Major wine competitions
France has a busy calendar of wine competitions. We enter many of them, including the three listed below which are some of the highest profile events:
- Orange: gold medal for our Gabriel Meffre CDR Village Plan de Dieu 2017 (red).
- Mâcon: silver medal for our Gabriel Meffre CDR Saint François organic 2018 (white).
- Paris, exclusively for wine producers: gold medal for our Domaine de Longue Toque Vacqueyras 2017.
On a global level, we always enter the International Wine Challenge and International Wine and Spirit Competition.
Valérie Vincent, Marketing & Communication Manager explains:
“We earmark quite a large part of our budget every year to enter these competitions and present the wines that will be on the shelves when the awards are handed out. Thus, individual customers can easily find them in store.”
In addition to competitions, recognition from top international influencers is also crucial when it comes to selling our wines. Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Jeb Dunnuck, Vinous Media and Wine Advocate are among the most renowned. Wine Advocate is a magazine published by Robert Parker, a well-known American critic, a major name in the wine industry known for his incredible tasting skills.
Each of these influencers rates a wine on a 100-point scale and the results are scrutinised by international buyers.
Valerie explains :
“ You need to factor in four to six months between sending off the wines and receiving the scores. So, it’s important to regularly submit wines and make sure that the ones being scored will be on the market during this period,”
These scores really do open doors when it comes to selling on international markets. “It’s a great way to keep ahead of our competitors and prove invaluable when our importers and distributors come to sell our wines. They also provide a regular benchmark for us to measure ourselves against our peers, since the influencers are well recognised as reliable and impartial.”
Jeb Dunnuck is also a good reference. He was originally a taster for Robert Parker before creating his own support. This year it has rewarded several of our wines with very good notes!
Longue Toque - Lieu-Dit Les Trois Yeux 2017 : 95 pts
Longue Toque - Hommage à Gabriel Meffre 2017 : 95 pts
Gabriel Meffre - Sainte-Catherine 2017 : 90-93 pts
Laurus Gigondas 2017 et Vacqueyras 2017 : 92-94 pts
Laurus Châteauneuf du pape 2016 : 93 pts
The rating system
When a wine has not yet been bottled, it is put through a barrel tasting and given a score range, e.g. 92-94 pts, which means there is still room for improvement before it is bottled. The following year, it will be tasted again after bottling and awarded a final, single score.
The scores depend on the type of wine presented. For instance, Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages wines rarely exceed 92 pts, while Grand Crus such as a Gigondas or Châteauneuf du Pape can surpass the 95-pt mark and even attain a perfect 100-point score.
“It’s always immensely satisfying for our team to receive high scores because it validates all their hard work.
Our Côtes du Rhône Villages Laurus Red 2016 was given an excellent score of 91 pts. And we are incredibly proud of the 98/100 score given to our iconic wine from the Domaine de Longue Toque, our Gigondas Hommage à Gabriel Meffre 2016.”
On the French market, the Guide Bettane et Desseauve is a widely respected wine guide. They score on a 20-point rating system. This year, Gabriel Meffre also obtained very respectful scores for its Laurus range:
Laurus Côte Rotie 2017 - 15,5/20
Laurus Hermitage rouge 2017- 16/20
Laurus Hermitage blanc 2017 - 15,5/20
Laurus Saint-Joseph 2017 - 15,5/20
Our 2018 vintages
To find out the scores for our 2018 vintages, we’ll have to wait until 2020. The wines are to be sent off soon this year or early 2020 and then tasted the following month by the various influencers.
To end on, here is a snippet from the commentary published by Jeb Dunnuck for our Laurus Gigondas 2017:
“Notes of blackcurrant, raspberry, ground black pepper and wild strawberry mingle with complex floral notes. They melt together in a flawlessly balanced Gigondas that has ultra-fine tannins and a great finish. A rich and powerful wine that never loses its sense of elegance and purity!”