1 February 2019

Gerard Basset MW

  Upcoming events

Lallemand seminar series

Lallemand seminarDate: 13 March 2019
Time: 1100–1400
Location: IMW, 6 Riverlight Quay, London

The third IMW/Lallemand seminar series will explore the still untapped potential of malolactic bacteria, presented by Ann Dumont M.Sc., Sam Harrop MW, Anthony Silvano Ing. Oenologue and Dirceu Vianna Junior MW. Over the last decade researchers have learnt a great deal about the ability of the malolactic fermentation to influence the quality of wines. What is less widely understood is the significant impact that wine bacteria is able to have on the sensory profile of a wine. Similar to the influence of yeasts, different species and different wine bacteria can have a major impact on the style as well as the quality of a wine. The seminar will present the latest research on malolactic bacteria and MLF including the impact of the timing of inoculation. It will address the roles of the different bacteria on the sensory profile of wine, the relationships between wine yeast and bacteria and how they must work together to ultimately achieve microbial stability. The session will be illustrated by a tasting that will reveal the potential that bacteria has to shape style and improve wine quality. The seminar is almost sold out - click here to buy one of the final few tickets. The seminar is open to MWs and MW students. 


Annual Bordeaux tasting (2014 vintage) - Sydney

Bordeaux tasting SydneyDate: Sunday 7 April, 2019
Time: 1630-1900
Location: DeVine Food and Wine, 32 Market Street, Sydney, NSW 2000

This event mirrors the long-established Annual Claret tasting in London and Annual Bordeaux tasting in the USA. The tasting will showcase wines from the Grands Crus Classés of the Médoc and their equivalents from the Right Bank and Graves (including Sauternes). As is customary, the vintage to be tasted is five years prior to the year of the event: 2014. While the 2014 vintage was not a vintage without challenges for Bordeaux, it is arguably the finest vintage since the notable back-to-back vintages of 2009 and 2010. Tickets are $135 AUD for general admission and $105 for MWs and MW students. See here for full details and to book your tickets.

Save the date for the IMW Burgundy tasting on Friday 3 May, London!

MW trips

Save the date for Lebanon MW trip 7-12 May 2019 and Alto Adige MW trip, 5-8 September 2019 - details and lottery coming soon!

Roussillon, 20-24 May 2019 

Roussillon tripA few places have become available for the first MW trip to Roussillon. There is the option to attend this trip for four or five days. The price is £250, which includes the non-refundable admin fee of £150 (£100 of which covers the additional fifth day). If you do not wish to attend this additional day the price will be £150. Please ensure you indicate your preference on the online form when applying for the trip. The above costs cover your expenses during the trip however we have arranged one free evening in Perpignan where you will be responsible for your own meal, and a couple of hours free in Collioure. See here for full details of the trip, including the draft itinerary and how to apply.

Chile, 17-22 November 2019

Chile MW tripWines of Chile will be hosting an MW trip to Chile this November for 40 Members. For those that wish to stay on for the following weekend, there is an opportunity to attend Chanchos Deslenguados which is a wine fair of small family wine producers held in the trendy district of Bellavista, Santiago. To apply for this trip please complete the online application form here by Thursday 28 February. Places will be drawn using a lottery process and attendees will be notified the following day. If you do not receive a place you will be added to the waiting list and notified if a space becomes available. Wines of Chile will host a full programme of tastings, visits and seminars travelling though the key wine regions, ending in the evening on Friday 22 November. During this time all travel, accommodation and meals will be covered by Wines of Chile. Attendees will need to pay a non-refundable IMW trip fee of £100 to secure their place. See here for the full details, including a draft itinerary.


MW get together, 2 May 2019, London

MW get togetherWe are once again taking advantage of Members being in London for judging duties, and have planned an MW get together for you on Thursday 2 May, at the IMW headquarters. There will be Bollinger and finger food, and we’d also love you to bring a bottle of something interesting to share with your fellow MWs. Please also save the date for the IMW Burgundy tasting which will take place in London the next day - details to come soon. To RSVP for the get together on 2 May, please use this form.


ProWein 2019 - free entry for MWs and Winemakers' Winemaker Award

ProWeinThe organisers of ProWein are kindly offering free entry for MWs to this year's conference, including access to the VIP lounge. ProWein will be sending your free entry voucher codes to the IMW office. Once we receive these we will send you instructions on how to claim your ticket. Also at ProWein, the IMW/drinks business ninth Winemakers’ Winemaker Award presentation will take place on Monday 18 March 2019 from 1815 to 1930. The award was introduced in 2011 to recognise outstanding achievement in the field of winemaking, and is voted for by MW winemakers and previous winners. Previous winners of this prestigious award include Peter Sisseck, Peter Gago, Paul Draper, Anne-Claude Leflaive, Egon Müller, Àlvaro Palacios, Eben Sadie and Jean-Claude Berrouet. This event is by invitation only, managed by the drinks business. Please log in to the Members' area of the website here for RSVP details.


WSET winners

Mary WSETLast week we celebrated the achievements of MWs at the WSET awards and graduation ceremony. Congratulations to Caro Maurer MW who was awarded the WSET Outstanding Alumni Award, sponsored by JancisRobinson.com. The award recognises a WSET Alum who has notably contributed to the industry, and we were delighted that all nominees were MWs! Well done to Nova Cadamatre MW, Rhys Pender MW, Pierpaolo Petrassi MW and Fongyee Walker MW. The WSET also presented the very first WSET Lifetime Achievement award to Mary Ewing-Mulligan MW (pictured) in recognition of her contribution to laying the foundations and continued development for WSET’s success in the USA. It's wonderful to see MWs achieving great success and well-deserved recognition!

Wine Lister’s Champagne study - MW discount

Wine ListerWine Lister has produced its first ever study on Champagne. It considers Champagne’s position in the fine wine market compared with other major fine wine regions and analyses Champagne’s top wines across each of Wine Lister’s three rating categories – Quality, Brand, and Economics. The study provides a information for collectors and trade members alike on a region undergoing dramatic changes. To encourage all MW and MW students to delve into this latest publication, as well as previous studies produced on Burgundy, Bordeaux and Tuscany, they are offering an IMW-exclusive discounted price of £66 for annual membership. Log in to the Member (or student) area of the website here to access this offer.

Supporter news

New study reveals that consumers prefer a citrus profile in New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

Lallemand logoA research project carried out by Master of Wine student and Co-op wine buyer, Sarah Benson for IMW Supporter Lallemand Oenology, has shown that UK consumers prefer a citrus flavour profile when it comes to their New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc of choice. The project was supervised by Sam Harrop MW and Dirceu Vianna Junior MW, in collaboration with the St. Clair Family Estate, Marlborough. The study also revealed that a barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc was the least favourite choice with UK consumers.

The results are key to understanding consumer preferences and was designed in response to declining wine sales in favour of other alcoholic beverages, such as craft beer and gin. This study, which focused on four different styles of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc - tropical, herbaceous, citrus and barrel fermented, also shows how winemakers can influence the final flavour profile of their wines through the use of microbial tools, giving them a competitive edge in an increasingly crowded market.

An executive summary of the research is available on request and there will an opportunity to draw your own conclusions at a press tasting and masterclass in London on Tuesday 12 March at 67 Pall Mall. The panel will include Sam Harrop MW, Dirceu Vianna Junior MW, Sarah Benson, Anthony Silvano (Ing Oenologist) and Ann Dumont M.Sc. For more information, the executive summary or to secure your place at this masterclass, please contact astrid@spritzmarketing.co.uk


Gerard Basset OBE, MS, MBA, OIV, MSc & MW

Gerard group shot

Our beloved friend and Member Gerard Basset MW lost his battle with cancer on 16 January 2019. Gerard was most respected by everyone that knew him. He was faultlessly modest, charming, dedicated and will be dearly missed. One of the last IMW events Gerard attended was the Bollinger Medal 30th anniversary lunch in May 2018. This was not long after his operation, but he was absolutely determined to attend. (He is pictured here at the lunch with fellow Bollinger Medal winner Jeremy Cukierman MW and Chairman of the Madame Bollinger Foundation, Etienne Bizot.) 

Gerard moved from France to the UK in the 1980s, but went back in 1986 to do one of his first sommelier exams. His career took off in 1988, when he became the head sommelier at Michelin-starred Chewton Glen in the New Forest, Hampshire. He became a Master Sommelier in 1989 and a Master of Wine in 1998. In 1994 he co-founded the Hotel du Vin chain of restaurants, and in 2007 opened the admirable wine-focussed luxury boutique hotel in Hampshire, TerraVina. In 2010 he won the World Sommelier Championship, and in 2011 received the Order of the British Empire from the Queen.

Tributes, memories and farewell messages have flooded the wine world since his passing. Here are a couple of longer reads from Jancis Robinson MW - Farewell Gerard, far too early, Felicity Carter of Meninger’s - Gerard Basset MW MS OBE, 1957-2019 and a lovely memory from Rod Smith MW, which you can read by logging in to the Members’ area of the website here.

A crowdfunding campaign was launched after Gerard's death to support the publication of his memoirs, Tasting Victory. Within a week the book was over 100% funded. Pledges can still be made, as it is likely the funds will be used for a scholarship in Gerard’s name. To find out more and pledge see here

Gerard’s funeral will be private, but there will be a memorial service in London in the spring. We will share details with Members once this is confirmed.

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