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    BWW 2020- The Best Wine Critics of the World Competition

    BWW 2020 - Best Wine Critics of the World have been selected!

    The Best Wine Critic of the World -competition is part of the The BWW2020 - Best Wine of the World Competition, which was held in the world's largest wine information service - tastingbook.com. The 50 shortlisted wine critics received in total 218,966 votes from wine professionalists and wine lovers from 56 countries during the voting period.

    In BWW Competition 2020, the Best Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Neal Martin. 


     

    BWW 2020 - TOP 20 Best Wine Critics of the World are:

    1. Neal Martin 

    2. Jancis Robinson MW  

    3. Michel Bettane 

    4. Jeannie Cho Lee MW 

    5. James Suckling

    6. Allen Meadows 

    7. Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW 

    8. Antonio Galloni 

    9. Tim Atkin MW

    10. Andrew Caillard MW 

    11. Julia Harding MW

    12. Richard Juhlin 

    13. James Halliday

    14. Clive Coates MW

    15. Jeff Leve

    16. Andrew Jefford

    17. Jeb Dunnuck

    18. Markus Del Monego MW 

    19. Christer Byklum 

    20. Stephen Tanzer

     

    BWW is the largest wine competition in the world, whether measured by the number of wines, the number of consumers involved or the judges taking part.

    BWW-The Best Wine of the World-competition is by far the toughest wine competition on this planet. Unlike any other industry competition, only 1% of the wines involved will be awarded.

    The competition is organized by the world’s largest wine information service Tastingbook.com (www.tastingbook.com) and the world’s leading fine wine magazines – FINE Magazines (www.fine-magazines.com).

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    Best Wine Critic of the World

     

    In BWW Competition 2020, the Best Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Neal Martin. 

     

    "Thank you to everyone who voted for me in the Best Wine Critic Competition, not least since many of the votes are cast by fellow wine professionals. Although by definition a competition, everyone that contributes towards communicating about wine has something to offer and is fighting the same cause - to encourage more people to drink well. That is more important today than ever in the shadow of proposed import tariffs and ever-stronger anti-alcohol lobbyists. Despite these immediate challenges, wine has been enjoyed for thousands of years and it will be enjoyed for thousands more. - Neal Martin (Senior Editor - Vinous)"

     

    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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    Best Bordeaux Wine Critic

     

     

    In BWW Competition 2020, the Best Bordeaux Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Michel Bettane. 

      "All my team at Bettane Desseauve and myself are very proud about the result of your votes. It is sure than after more than 40 vintages ( my first was 1978 and I was the first to assess that 1982 will be a great one) and 40 harvests looked after I think I am beginning to know something about Bordeaux wines. Once again a great merci to all of you"  Michel Bettane

     

    Michel Bettane is a leading French wine critic, and for twenty years, a writer for the French consumer wine publication La Revue du vin de France. He left La Revue in 2004 to work for the rivaling wine publication Le Classement des Meilleurs Vins de France. He now runs his own website.

    Following the acquisition of La Revue du vin de France by Marie-Claire and media group Lagardère, Bettane and his colleague Thierry Desseauve left the publication on grounds of editorial differences, and the two launched their own series of wine guides, Le Classement des Meilleurs Vins de France. Bettane also appears in publications such as Le MondeDecanter and The World of Fine Wine.

    Bettane is credited with coining the term "vin de garage" and its winemakers "garagistes".

    In an interview with Swiss newspaper Le Temps Bettane stated that wine critics are "not gurus", and stated that criticisms by Jonathan Nossiter in his book Le Goût et le Pouvoir were "infantile".

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    Best Burgundy Wine Critic of the World

     

     

    In BWW Competition 2020, the Best Burgundy Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Allen Meadows.

     

    "It is rewarding to be recognized by the wine community and fellow professionals as the “Best Burgundy Wine Critic in the World.”  When we started Burghound.com in 2000, it was the first of it’s kind to offer specialized, and more importantly, exhaustive coverage of a specific wine region/grape and pioneered the on-line format.  Of course we have expanded since then to cover Champagne and U.S. Pinot Noir and are grateful to have subscribers in over 65 countries and nearly all 50 states.  In addition to publishing two books (The Pearl of the Côte – the Great Wines of Vosne-Romanée and Burgundy Vintages – A History from 1845), and an indepth 7-part Burgundy Essentials Audio Series, every year since 2000 I have spent over 5 months a year in Burgundy and annually visit more than 300 domaines, to provide the expansive coverage offered in the pages of Burghound.  I am thankful to Tastingbook.com for their work and contributions to the wine world with millions of readers, and for this honor."

     

     

    Allen Meadows was a finance executive for 21 years, holding a variety of positions, including stints as the senior vice-president and director of corporate development for Great Western Financial. In 1999 he elected to retire to author a book on the subject of Burgundy but a year later decided to found Burghound.com, a quarterly review that is devoted exclusively to the coverage of burgundy/pinot noir with rotating coverage of Champagnes/Sparklers.

    Burghound.com was the first of its kind to offer specialized and more importantly exhaustive coverage of a specific wine region. The first Issue was released in January of 2001 and there are now subscribers in more than 64 countries and nearly all 50 states. Meadows spends over five months a year in Burgundy and visits more than 300 domaines during that time.

    Founded with business partner Erica Meadows, their son, Chris Meadows, joined as a business partner in 2011.  Chris and Erica handle all aspects of the business.

    https://www.burghound.com

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    Best Rhône Wine Critic of the World

     

    In BWW Competition 2020, the Best Rhône Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Jeb Dunnuck.

     

    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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    Best Alsace Wine Critic of the World

     

    In BWW Competition 2020, the Best Alsace Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Stephan Reinhardt.

     

    Stephan, born 1967 in Düsseldorf, is a German journalist who began to specialize in wine in 1999/2000 after a decade of studying and teaching theatre science at Münch University in the morning and selling wine in a wine shop in the afternoon. Initially he wrote about theatre and music but after the translation of Oz Clarke's Wine Encyclopedia, Stephan started to write about wine daily for sueddeutsche.de, the online platform of the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

    Stephan has since published numerous articles for renowned daily and weekly German newspapers such as Süddeutsche Zeitung and Welt am Sonntag as well as for monthly German, Austrian, and Swiss wine and lifestyle magazines such as Der Feinschmecker, Falstaff, and Fine – das Weinmagazin.

    In 2008 Stephan became chief editor of the Swiss/German newsletter Weinwisser; four years later he took the same position at Vinum, whose 10 issues per year are published in Zurich/Switzerland but distributed also in Germany and Austria. Besides this he has contributed to The World of Fine Wine regularly since 2004.

    Stephan is co-author of Wein spricht deutsch, a 720-page monster book on the wines of Germany, Austria, Alsace, Alto Adige and Switzerland that was edited by Stuart Pigott in 2007. In 2012, Stephan's book The Finest Wines of Germany came out in the UK and the US and was soon shortlisted as "Best international wine book of the year 2013" by the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers' Award. The book was translated and published in Japan and China in 2013.

    Stephan has a passion for Riesling, Port and Pinot Noir and all the people who craft serious and authentic wines, regardless of which grape variety or in which style they are made. Besides wine, Stephan loves music (especially jazz), good food and football (soccer). He lives with his family near Hamburg in Germany and joined the Robert Parker's Wine Advocate team in May 2014.

    He is or has been a regular contributor to publications such as Der FeinschmeckerFalstaff and Fine – das Weinmagazin.

    http://www.stephanreinhardt.de

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    Best Champagne Critic of the World

     

    In BWW Competition 2020, the Best Champagne Critic of the World -title was awarded to Richard Juhlin.

     

    “I feel so extremely honored receiving the prize as the best Champagne Critic in the world. It is a fantastic proof for me that my hard work over 33 years were not only for my own pleasure. To be able to share my enthusiasm over the most elegant and multifaceted wines in the world is a privilegued gift for which I will always be grateful. I hope all my fans worldwide will be pleased with my new Champagne Hiking app and the world leading platform Champagne Club launch in 2020”.

     

    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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    Best Spain Wine Critic of the World

     

    In BWW Competition 2020, the Best Spain Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to José Peñin.

     

    La Guia Penin is Spain's most famous and comprehensive wine guide. It is compiled by José Peñin, whose impressive knowledge of international and Spanish wines has been gathered over more than 25 years as a professional wine writer and journalist.

    In 1980 Peñin created Bouquet – Spain's first magazine dedicated to wine and the wine industry, and now continues his writings through freelancing work for such prestigious publications as El País and Tiempo. The print version of the guide is now complemented by the Guia Penin website (Guiapenin.com).

    The Guia Penin lists tasting notes and scores for more than 8,000 Spanish wines.

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    Best Port Wine Critic of the World

     

    In BWW Competition 2020, the Best Port Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Axel Probst.

     

     

    Born in one of the greatest Vintage Port years - 1970, Axel succeeded in becoming European Champion in 100m Backstroke during his early years. He graduated from School in 1989 and studied Business Administration, which he successfully finished with a Master Degree (German: DiplomKaufmann). He joined the Air-Force and became a Pilot, flying the Tornado and the Eurofighter aircraft. Axel retired from the Air-Force in 2011 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

     In the early 1990s during his flying training in the United Kingdom, Axel very much appreciated the English tradition of finishing the evening with a decent glass of Vintage Port – a habit, which he has not missed ever since. With a short detour in trading with Bordeaux’ wines in Germany in the Mid 90s, Axel contacted the Instituto do Vinho do Douro e do Porto in 2005 to become their focal point for Germany. Since then he organised many large tastings under the umbrella of the IVDP, most recently a tasting of the 2016 Vintage Ports with more than 50 Producers present in Germany, a comparative tasting of the Colheita Vintages 1937 and 1995 and many Master Classes in Douro DOC and Port.

     Axel teaches at the major Wine-Universities Geisenheim and Heilbronn in Germany and writes articles for WeinWisser, Weinwirtschaft and Vinum, some of the few remaining real wine-journals in the German language as well as for the World of Fine wines in the UK. He is the organiser and lecturer of the Port- and Douro Seminars held Pro-Wein in Germany, one of the most important wine-fairs of the world. Axel just published a solid book on Port for the German market, which just won the Gourmand Awards “Best European Wine Book in 2018. He is a Cavalero do Confraria do Vinho do Porto and a certified Sherry Educator from the Consejo Regulador in Jerez. In September 2013 Axel convinced the 25 major Port Shippers to unify in a Project to produce a unique Vintage Port that has never been produced before, which 100.000-Euro-profit was donated to charity (www.o-port-unidade.com). Axel Probst is married with two children.

    http://worldofport.de

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    Best Italy Wine Critic of the World

     

    In BWW Competition 2020, the Best Italy Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to James Suckling.

     

    James Suckling is one of the world’s most powerful wine critics, and his scores are widely popularized and used among consumers, collectors and wine trade worldwide, especially in Asia. Combining over three decades of tasting experience — 200,000 wines and counting — and extensive wine knowledge, his dedicated websiteJamesSuckling.com holds more than 60,000 tasting notes and wine ratings. To encourage wine trade and consumers to drink great wines, JamesSuckling.com gathers the most prestigious and renowned wineries around the globe to organize numerous large-scale wine tours, events and master tastings in major cities in USA, Europe, China and Thailand.

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    Best Napa Valley Wine Critic of the World

     

    In BWW Competition 2020, the Best Napa Valley Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to James Laube.

     

    James Laube has been writing for Wine Spectator since 1980, and joined the staff full-time in 1983. During his career with the magazine, he has reviewed every category of wine made in California, as well as wines from around the world, and he continues to apply his experience to verticals, retrospectives and other special tastings, and provide leadership for the Wine Spectator staff on both coasts.

    Laube grew up in Anaheim, Calif., and majored in history at San Diego State University. He moved to Napa Valley in 1978 and started his career in wine journalism. He has written four books: California's Great Cabernets (1989), California's Great Chardonnays (1990) and two editions of Wine Spectator's California Wine (1995 and 1999), the first edition of which won the James Beard Award for best wine book in 1996.

    He lives in Napa, where his favorite hobby remains reading, and enjoys sports, music, traveling and the outdoors—especially activities that take place off the coast (abalone diving) and on the high seas (salmon fishing).

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    Best Australia Wine Critic of the World

     

    In BWW Competition 2020, the Best Australia Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Andrew Caillard MW

     

    "I am rather surprised and delighted. I am a small voice in fine wine and not nearly as prolific as those in the top ten. Neal Martin is a wonderful writer with a barbed wit and insightful palate. He is a very worthy winner and I am extremely pleased for him. Wine writing is very specialised. Most of my work is related to writing books like Penfolds The Rewards of Patience, Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine and Marques de Riscal A Travel Through Time. But I do of course review wines on many occasions, especially the Bordeaux Primeurs etc. Tastingbook.com is a great way of reaching an international community of wine lovers and sharing information. It is like an international Speaker’s Corner for wine people. There are many fine Australian wine writers who deserve such an accolade as this and so I am genuinely touched that there are people who feel that my work is of some value. "

     

    Andrew Caillard MW was born and educated in the UK. Worth School (1978). He is a wine marketing graduate of Roseworthy Agricultural College, South Australia (1984) and passed the Master of Wine examination (winning the prestigious Madame Bollinger Medal for excellence in wine tasting) in 1993.

    In 1989 he founded Langton's Sydney and played a key role in establishing Langton's as Australia's leading wine auction house. Langton's Classification of Australian Wine, now in it 6th edition, is regarded as the reference for wine collectors and observers of the ultra-fine wine scene.

    In 2008 Langton;s was acquired by Woolworths, Australia's largest retail group. Langton's has evolved to become a multi-channel brand offering premium Australian and imported wines at auction and through brokerage services. Andrew Caillard continues to work with Langton's in an advisory role and continues his involvement in Langton's Classification of Australian Wine, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2104.

    Since 2009, Andrews primary role is Fine Wine Principal of Pinnacle Drinks a division of Endeavour Drinks (previously) Woolworths Liquor Group, Australia's largest retail group, which involves significant engagement with Australia's wine industry and the international wine market. This includes working across all of the retail brands including Dan Murphy's, BWS, Cellarmasters and Langton's. Andrew is a longstanding columnist and tasting panellist for Australia's Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine. He chairs Shanghai's Wine 100 competition, judges at the Japan Wine Challenge and has participated in various shows including the Adelaide, Barossa and Margaret River Wine Show's provenance prize. He is the author of the reference book Penfolds 'The Rewards of Patience' and Marques de Riscal A Travel through Time. His work as an author, writer and influencer was recognised in 2011 when he won the Australian Wine Communicator of the Year Award. Andrew also holds the rare distinction of being a 'Baron of the Barossa'.

    Andrew Caillard is the associate producer of the Australian Academy Award winning feature documentary, Red Obsession; a movie that explores the economic shift in power from the west to the east though the prism of Bordeaux's wine trade with China. Another documentary "Blind Ambition, about four Zimbabwe Sommeliers in their quest to compete in the World Blind Wine Tasting Championship in Burgundy, will be completed at the end of 2019.

    Together with his wife Bobby, Andrew is also a Barossa wine producer. Their Caillard Mataro (and Shiraz), which feature Andrew?s paintings on the label, is a micro-wine production that is seen in many of Australia's top restaurants and specialist wine merchants. The wines are also exported to China, including Hong Kong and Singapore.

    https://www.caillardwine.com

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    Best Germany Wine Critic of the World

     

    In BWW Competition 2020, the Best Germany Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to David Schildknecht.

     

    David Schildknecht worked as a restaurateur before spending a quarter century in the U.S. wine trade. His curiosity and affection were aroused by bottles of German Riesling savored during his University years, but it was only after he entered the trade, and especially after (in chronological order) Barbara and Johannes Selbach, Terry Theise and Rudi Wiest found their ways to Rex Wine & Spirits in Washington DC that David became a real Riesling convert. David’s tasting reports from Germany were from the late 1980s, a fixture of Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, and appeared from 2005-2014 in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Since 2015, he has reported on wines of Germany, Austria and parts of France for Antonio Galloni’s Vinous. A columnist and feature contributor for Wine & Spirits, The World of Fine Wine and Austria’s Vinaria, he is responsible for the German entries in the recently-published 4th edition of The Oxford Companion to Wine and a co-author of the seventh edition of Robert Parker’s Wine Buyer’s Guide.

    https://vinous.com

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    Best Austria Wine Critic of the World

     

    In BWW Competition 2020, the Best Austria Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Peter Moser.

     

    Peter Moser – editor-in-chief of Falstaff Magazine, is a descendant of a famous Austrian wine dynasty (Lenz Moser), and born in the excellent vintage of 1961. Since 1997 he has been the editor-in-chief of Falstaff magazine, one of the leading wine and gourmet magazines published in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

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    Best South Africa Wine Critic of the World

     

    In BWW Competition 2020, the Best South Africa Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to John Platter.

     

    The South African journalist John Platter established his reputation in professional circles as an excellent wine critic of South African wines, because he was not only an objective, reserved critic, but also a subjective-emotional fan of the Winelands. For many, this is not necessarily positive but particularly in regards to taste there will always be a subjective aspect that John Platter never tried to hide, despite his rating system with the Stars. The John Platter Stars are therefore often more honest and authentic than any distant-scientific approach.

    Despite not having been active for over a decade, his annually published John Platter’s South African Wine Guide has become a standard for wine from South Africa since it especially offers novices and also experts a good decision support and helps navigate among all these great wines from the Cape. Almost every single winery is thoroughly introduced and the wines are individually discussed and rated. The rating, as mentioned above, uses Platter Stars on a 5 points scale. The rating system starts at 0 Stars up to a maximum of 5 Stars, in steps of 0.5. 5 Stars is an absolute must-have. Due to the large selection of Stars, a differentiated and precise rating of the wines is possible which doesn’t get lost in details but delivers what it should: a reliable orientation for gourmets.

    https://www.wineonaplatter.com

     

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    Best Wine Notes of the World

     

    In BWW Competition 2020, the Best Wine Notes of the World -award was given to Neal Martin. 

     

    What defines a good tasting note, like Neal's? 

    1. Describes the profile of the wine (aromas, structure and balance) in a way that reader can sense and form an understanding of the wine without tasting it 

    2. Assess how the wine reflects the vintage of the region

    3. Compares the wine to other vintages of the same wine if reminiscent

    4. Gives inside information from the production of the wine 

    5. Gives recommendation of how to enjoy the most of the wine (peaking time, decanting time, ideal glass, ideal service temperature, food match)

    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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