’ and enter the code above.

How to use the code for Berlin: visit here and click on the link 'Click here to enter a promotion code’ and enter the code above.


Lenka Sedlackova MW and Emma Symington MW - Women in Wine

Woman in wine.pngWhilst in Prague in August to judge the Czech Winemaker of the Year award, Lenka Sedlackova MW and Emma Symington MW ran a masterclass entitled 'Women in Wine', to look at wines produced by female winemakers. Emma said, "Although Czech is perhaps a bit behind other countries in terms of the number of women working in wine, it was wonderful to talk to a room full of women, many of whom worked in the local industry, and to highlight the achievements of a small selection of female winemakers from around the world." Read more from Emma on the Wine Monkeys blog



Andreas Wickhoff MW takes up General Manager position 

AndreasMW.pngCongratulations to Andreas Wickhoff MW who has officially started as General Manager at Weingut Bründlmayer. Speaking on his first day, Andreas told the Institute, "I am extremely glad and proud to be commencing this role for one of Austria's true leaders in fine wine. Although the 2016 vintage so far has certainly been challenging (unusual high amounts of rainfall resulted in substantial downy mildew pressure, especially when working in an organic fashion), I am very hopeful for a satisfying first crop for me there. Since last week, the weather has been very stable, sunny and dry and the next 10 days or so also look very good! I hope many fellow MWs will come and visit me in Langenlois (pictured)."



2016 Wine Harvest: winegrowers hope for a dry and pleasant autumn

austrian.pngPrincipal Supporter Austrian Wine reports on the impact of spring's devasting frost damage: “The frost catastrophe last spring leaves Austrian winegrowers currently facing a diminished vintage in terms of quantity, although there is a good crop of grapes now hanging on the vines in many regions. After the massive late frosts at the end of April, unstable and muggy weather unfortunately led to ruinous hailstorms as well, starting at the end of May. The Steiermark and Südburgenland were hardest hit by the hail, but wine-growing regions around Lake Neusiedl and the northern part of Niederösterreich also reported damage to 1,200 hectares of vineyard. According to Austrian hail-insurance authorities, the total damage to viticulture alone stands to date at 2.5 million Euros. Now, winegrowers are hoping for a dry and pleasant September, so that the remaining grapes can quickly achieve full ripeness while remaining as healthy as possible. If this happens, we could anticipate another vintage of excellent quality,” says Johannes Schmuckenschlager, president of the Austrian Viticultural Association, evaluating expectations for the 2016 vintage." Read more here


Villa Maria Estate rated as New Zealand’s "Most Trusted Wine Brand" in Reader's Digest poll

villamaria.pngFamily owned New Zealand winery and Institute Supporter Villa Maria Estate has received another major award, having been announced winner of the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brand Award 2016 in the NZ Wine category. This accolade comes after Villa Maria has been voted number one most admired wine brand in New Zealand and in the top 10 globally by Drinks International for the past two years. Villa Maria has also been New Zealand’s leading wine award winner for over 35 years. This year the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brand award winners were decided by interviewing 1214 New Zealanders to decide on winners in each of the Most Trusted Categories.

Villa Maria’s Founder and CEO Sir George Fistonich said this award was great reinforcement of Kiwis affinity for Villa Maria: “We’re one of the few remaining NZ family owned wineries of our size left in New Zealand, and this is something I’m immensely proud of. This teamed with our focus on quality means wine lovers can enjoy consistently good wine from well-known varieties like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, right through to exciting new wines such as Albariño.” 


Viña Errázuriz celebrates in Tokyo

errazuriz.pngInstitute Supporter Viña Errázuriz will celebrate a unique event on 2 September 2016 in Tokyo, to commemorate two events that established California and Chile amongst the world’s greatest appellations. The dinner will be hosted by Eduardo Chadwick, President of Viña Errázuriz and Viña Seña and Steven Spurrier, Consultant Editor of Decanter Magazine and Chairman of Decanter World Wine Awards, to celebrate the 40 years of the Judgement of Paris and 12 years of The Berlin Tasting, both considered milestones for the wine history. The dinner will be held at the Academie du Vin in Tokyo, a school dedicated to wine in Tokyo based on the Academie du Vin concept originally founded in Paris by Steven Spurrier in 1973 and highlighted as France’s first private wine school. 

In other news...

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The organisers of the Young Gun of Wine Awards have been in touch with the Institute as they are keen to encourage Master of Wine winemakers based in Australia to apply.

The 11th Annual Awards are open until 16 September 2016 and the competition organisers, judges and sponsors are on the hunt for the best ‘Young at Heart’ winemakers around Australia.

Established in 2007, the Young Gun of Wine has become an exciting wine trophy in Australia. Celebrating the finest and most innovative rising stars, it is the place to spot the best new talent and trends in wine. This year, there are some changes to the submissions; whereas the judges had previously invited a shortlist of winemakers to submit for the competition, wine producers now enter themselves or can be nominated for the competition.

Enter the Awards and further information




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