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    BWW2022-Best Wine Critics of the World -Competition

    BWW 2022 – The Best Wine Critics of the World have been selected

    – Jeb Dunnuck is the surprise Winner!

     

    BWW – The Best Wine of The World Competition is the largest wine competition in the world, whether measured by the number of wines or consumers involved or the judges taking part. Besides annual ranking of the best wines from over 20,000 different wines, the BWW competition also ranks the best wine shops and best wine critics based.  Since 2018, BWW competition has received over 9 million votes.

    The Best Wine Critic of the World -competition is part of the BWW2022 – the Best Wine of the World Competition, which was held in the world's largest wine information service – tastingbook.com. 

    Tastingbook.com's international pro members – wine importers, sommeliers, wine merchants and wine producers around the world – have listed anonymously the wine critics who they consider should be on the Top 50 Wine Critic list in BWW2022. 

    The 50 shortlisted wine critics received in total 314,126 votes from wine professionals and wine lovers from 63 countries during the public voting period. 

    The competition was very tight again this year. There was only 5,000 votes’ difference between the winner and the least voted critic in the final. Independent wine critics were particularly successful. In addition to Jeb Dunnuck, there was several independent wine critics among the top 20 list – e.g., Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Allen Meadows, Markus del Monego MW, Tim Atkin MW, Richard Juhlin, Jeff Leve, Axel Probst, Andrew Caillard MW and Luca Gardini.

     

    In BWW2022, the Best Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Jeb Dunnuck. 

    "I'm honored to be acknowledged, and I'd like to say thank you to all who voted in the competition. We're a young company, but the team at JebDunnuck.com has put in an incredible amount of work over the past five years. We continue to grow, and I believe the best is yet to come. Knowing that there were over 340,000 votes cast means a lot. I'm also happy to see many independent critics on the list. There's an unfortunate trend in wine criticism today that finds too many well-known publications on the trade's payroll. This rightly erodes trust and does lasting damage to the industry. Wine criticism exists to help consumers find wines they like, but this requires consumers to know and trust the person (not the publication) writing the reviews. I would again like to thank you for acknowledging our contributions, and I wish you all the best in wine and life.” – Jeb Dunnuck”

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    The Best Bordeaux Wine Critic of the World

    The Best Bordeaux Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Neal Martin (www.vinous.com)

     

    Neal Martin began his wine career more than twenty years ago with a Japanese import company specializing in Bordeaux and Burgundy. Regularly visiting both regions, he rapidly gained first-hand knowledge of their wines and winemakers. Discovering a love for writing, in 2003 he started his own website, Wine Journal that rapidly gained a global audience attracted by its independence, insight and irreverent style. Its popularity prompted Robert Parker to ask him to join The Wine Advocate in 2006, eventually taking over responsibility for coverage of Bordeaux and Burgundy. In 2012 he published the seminal book on Pomerol that won the André Simonand Louis Roederer awards for wine literature. Having established himself as one of the foremost wine writers and critics, in 2018 he rejoins his former colleague Antonio Galloni at Vinous, charged with expanding coverage of Bordeaux and Burgundy, as well as South African and New Zealand wines (as well as the odd musical recommendation).

    https://vinous.com

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    The Best Burgundy Wine Critic of the World

    The Best Burgundy Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Allen Meadows (www.burghound.com)

     

    Allen Meadows was a finance executive for over 20 years holding a variety of positions including senior vice president for Great Western Financial where he spear-headed the mergers and acquisitions and specialized finance departments. In 1999 he elected to retire to author a book on the subject of Burgundy, his long-time passion and obsession. The book project evolved to become an extensive quarterly review, Burghound.com. It was initially devoted exclusively to the coverage of the wines of Burgundy and later added extensive U. S. pinot noir coverage and Champagne.

    Burghound.com was the first of its kind to offer specialized, and more importantly, exhaustive coverage of a specific wine region/grape and pioneered the on-line format. This highly respected and critically acclaimed quarterly publication has subscribers in more than 64 countries and nearly all 50 states. Subscribers have access to a fully searchable database of more than 106,000 of Meadows’ tasting notes with recommended drinking windows for present day vintages all the way back to 1845. Subscribers can search by vintage, score, producer, appellationissue number or region and there are also options to search by “Top Value” (~$50 wines mostly Bourgogne andVillages), “Don’t Miss” (best wines rated regardless of price), or Sweet Spot” (excellent value at an intermediate level ~$50-~$125) and subscribers conduct millions of searches each year. Meadows spends over five months a year in Burgundy and visits more than 300 domaines during that time.

    Hailed as “the world’s foremost Burgundy expert” by acclaimed author Matt Kramer, Meadows published his first book, The Pearl of the Côte – the Great Wines of Vosne-Romanée. In this 350-page expedition through Vosne- Romanée, the legendary region aptly referred to as “the Pearl of the Côte”, Meadows guides the reader through each of the grands and premier crus. With rich and fascinating historical coverage and detail, even Burgundy lovers from novice to connoisseur will reap pivotal knowledge. This beautifully crafted masterpiece includes original and detailed maps of the vineyards as well as vividly artistic photographs that make readers feel they are walking through the vineyards alongside the author.

    And now Allen, together with longtime Burgundy collector and aficionado Doug Barzelay, have published another essential reference book for Burgundy enthusiasts: Burgundy Vintages – A History from 1845. Each vintage from 1845 is not only rated and discussed in depth, but also carefully examined in the context of its era, creating a revealing narrative of the forces that created modern Burgundy and that are likely to shape its future. The book is full of new insights on the cultural, economic and technological developments that have made Burgundies among the most sought-after wines in the world. Burgundy Vintages is at once a wonderfully accessible Burgundian masterclass and a must-have reference for every wine lover, from novice to expert.

    As well as rave reviews for Pearl and Vintages, they have earned the respect and admiration of readers in almost every US state and over 60 countries. Pearl is available in e-book and Vintages is available in hardcover, through www.BurghoundBooks.com.

    In December 2014 Allen released the Burgundy Essentials Audio series, a nearly 10-hour, 7-part program created specifically for all wine lovers, from the casual wine enthusiast to the seasoned pro. This 3-year project-in- the-making was expressly designed to demystify what is a highly complex and even intimidating wine region yet enhance the knowledge of those already well-immersed in their Burgundy education. For more information visit http://www.burghound.com/burgundy-essentials-audio-series

    Learn more about Burghound.com by visiting www.Burghound.com.

     

     

    Burghound.com’s 4 quarterly issues cover red and white Burgundy, Champagne and U.S. pinot noir. Each issue has on average ~160 producers, ~1440 wine reviews, and ~210 pages.  Note: Scores in a range indicate a barrel-tasted wine, noting the reality that a wine tasted from barrel is not a finished product. Finished, bottles wines are assigned a score since they are market-ready. 

     

    BURGUNDY SAMPLE:

    Domaine Denis Bachelet (Gevrey-Chambertin) [published January 2022]

     

    Denis Bachelet described the 2020 growing season as “beginning with a very dry spring so we knew early on that we were likely to have a lot of hydric stress in the vines and that’s exactly what happened. Moreover, with the warm early season temperatures, the vegetative cycle started exceptionally early so we also knew that absent a really cool summer that we would have an early start to the harvest. This in the end is exactly what happened as we chose to begin picking on the 27th of August and harvested through to the 31st. The fruit was clean, ripe and required very little sorting. Yields though were again quite low if not quite so low as the derisory volumes we realized in 2021. The persistent low yields is becoming a serious problem and unfortunately, it’s not just that Mother Nature is being difficult. It’s also because of the serious decline in viable rootstocks and the fact that so many my neighbors, me included, have chosen those that are too easily susceptible to heat stress only compounds the problem. On the plus side, both potential alcohols, which came in around 13%, and total acidities were very good. I like the 2020s a lot and it’s the kind of vintage that will age for decades but also should be reasonably accessible young.” Bachelet has once again made stunning wines though this is hardly a surprise given his virtually unblemished track record for producing wines of grace and style. Fans of the domaine should note that once again there will not be an Evocelles due to the tiny quantities.

     

    2020 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes: (from vines averaging between 60 and 70 years of age located in Les Champs Perriers, En Derée, Sylvie, Les Jeunes Rois, La Justice, La Burie and La Platière plus, in 2020, Les Evocelles). Here the beautifully layered nose combines notes of black cherry liqueur with hints of earth, game, underbrush and humus. There is once again excellent energy and precision to the sleek and delicious medium weight flavors that possess a seductive texture before terminating in an impressively persistent and well-balanced finale. Villages-level wines rarely are as good as this and it’s one to buy if you can find it.  (90-93)/2028+

     

    Domaine Charles Audoin (Marsannay la Côte) [published January 2022]

     

    Cyril Audoin commented that the 2020 growing season was “just one more in a series of very hot and dry vintages since 2015. As was the case with the 2019 growing season, one of the main distinguishing characteristics of 2020 though was how dry it was as it was even drier than 2018, which was already incredibly dry and especially so here in Marsannay. There was though just enough rain near the end of August that it caused maturities to explode so we scrambled to assemble our picking team to get the fruit in before the sugars became excessive as well as to preserve acidities. We began picking the whites on the 28th of August and then attacked the reds on the 1st of September. The fruit was essentially spotless and certainly quite ripe yet the highest potential alcohol we had was 13.5% with an average of 13%. Yields though were another story and at 25 hl/ha were even lower than the average of 35 hl/ha we obtained in 2019. As to the wines, they’re really fresh and vibrant, in fact other than the deep colors, you really wouldn’t necessarily think that they were the product of a hot vintage. As such, I confess to be very happy with the results.” Audoin has once again hit a home run with the quality of his 2020s and given the modest prices for which they sell, no one can credibly argue that good value can’t be found in the Côte de Nuits. Moreover, I can attest that they age splendidly well.

     

    2020 Marsannay “Au Champ Salomon”: A beautifully spicy nose reflects top notes of a variety of floral influences on the red currant, dark cherry and soft earth wisps. The succulent, delicious and impressively concentrated flavors also exude evident minerality on the firm, serious, mouth coating and youthfully austere finale that delivers even better length. This too is excellent and one to look for.  (92-94)/2032+

     

    Domaine Bizot (Vosne-Romanée) [published January 2022]

     

    Jean-Yves Bizot, who runs this tiny but fascinating domaine, noted that for the 2021 vintage the surface area will be a bit larger as he was able to purchase the Morey villages vineyard of Clos de la Bidaude, which is a monopole. He described 2020 as “one more in a seemingly unending series of hot and dry vintages where we again dodged frost risk. Despite the summer being very hot and dry, we did have some oidium pressure and sunburned berries. We picked from the 27th to the 29th of August and brought in pitifully low yields of only 8 hl/ha. The berries were tiny due to the extreme dryness and there was simply no juice in them. Ripeness levels were good as the potential alcohols came in between 13 to 13.5%. Acidities were good even though there was almost no malic acidity. At least the 100% whole cluster vinifications were easy and presented no problems during the total cuvaison of about 14 days. As to the wines, I have to say that I’m not wild about them but I’m not exactly sure why as there’s nothing particularly wrong. Maybe I will like them better in time as sometimes you’re just too close to things to judge them objectively. Stylistically they remind me of a richer 1996.” I would observe that sometimes winemakers are indeed to close to their work to judge them as I was sincerely knocked out by the quality, and in particular by the Echézeaux as it is outstanding in 2020. Fans of the domaine should be aware that because of the tiny quantities there will be no Vosne 1er Elise Fermouche or Les Réas.

     

    2020 Echézeaux: (from vines situated in En Orveaux planted in 1923, 1947, 1964 and 1979 totaling .56 ha). This possesses the spiciest nose in the range with an almost kaleidoscopic array that is comprised by notes of rose petal, lavender, violet, soy, hoisin, sandalwood and jasmine tea. The suave and sappy yet quite powerful and concentrated larger-scaled flavors are supported by refined, even sophisticated, tannins on the driving, mouth coating and hugely long finish. Wow, this is quite an Echézeaux and absolutely worth a search to find.  (93-96)/2032+

     

    CHAMPAGNE SAMPLE:

    Philipponnat (Mareuil-sur-Aÿ) [published October 2021]

     

    Generations of men and women have cultivated the land at Ay, the family’s home since Apvril le Philipponnat owned vines between Aÿ and Dizy in 1522.  Their historic cellars date back to the 18th century.  Philipponnat has owned a walled vineyard for nearly a century, Clos des Goisses.  This 5.5 ha. plot with a steep incline has the region’s warmest terroir, facing due south, and this pure chalk slope receives no shade from sunrise to sunset.  In total, they farm 17 ha. of vines that are all classified as grand or premier cru.  They remain loyal to the technique of the solera process which consists of keeping reserve wines in oak barrels and including them in non-vintage blends (in a proportion of ¼ to 1/3) and using this blend as a reserve wine for the following blend.  This progressive dilution allows every bottle to retain a trace of the previous years’ blend since the very beginning.  

     

    2014 Extra Brut – Blanc de Noirs: (100% pinot noir, disgorged May 2020, 4.5 g/L). A distinctly yeast, ripe and very fresh nose carries an assortment of spice, citrus and floral nuances. There is very good richness to the relatively generous medium-bodied flavors that are supported by a moderately firm mousse on the toasty, utterly delicious and lingering finish. The 100% pinot base is not surprising as there is very good flavor authority and for my taste, this could either be enjoyed now or held for a few more years first. For those who prefer a crisper Champagne, drink this now and over the next 2 to 3 years and for those who prefer a creamier and full-bodied style, put this away for 3 to 5 years first.  92/now+

     

    U.S. PINOT NOIR SAMPLE:

    Domaine Serene (Dayton, OR) [published October 2020]

     

    Grace and Ken Evenstad said it was their passion for pinot noir that led them to Oregon in 1989 and founded Domaine Serene in the Dundee Hills in the North Willamette Valley. Domaine Serene owns six vineyard estates totaling 462 acres, of which 274 acres are under vine, and the remaining property has been left in its natural state. The vineyards are dry farmed and LIVE certified.  In April 2015, the Evenstads purchased Château de la Crée, a Burgundy wine estate in the Côte d’Or. For further information, contact: 503.864.4600 or visit: www.domaineserene.com

     

    2017 Pinot Noir – Grace Vineyard: (Dundee Hills, 312 cases, SRP $195, 14.4%). A more restrained if not mute nose requires aggressive swirling to reveal what is the spiciest nose in the range with its elegant mix of floral, red and black cherry and soft oak nuances. The super-sleek medium-bodied flavors possess a silky yet dense mid-palate, all wrapped in a beautifully long finish that coats the palate. I like the balance as well as the incipient complexity that will undoubtedly build over time as this too is clearly built-to-age. I would add that the tannins are dense but fine and as such this could be approached after only 5ish or so years yet reward 12 to 15.  93/2029+  

     

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    The Best Rhône Wine Critic of the World

    The Best Rhône Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Jeb Dunnuck (jebdunnuck.com)

     

    An aerospace engineer by training, Jeb Dunnuck grew up on a farm in rural Indiana where 2% milk was the beverage of choice and wine was hard to come by. It wasn’t until 1996, when living abroad and traveling through Europe, that he became interested in fine wine.

    Moving to upstate New York in 1999 to work for Lockheed Martin, and later to Colorado in 2001 to work for Ball Aerospace, he traveled extensively throughout the wine regions of Europe and the United States, where he quickly developed a passion for the wines of the Rhône Valley and the Rhône Ranger Movement in California and Washington. To gain a better understanding of the business side of the wine industry, he took a temporary wine retail position in 2006.

    Jeb launched the “The Rhône Report” publication and website in 2008 and began releasing a quarterly newsletter reviewing Rhône variety wines from around the world. Completely independent and including coverage on wines from France, Spain, Australia, and both California and Washington in the United States, the publication continued to gain in popularity and subscribers, and by 2013, was read in over 24 countries and seen as one of the leading authorities on Rhône variety wines.

    In 2013, after being approached by Robert Parker to join The Wine Advocate team, Jeb gave up his engineering career and wrote full-time for the Wine Advocate. Described as a younger version of himself by Robert M. Parker Jr., Dunnuck was the leading reviewer for California, Washington and Southern France from 2013 to 2017, publishing more reviews than any other professional reviewer.

    In 2017, Jeb decided to leave the Wine Advocate and go back to his roots as an independent wine critic, launching his own publication JebDunnuck.com. Through the platform, Dunnuck offers comprehensive, consumer-focused coverage of the most interesting wines from California, Washington, Southern France and Bordeaux, while seeking out discoveries from around the world.

    Dunnuck’s goal with JebDunnuck.com is to provide insight and up-to-date information that can’t be found anywhere else. “Too often today, the ‘story’ behind a wine is put before the quality of a wine,” Dunnuck said. “I want to help consumers cut through the marketing and the spin and zero in on what’s in the glass. I plan to deliver the information consumers really need to know when trying to decide what to buy and what to drink.”

    He resides in Colorado, with his wife Traci and dog Ella, where he pretends to rock climb and race a bicycle.

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    The Best Champagne Critic of the World

    The Best Champagne Critic of the World -title was awarded to Richard Juhlin (www.champagneclub.com)

     

    Richard Juhlin is one of the top Champagne experts in the world. At the annual Spectacle du Monde tasting in 2003, the Sweden-born Juhlin successfully identified 43 out of 50 Champagnes that were tasted blind. He is the author of several books, including “A Scent of Champagne” released this year, which provides descriptions and ratings of 8000 Champagnes. In addition to television and writing, Juhlin is often involved in consulting work with Champagne houses, as well as speaking at major events around the world.

    www.champagneclub.com

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    The Best Italy Wine Critic of the World

    The Best Italy Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Luca Gardini (www.gardininotes.com)

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    The Best Spain Wine Critic of the World

    The Best Spain Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to José Peñin (www.guiapenin.wine)

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    The Best Port Wine Critic of the World

    The Best Port Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Axel Probst (www.worldofport.de)

    I am deeply honored to receive this award from the wine-audience for the second time in a row.I strongly believe that being independent and focussed is one big key in todays wine critic world. You are doing a fanastic job in uniting all these fine tasters in your platform and providing a unique set of experiences and tasting notes for everyone to access. Port is such an underrated beverage and still inexpensive compared to the other big wines of the world. I am very happy that your competition differentiates the individual wines."

    Before Axel entered the wine world, he was a Luftwaffe pilot, flying the Tornado and Eurofighter aircraft for some 20 years. But even in the early flying days in the UK he was often flying with an English backseater who taught him the first steps into the world of Port. With some 25 years Port tasting experience, Axel tries to spread the message, that Port is one of the fine wines of the world. He teaches professionals and writes for several magazines in Europe. Axel just finished the second edition of his comprehensive 500 page book “Portwein”, where he still tries to find an editor for the English version. Axel is a Cavalero do Confraria do Vinho do Porto, a certified Sherry Educator from the Consejo Regulador in Jerez and a permanent member of the Jury at the Concurso dos Vinhos. In September 2013 Axel convinced 25 major Port Shippers to unify in a Project to produce a unique Vintage Port. The 100.000 Euro profit of the project was donated to Bagosdouro, a charity organisation in the Douro Valley (www.o-port-unidade.com). This project will be repeated in 2023, ten years after the first edition. Axel is married and has two children.

     

    For the example of my tasting notes I would take my bucket list with the 10 Ports that everyone needs to have tasted in his life (without a preference in between them) from the 2nd edition of my Port book that I have just submitted to my editor:

     

    Andresen Colheita 1900 – I was lucky to participate in a rather comprehensive Colheita tasting down to 1900 with Carlos Flores and winemaker Alvaro van Zeller some years ago in Porto. I remember to still sense traces of the 1900 Colheita the next day in the airplane, without being too dense or concentrated. 1910 is a worthy runner-up.

    Croft Vintage Port 1945 – Tasted many times and loves many times. This is one of the most consistent old bottles of Port that I am aware of.

    Fonseca Vintage Port 1948 – One of the big Vintage Ports of the world. Leaves little to no air to the top. You must have tasted this to fully understand this Port. The Fonseca 1948 will outlive anyone reading these lines.

    Krohn Colheita 1863 – is one of the most authentic old Colheitas. Tasted with the former owners directly from the cask. Now available as Taylors Single Harvest Tawny Port.

    Niepoort Garrafeira 1931 – A Garrafeira is an incomparable Port. Niepoorts first labeled Garrafeira from 1931 combines the finesse and structure of an old Vintage Port with the flavour profile of an old Colheita. Perfect!

    Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port 1963 – My reference Port when highest scores are granted. There are other 100P Ports, but the Nacional 63 does reveal a unique intensity with a potential to stay in this level for the next century. Breath-taking!

    Ramos Pinto Vintage Port 1927 – So tough to find, but it gives back every minute you were searching for it once you pop the cork. Deep, balanced, structured, complex, with an endless aftertaste.

    Graham Vintage Port 1955 – I could go on naming only very old Vintage Ports, but Grahams Vintage Port 1955 is such a constantly great Port, which is just beginning to show its full potential.

    Sandeman Vintage Port 1935 – My wine of the night with George Sandeman some years ago in the Royal Airforce Club in London. Besides its unbelievable complexity, this Port reveals a bit of English history on its labels.

    Taylor Vintage Port 1970 – you are correct. I could have named Taylors 1927, 1945, 1955 or 1963, but a Taylors from my birth-year is still something special. This Port is so consistent that any bottle of the 3 cases I have opened has disappointed. Unlike me this Port will become better and better and will give the same if not more joy to my children or even theirs.

     

     

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    The Best Germany Wine Critic of the World

    The Best Germany Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Markus del Monego MW (www.tastetainment.de)

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    The Best Austria Wine Critic of the World

    The Best Austria Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Peter Moser (www.falstaff.com)

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    The Best Napa Valley Wine Critic of the World

    The Best Napa Valley Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Antonio Galloni (www.vinous.com)

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    TOP 30 Wine Critics

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