1 November 2017

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Masters of Wine Endowment Auction - now live!

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We are thrilled to let you know that the Institute of Masters of Wine Endowment Auction is now live. You can see the online Lots, and start bidding by clicking here (this will redirect you to Bonhams' website). These Lots are open for bidding until 1500 on 21 November 2017.

The Super Lots are also available now too. They will be offered at the live Auction and Dinner on 16 November 2017, at Bonhams in Mayfair, London. There are still a few seats left for the evening, only a few, but if you can’t attend then they are available online now to place a reserve or commission bid beforehand. The online sale for the Super Lots will close 48 hours beforehand, so a place at the dinner itself is the best way to make sure a Super Lot bid is secured, although interested parties will be able to have a proxy bidder acting on their behalf during the dinner. You can see the Super Lots by clicking here.

Thank you for to all Masters of Wine for your extraordinary acts of generosity so far. It’s fabulous to see all the remarkable Lots in black and white. And now is the time to be as generous – not just financially, but with your networks of wine colleagues and enthusiasts. Most of these Lots have never been seen before, nor will again, so we know they will enthuse and delight wine enthusiasts round the world. Please do send the links round, and encourage people to bid.

Online Lots: https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24520/?department=WIN

Super Lots: https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24869/?department=WIN

We believe so many people will love the opportunity to bid for some astonishing Lots. We also know that the money raised will help the Institute launch itself into a whole new trajectory. The funds from the last auction enabled us to buy the new headquarters in London, which has already delivered marvellous benefits to our Members and MW students. But with the proceeds from this Endowment Fund Auction, we plan to do so much more in enhancing the Institute, and building the dreams of many people who aspire to be leaders of the future, Masters of Wine.


Study Programme

Distance learning video - a new student resource

Video.pngA new video has been produced for MW students on how to conduct effective self-study. Developed by members of the Distance Learning Working Group, led by Vicky Burt MW, the video is the first in a planned series. Mary Margaret McCamic MW coordinated the production and will be reaching out to more MWs for content on future films. The aim of the series is to encourage and support students with their self-directed learning. Thanks to all of the MWs involved in putting this resource together. Watch the video here



Institute presentation - available to Members

prez.pngA reminder to all Members that a PowerPoint presentation is available for anyone presenting information about the Institute and the Study Programme. The presentation lasts around an hour and covers the background and make-up of the Institute and all aspects of the Study Programme. During our outreach initiatives, we deliver the presentation to those wanting to find out more about the Institute and the Study Programme. We will be conducting a number of Information Sessions during the course of the academic year, including in New Zealand, Australia, China and Argentina. Should you have the opportunity to present the Institute to interested individuals or organisations, please contact Olly Chapman who will share the most up-to-date presentation.


Annual Claret Tasting (2013 Vintage), 7 November 2017, Vintners' Hall, London

Claret - newsletter.pngIt is the Institute’s most eagerly anticipated event of the year! Showcasing wines from the 2013 Vintage of the Grands Crus Classés, properties of the Medoc, including First Growths and their Right Bank equivalents. With many Chateaux releasing less wine en primeur year on year, our annual walk around tasting gains commercial relevance in interesting times for the Bordeaux Grand Cru Classé market. This year is of particular significance because the 2013s have shown increasingly well in bottle and their pricing looks highly attractive when placed in the context of the recent campaign for the 2016s. As ever, this event will provide a valuable opportunity to try most of Bordeaux's classed growths side by side; and those who wish to will have the option of tasting the wines blind. Tickets are priced at £45 for MWs, £55 for MW students and £80 for all other guests (all inclusive of VAT). View session times and book tickets here


Annual Reception and Awards Ceremony, 7 November 2017, Vintners’ Hall, London (Members only)

Awards.pngThis year’s annual reception will start at 1730 with a glass or two of Bollinger and will then be followed by the Awards Ceremony at 1830. We will not only be welcoming the new MWs, but will also celebrate the 60th anniversaries of three MWs. During this ceremony we will also be presenting prizes to individual new MWs who have shone in particular parts of the Institute’s examination. Following the ceremony there will be an evening drinks reception with wines and canapés, finishing by 2100 (This event is now full).



Trade fairs - Somm Con, 15-17 November 2017, San Diego

Somm Con.pngThe Institute is delighted to add Somm Con to the list of trade fairs it is working with, to raise the profile of the IMW and individual Masters of Wine. It runs from 15–17 November in San Diego, and brings together industry professionals of all levels to discuss and lead the conversation on the business of wine. Geoff Labitzke MW will be talking about the IMW in a session called ‘Certifications and Your Career’, and Amy Christine MW and Mary Gorman-McAdams MW will be hosting a table at the main trade tasting to inform trade members and prospective MW students about the Institute. If Members are planning to attend and can help them, please contact events@mastersofwine.org. Or if any Members plan to attend another trade fair elsewhere in the world, and would like the opportunity to inform people in the wine trade about the Institute, the IMW team would be delighted to help. Upcoming trade fair dates include Unified in California in January, Vin Expo in New York in March 2018 and Prowein, also in March 2018.


New Rioja Tasting, 29 November 2017, London

New Rioja Tasting.pngRioja is one of the most famous wine regions in the world and yet most people know little about its rich array of terroirs, which are every bit as complex as those of Burgundy. These days the best producers are increasingly focused on expressing the characters of individual villages and vineyard sites and it’s transforming the image of Spain’s leading DOCa. We are delighted to have assembled a panel that includes some of Rioja’s best winemakers - Miguel Merino Navajas of Bodegas Miguel Merino, Luis Valentin of Valenciso, David Sampedro of Bodegas Bhilar, Juan Carlos Sancha of Bodegas Juan Carlos Sancha and Sandra Bravo of Sierra de Toloño - to show their wines and talk about the past, present and future of Rioja.

The discussion will be chaired by Tim Atkin MW, who writes a comprehensive annual Rioja Report, and will be followed by a select walk around tasting. Prices are £30 for MWs, £40 for MW students and £60 for all other guests. The tasting takes place at the Institute's headquarters, 6 Riverlight Quay, SW11 8EA, from 1600 to 1900. For further details and to buy tickets see here


Have you got your ticket? - Living Wine, International Symposium, June 2018

Symp Launch (1).pngThe Institute’s next Symposium will take place from 14 to 17 June 2018 in Logroño, the centre of the Rioja region of Spain. Living Wine will be the 9th International Symposium and will examine the world of wine from numerous and new angles. Anyone can attend the Symposium by buying a ticket. Over 400 attendees will enjoy a fascinating, fun, action-packed long weekend which will include many of the top personalities in the wine world, both as speakers and delegates. The Living Wine Symposium will be a thought-provoking, network-enabling and taste bud-salivating few days which will leave you enriched and delighted. Details of the confirmed speakers and sessions are available on the website www.livingwine2018.com - more will be revealed over the coming weeks and months. See here to view the programme and confirmed speakers, and to buy your ticket




Marche, Italy student trip - last minute places available for two MWs

Marche.pngTwo spaces have become available for Members for an MW student trip to the Marche region in Italy. The trip, hosted by Marche (the local chamber of commerce) will take place from 30 November 2017 to 3 December 2017. All on the ground arrangements – local travel, accommodation, meals – will be taken care of by the hosts. Attendees need to get themselves to Ancona by 1500 on 30 November 2017 and will be free to leave from 1600 on 3 December 2017. A £100 administration fee will be charged to secure a place on the trip. The itinerary for the trip can be found here. Expressions of interest will be sent to the hosts for their selection and should include a brief statement on why you would like to join the trip. There will be eight MW students on the trip. Expressions of interest should be sent to Olly Chapman by 5 November, places will be confirmed a few days later


MW student trip to Lebanon - extract from review by Caro Maurer MW

Lebanon.pngIt started as a vague idea from Hady Kahale, a stage one MW student from Ixir winery, who proposed it to the Union Vinicole du Liban (UVL) and its managing director Mireille Hannaoui – and together they all made it happen. From 25–29 October 2017 a group of 10 MW students, from all stages and lucky me as the guiding MW, travelled to Lebanon to discover the tradition of 6000 years of winemaking in this beautiful country in the Near East. To summarise our experience in some numbers: three days, visiting nine wineries, table tastings with wines of 11 more wineries, three fabulous masterclasses, cruising through the wine regions of Batroun, Bekaa Valley and Mount Lebanon – and myriads of regional dishes for lunches and dinners. This trip was just fabulous and unforgettable. 
Read the full review on the blog here


Jo Ahearne MW

Following a wine tasting she hosted, Jo is profiled by Total Croatia News as the only MW currently residing in Croatia.

Pedro Ballesteros MW

In October Pedro joined González Byass Master Blender, Antonio Flores to help select the 2017 edition of the Finos Palmas Collection, read more below in Supporter news

Isabelle Legeron MW

France’s first female Master of Wine calls for additives in wine to be listed on bottles, as told to the Telegraph UK.


Northern California Firestorm 

To contribute to the continued recovery efforts in North California, Matt Deller MWPeter Marks MW and Mary Margaret McCamic MW are producing some educational videos about NorCal wines and a few local businesses. Napa Valley Wine Academy are supporting this by giving their space, promotion and YouTube channel to get these videos moving. The goal is to talk about wine, engage people in Napa/Sonoma/Mendocino, support local businesses, and encourage donations. If you would like to participate, please contact Mary Margaret McCamic MW


Trademark Protection 

You may remember that the Institute was concerned that a Dutch-based film production company was planning to launch a documentary on wine producers called 'Masters of Wine'. The Institute initiated legal action against the company to prevent them using the title. Thanks to various activities, including some fabulously helpful interventions by some Masters of Wine, the production house has agreed to change the title. We have no doubt their change of mind came as they were approached by all the producers profiled to ask them to respect the Institute of Masters of Wine’s sole right to the title, and we are so very grateful to them, and all Members who helped. As we have said before, it is in our collective interest and that of the global wine world to ensure that the title does not become diluted or generic. The Institute takes trademark matters very seriously and is fully prepared to pursue any action like this when necessary.


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MW Archivist - voluntary role at the Institute

Archivist.pngThe Institute has a proud history in the international wine world, but a lot of information and anecdotal memory rests with individual Members, and has never been systematically recorded and stored for posterity. The Institute is keen to capture that information, and make sure it is retained and maintained for current and future generations of MWs, and so has devised a new role so a Master of Wine can help the Institute's Executive Team in this process. The archivist will also have an oversight over the Institute’s library, the bulk of which is housed in the Guildhall in London, but with some books in the Institute’s headquarters. A job description has been sent to all Members, and the Institute has received several expressions of interest. If there are any more Members who wish to put themselves forward for the role, please contact Penny Richards, by the end of November 2017.


Classic Wine Library - discount for MWs and MW students

Classic Wine Offer.pngClassic Wine Library books cover a wide range of subjects for people all over the world who are seriously interested in wine and spirits. During November and December Masters of Wine and MW students can get 45% off the usual cover price of £30. Simply enter the code MASTER1117 at checkout and the discount will be applied. The code can also be used on pre-orders of two new titles, Amarone and the fine wines of Verona and Rosé: Understanding the pink wine revolution, which are publishing in November and December. Link to offer - UK Link to offer - US 


Supporters.pngPedro Ballesteros MW selects 2017 Fino Las Palmas Collection

GByass.pngPedro Ballesteros MW was in Jerez in October to help González Byass Master Blender, Antonio Flores, to select the 2017 edition of the Finos Palmas Collection. Joined by fifth generation González family member Vicky González Gordon and Carlos González Gordon they tasted through over 100 wines in order to choose the very best wines for the 2017 Finos Palmas Collection. Commenting on the tasting experience, Pedro said, “For me, first of all, it's an unforgettable lesson in the bodega terroir, which is second to none. The flor yeasts transform the wines in unique unrepeatable ways; each bota is a different ecosystem, amazing! Finesse, depth and complexity are the distinctive features of Las Palmas. It's a humbling and highly demanding exercise to spot so subtle concepts in long series of high quality wines. But the results are worth the effort. It was a great team to work with Antonio, Vicky and Carlos, each helping each other not to miss the trait of delicacy in a particular wine, the slightly deeper finish in the other. Thank you to Antonio, the quiet and generous master, for so many things that I have learnt from him.”

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21 Club Lunch

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The fifth annual 21 Club lunch took place in London last month. The lunch celebrates MWs who have been a Member for 21 years or more. If you would like to run a similar celebration in your location, please let the Institute know and we can help to organise...and provide some Bollinger. Here, John Casson MW writes about the lunch to welcome the 1996 MW vintage. 

Twenty-eight MWs and Chloe Thompson from the IMW Executive Team sat down for the fifth MW 21 Club lunch to be held at The Oxford & Cambridge Club in Pall Mall, enjoying Smoked Duck Breast Salad, Supreme of Corn-fed Chicken and a Passion Fruit Tart. Three new members from the 1996 crop joined the lunch for the first time, Nicola Arcedeckne-Butler MW, Matthew Stubbs MW and Beverley Tabbron MW; we were delighted that Colin Anderson MW, Michael Broadbent MW, John Brownsdon MW and David Burns MW represented the more senior members of the Institute at the gathering. Bollinger Special Cuvee was served as an apéritif.

As ever there was an eclectic collection of wines brought to the table covering trophy winners, first vintages and some relics. Wolf Blass Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 had been winner of the Jimmy Watson Trophy, Mount Edward Pinot Noir 1998 from Central Otago was the first vintage produced there by Alan Brady; a Chablis Vaillons 1968 from Simmonet-Fevre still had signs of life while an experimental bottle of Chardonnay Vendange Tardive 1993 from Fortant de France was still drinkable. Riesling was represented by a Wagner Stempel 2014 from Hessen, Brian Croser’s Petaluma 2002 and by a Falkenstein Hofberg Riesling Spatlese 1990 from the Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium. A magnum of Vigneti Massa Timorasso Cuvee Sterpi 2009 from the Colli Tortonesi in Piedmont was the most unusual white wine while Suduiraut 2006 and a Gewurztraminer Selection de Grains Nobles 1997 from Albert Mann showed their sweeter side.

Claret dominated the red wines with Lascombes, Léoville Barton and La Gurgue all from 2009, Fieuzal 2005 and La Mission Haut Brion 1986; also of note were a St Cosmé Côte-Rotie 2001, a Barolo 2003 from Viberti and Ridge Geyserville 2014. Following on from the recent MW Trip to Switzerland, John Casson MW brought a double magnum of Pinot Noir 1992 from the Grisons produced by Christian Hermann in Flasch (pictured with Nancy Gilchrist MW who was also on the Swiss expedition); this had been given to him as a present when visiting the winery in 1997 with Philipp Schwander MW and the MW 21 Club lunch seemed the ideal moment to open it.

We will be welcoming the MWs who passed in 1997 to their first 21 Club Lunch in October 2018.

John Casson MW

Copyright 2018 The Institute of Masters of Wine