Concours Mondial de Bruxelles Announces Results of its 2024 Red and White Session

The 31st edition of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles wrapped up last week in Guanajuato. The results are officially announced, with the host country, Mexico, breaking into the top 5 in terms of the number of medals won. China is also making a strong showing with significant progress, and South Africa continues its upward trend.

Uruguay and Romania have taken the two major international revelations with a red wine and a white wine, respectively. The winners include wines from all five continents, encompassing both historical wine-producing countries and some more surprising origins like Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, and Peru.

Here are the Revelations:

From June 7 to 9, the world’s largest traveling wine competition brought together experts from across the international wine sector in Guanajuato, Mexico, to taste nearly 7,500 red and white wines from 42 countries. All wines were blind tasted by a panel of wine experts (buyers, journalists, wine merchants, oenologists, etc.) carefully selected by the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, representing 45 nationalities. Of all the wines presented, only 30% will take home a medal.

“It is a real satisfaction to have gathered so many wines for this new edition despite a challenging global context. It proves that producers still want to place their trust in us, and we are honored by it!” said Thomas Costenoble, director of the CMB.

International Revelations
The highest-scoring white wine of this year’s competition is the Issa Chardonnay Barrique 2022 – a Romanian white wine produced in Transylvania by Crama La Salina. The highest-rated red wine comes from Uruguay – the Balasto 2017 produced by Everest Wines and Spirits.

The “No Low” Revelations
One of the new features of this 2024 edition was the creation of the Revelations for the best no-low wines (completely or partially de-alcoholized wines, de-alcoholized wine-based beverages, and others). The winners are Divin – Sauvignon Blanc 0.0% 2023 from Divin No-Low in Loire (France) and the Portuguese “Lower alcohol” wine Lagosta from Enopnort Wines.

Organic and wooded Revelations
The Sylvain Trophy, awarded each year to the highest-scoring wooded wine, goes in 2024 to an Italian wine, Starderi 2020 from Collina Serragrilli. The highest-rated organic wine is from Spain for the second consecutive year: this time, it is a wine from Navarra, Arínzano Merlot Agricultura Biológica 2019 produced by Arinzano.

Bordeaux in the lead
Among the major French wine-producing regions, Bordeaux is the most represented and rewarded region in the competition with 189 medal-winning wines. Gironde also takes home the French Red Wine Revelation with Château Terres Blanches Cuvée Carpe Diem 2022. Another Grand Gold Medal goes to a Bordeaux wine, Château Le Bonalguet Cosecha 2023 from Bonalgue Saint-Germain.

China and Mexico stand out, South Africa progresses
These three nations continue to demonstrate their dynamism in the numbers. Of the 663 wines presented by Mexican producers, 152 won medals (including 9 Grand Gold Medals), a record. South African wines continue to improve in quality with a significant increase in the number of Grand Gold Medals (6) and Gold Medals (35). As for China, no less than 40% of the wines presented won a medal, including 6 Grand Gold Medals and 83 Gold Medals!

This sets the stage for the next Red & White Wines Session of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, which will take place in June 2025 in Ningxia, China. It will be the second time the Concours is held in China, following the 2018 edition.

The results can be found here: https://results.concoursmondial.com/en/results/2024

The Winners of the “Star Wine List” Announced

Star Wine List of the Year is the celebration of the great wine lists in the world and the teams behind them. The prize was awarded in ten categories, and the winners in each category got a Gold Star and qualified for the international final which will be held in June.

The International Open was held as an online event on May 6. Of the countries in the finals, both Australia and the Netherlands had the most representatives, with 20 restaurants/bars each. USA had 13 and Canada 10 venues shortlisted.

The jury for the Star Wine List of the Year International Open 2024 includes four international wine experts:

Pascaline Lepeltier
Piotr Pietras MS
Heidi Mäkinen MW
Doug Frost MW MS

“The judging process was quite a challenge and scores were really tight in most categories. The level of wine lists was high and I was impressed by their complexity, depth and a clever, creative touch,” said jury panel member Piotr Pietras MS about judging the International Open.

His fellow jury member Pascaline Lepeltier said:

“How exciting it is to see so many compelling lists from restaurants I have never heard of: it is impressive to see how so many sommeliers all around the world are creating curated beverage programs, with wit and intelligence, sometimes in areas where access to wine is complicated. I salute all their passion and hard work, and I am glad Star Wine List decided to showcase them!”

Doug Frost, both Master Sommelier and Master of Wine, joined the online celebration on May 6.

“I have looked at a lot of wine lists, and judged them, over the years. This time it was both really difficult and interesting. And it was exciting to look at so many different lists, and I learned a lot from it too. And it’s obvious that the people who sent us these lists have worked really, really hard,” he said.

Here are all the Gold Star winners:

The best list overall
[Gold Star]
De Nieuwe Winkel, Nijmegen, Netherlands

“Wow, this is crazy. I’m overwhelmed, thank you so much. I don’t know what to say, I feel very very honoured,” said Gauthier Cauwels from De Nieuwe Winkel.

“This award is not only about a list, but also how a wine selection is coherent with the whole philosophy of a restaurant. De Nieuwe Winkel is showing us what the gastronomy of tomorrow will probably be, ancred but how so diverse, and dedicated to be a local actor while responsibly offering some of the most thoughtful and delicious wines, at a fair price. Congrats!” said jury member Pascaline Lepeltier.

Best Long List
For wine lists with more than 600 references.
[Gold Star]
Restaurant Le Coureur des Bois, Beloeil, Canada

“Thank you. We are so very happy, this feels amazing. It’s a big work for every member on the team to maintain the list. It’s a tough job to keep the list year after year. The verticals and the classics, as well as the newcomers and the up-and-coming wines. My role is quite difficult, but I’m so happy for the team I work with,” said head sommelier Jean-Simon Rioux-Ranger at the event.

“A beautiful, complex list showcasing both classic and new-wave producers. The list thoroughly covers not only well-known appellations, but it also includes hidden gems and up-and-coming regions. Impressive verticals from numerous wineries are an added value,” said jury member Piotr Pietras.

Best Medium-Sized List
Recognizes the best wine list with 200-600 references.
[Gold Star]
MotherVine, Adelaide, Australia

“Thank you so much, it’s a great honour. I really didn’t expect this. Our list holds all the types of wines that we love to drink ourselves, but we also want to have wines for every kinds of tastes. Our name speaks of a clone, but we also have a love for Burgundy, which I think is reflected in the list,” said Mathieu Smeysters, sommelier and co-owner.

“This wine list highlights both national and international wines from exciting producers and manages to make the selection very diverse. The balance between different producer styles is successful and the offering is delightful throughout all pages,” said jury member Heidi Mäkinen MW.

Best Short List
Recognizes the best wine list with fewer than 200 listings.
[Gold Star]
De Nieuwe Winkel, Nijmegen, Netherlands

“Thank you, I feel very happy and honoured for the recognition. We try to do things differently, only cook plant-based for example. And our wine list is a reflection of that. We also have a beer sommelier, with an amazing list, and botanical cocktails. I want to send a big thank you to our owners who let me keep building this list, and thank you to all my colleagues,” said Gauthier Cauwels from De Nieuwe Winkel.

“Frankly, it’s easy (if expensive) to write a great wine list when you have several thousand selections. I’ve always believed that the truest mark of smarts is the ability to write a well-rounded and complete short wine list. Winkel has provided a list for every gustatory and financial appetite. Sure, there’s a focus upon cooler sites and Bordeaux is under-represented, but there are so many other wonderful options that it just doesn’t matter,” said jury member Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Best Sparkling Wine List
Recognizes the best list with sparkling wines
This category is presented by Nyetimber
[Gold Star]
Ristorante del Lago, Bagno di Romagna, Italy

“We saw many wine lists with amazing Champagne selections; this one didn’t necessarily stand out for that but, rather, its crazy, nearly encyclopedic list of Italian bubblies. Okay, the Champagne list was great too,” said Doug Frost.

Best By the Glass List
Recognizes the best by the glass list.
[Gold Star]
Ten Minutes by Tractor, Main Ridge, Australia

“Thank you so much. I can only thank the wine team and the chefs, as well as our owners. Of course, people come to our restaurant to enjoy our own wines, but we want people to be able to enjoy a full restaurant experience, and enjoy other fantastic wines apart from ours,” said Kyle Barton from Ten Minutes by Tractor.

“Anyone entering this venue will be delighted by the offering by the glass, as it allows delving deep into different wine styles from around the world. Each choice, whether local or from further afield, is chosen carefully, so it would be a real struggle to choose what not to drink!” said jury member Heidi Mäkinen.

Best Newcomer List
Recognizes a venue that recently opened
[Gold Star]
Enoteca Boccaccio, Melbourne, Australia

“Thank you so much, such a great honour for us. Enoteca Boccaccio has been a dream project for my bosses, the d’Anna family. We’ve been open a little less than a year, and it has been such a lovely journey to build this list,” said wine director Elena Leardini.

“They may be newcomers but they offer a fantasy of some of the sexiest names in wine: Selosse, Krug, Raveneau, J.J. Prüm, Emidio Pepe, Rinaldi, and Borgogno, all with remarkable vertical selections. The largest of all the verticals? One of the greatest values in Italian wine: Produttori del Barbaresco,” said jury member Doug Frost.

Sustainable Wine List
For the Sustainable Wine List category, not only the wine list is evaluated, but also the stated actions of the venue, as described through a questionnaire in the application.
[Gold Star]
Esters Wine Shop & Bar, Santa Monica, USA

“It is always so inspiring to see more and more places looking for solutions to make a restaurant a more sustainable place, especially when it goes beyond just the selection of committed farmers and winemakers. This is what set Esters apart; actions and support not only to education and promotion of sustainable farming, but an involvement in the local community to help the needed environmental and social changes to happen,” said the jury’s Pascaline Lepeltier.

Here is the link to the winners:
starwinelist.com/wine-story/the-winners-in-our-international-open-with-competing-wine-lists-from-19-countries

Concours Mondial de Bruxelles Launches “South Africa Selection by CMB” 17 to 20 September in Cape Town

One of the world’s largest and most respected wine and spirits competitions, the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (CMB), launched last week a national competition for South Africa under the global CMB brand “South Africa Selection by CMB.” The inaugural edition will open for entries on 1 June, with judging scheduled to take place from 17 to 20 September in Cape Town.

Says Quentin Havaux, CMB’s CEO, “To head up the new South Africa Selection by CMB, we have appointed Lorraine Immelman, who has founded and run two successful wine and spirits competitions in South Africa since 1997. With almost 30 years of experience in the international wine and spirits competition business, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our team.”

Following the success of the Sauvignon Selection by CMB in March 2023 – known as the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon at that time – the decision was taken to establish a national competition in South Africa in 2024.

Quentin continues, “Our vision for the South Africa Selection is three-fold:

1. to develop a national wine and spirits competition which is powered by the well-recognized Concours Mondial de Bruxelles;
2. to create a synergy in South Africa which will promote the country’s wines and spirits to local consumers, and
3. to create new platforms for the promotion of South African wines and spirits in world markets.”

Global Exposure on Local Soil
“Amidst a seeming flood of recent new wine competitions, I believe that South Africa right now needs a global wine and spirits competition of the stature and international significance of Concours Mondial de Bruxelles,” says Lorraine.

CMB offers entrants true value for their entry fees, including:
personalised, usable feedback from the judging panels on every product entered and tasted. This includes an Aroma Wheel generated by AI and a detailed analysis with actionable insights to support marketing campaigns.

CMB’s judges represent a mixture of the best local and international experts including buyers, journalists, oenologists and hospitality representatives, who add real marketing support for awarded products.

A Wine and Spirits Experience by CMB concept has been developed with the opening of Wine Bars and Wine Corners in cities and airports around the world (including Mexico City and Tokyo). These tasting venues are exclusively dedicated to CMB medal-winning products from all competitions and sessions.

The CMB media team gives exposure to awarded products at international wine shows such as Prowein, Wine Paris-Vinexpo, Vinitaly and Guiyang.

The South Africa Selection team will focus on the sustained promotion of winning cellars and sponsors through a dedicated media campaign to promote our winners locally. CMB also adheres to the strict competition rules set forth by the European Union, as well as all CMB competitions and selections are meticulously audited by the Service Public Fédéral belge de l’Economie (SPFE).

“CMB aims to be the most prestigious and the most rigorous wine competition in the world. What we want is to be the most reliable wine competition for producers and also for consumers,” says Quentin Havaux. “We look forward to bringing this competition to your beautiful country, and giving South Africa’s fine wines and spirits a more global presence.”

The inaugural South Africa Selection by CMB opens for entries on 1 June, with the judging taking place from 17 – 20 September in Cape Town.

For more information and entry details, please visit our website, Facebook and Instagram page:
southafricaselection.com/

www.facebook.com/southafricaselection/href=”

http://www.instagram.com/saselectioncmb/”>www.instagram.com/saselectioncmb/

For enquiries please feel free to contact Lorraine directly on southafricaselection@vinopres.com or lorraine.immelman@vinopres.com

Italian Wine Travel Pioneer and Writer Filippo Magnani Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Fufluns Wine Travel Concierge in Italy

Celebrating a quarter-century of excellence, Fufluns Wine Travel Concierge, led by Filippo Magnani, commemorates its 25th anniversary, marking a significant milestone in delivering unparalleled wine travel experiences throughout Italy. As a renowned wine travel expert and wine writer, Magnani has spent decades exploring and documenting Italy’s rich wine heritage, showcasing its diverse destinations and the personalities behind its celebrated wines. This occasion reflects not only the success of Fufluns Wine Tours but also Magnani’s contributions to the global appreciation of Italian wine culture through his writings and curated experiences.

Castello di Monsanto, Barberino Val d’Elsa , Chianti, Toscana, Italia

Inspired by the flourishing wine tourism industry in Napa Valley during the 1990s, Magnani recognized Italy’s untapped potential and sought to elevate the wine touring experience in his native country. In July 1999, he founded Fufluns Wine Travel Concierge, pioneering the path as the first Italian wine travel planner dedicated exclusively to Italy’s rich wine heritage. Named after the Etruscan God of Wine, Fufluns, under Magnani’s stewardship, has built a reputation for its immersive itineraries that seamlessly blend ultra luxury experiences with Italy’s undiscovered gems. Fufluns unwavering commitment to authenticity, quality, and personalization has cemented its status as a leader in the industry, creating the opportunity for people from around the world to engage with the wine regions and people of Italy.

“Reflecting on 25 years of Fufluns Wine Tours, I am filled with gratitude for this quest we’ve undertaken,” says Filippo Magnani, Founder and Supervisor, who oversees a team of ten wine expert guides – all holding WSET or Master Sommelier certifications. “We craft a diverse range of thoughtfully designed wine travel experiences led by a team of knowledgeable wine experts, ensuring an authentic and enriching experience for each guest, from avid wine enthusiasts and collectors to wine schools, wine clubs, and industry professionals such as sommeliers and importers.”

Magnani’s extensive experience in the wine trade, including holding the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma (DipWSET), as a wine writer, and wine travel advisor, has enriched Fufluns’ offerings with depth and sophistication. His and his team’s commitment to excellence and their ability to weave together the cultural, historical, and sensory aspects of Italian wine make Fufluns Wine Tours not just a journey, but a celebration of Italy’s enduring wine legacy.

To celebrate the company’s 25th Anniversary, Magnani and his team are thrilled to debut an enhanced Fufluns website, featuring a range of new personalized, comprehensive, and deluxe wine itineraries throughout Italy. Visit www.fufluns.com to learn more. Filippo is also pleased to showcase a refreshed version of his personal website, www.filippomagani.it, focused on his writings and collaborations, consulting experiences, and career achievements.

In addition, Magnani is proud to announce the launch of a quarterly newsletter, along with a new logo ”A Journey Through Italian Wines”. Featuring captivating insights into Italy’s wine destinations, exclusive interviews with key personalities in the wine and hospitality industry, detailed wine tasting notes, and selected excerpts from Magnani’s personal blog, Tales Behind The Wines, this newsletter aims to further enrich the understanding and appreciation of Italian wine culture among enthusiasts and professionals worldwide.

Furthermore, throughout 2024, Magnani will personally lead tours for various wine club groups and private wine collectors across Italy. These tours, featuring long-standing partners and loyal clients, are a special celebration of Fufluns’ 25th anniversary, allowing Magnani to share the beauty and richness of Italy’s wine regions and producers with those who have supported his journey. As Fufluns continues to innovate in the wine travel space, Magnani’s goal is to strengthen his expert team, further enhancing Fufluns’ ability to offer unique and memorable wine experiences while maintaining the personal touch that has distinguished them in the industry.

Magnani will also be participating in a charity auction as part of The Golden Vines Awards this October in Madrid. For this event, he has created a special auction item: “VIP Experience — Discovering the Iconic Bolgheri”, in which he will personally accompany six passionate donors on a visit to the historic estates of this famed Tuscan region. All proceeds will be donated entirely to the Gérard Basset Foundation.

Source: Fufluns Wine Tours

The Association of Wine Educators published their 2024 edition of 100 AWEsome Wines

The Association of Wine Educators just published their 2024 edition of 100 AWEsome Wines. Here is how the wines made the list:

Each member of the AWE nominated and rated wines to be part of this list. The wine could be a great example of a classic style, a new discovery, or simply a wine that they really enjoyed. Value for money is the bedrock of the wines on the list.

The 100 AWEsome Wines List: https://www.100awesomewines.com