International Bulk Wine Competition has a Super-Gold Medal?

imagesNot only is there a competition for those who make bulk wine, but they give gold medals to the best of them.  Samples that are scored between 88 points and 95 points are awarded gold medals.  Given that the competition actually has a category for bulk wine that scores above 95 points is of special interest. These wines receive Super Gold!  Super Gold?  I’m not really sure what that is. But frankly, I find it hard to imagine a 94 point bulk wine being offered on the open market, much less a 97 pointer… but apparently there must be.   Is this the ultimate in point inflation, or just the bulk wine world’s adoption of the bell curve?

imgres40% of all wine is sold on the bulk market.

While I got a pretty hearty laugh at this yesterday, in reality I was encouraged that there is seems to be a real push in the bulk wine market for improved quality.  As it is, bulk wine  is already a big part of many a well-regarded winery’s appellation wines. Whether the name on the label says Napa or Sonoma, legally up to 25% of a wine can come from another appellation without any indication on the label.  Many, many wineries supplement their production with grapes from other high-quality, but less desirable regions, to stretch their production, and keep costs down.

Delicato Family Wines in the Central Valley, used to sell their clone 337 Cabernet production  to wineries that put the Lodi-juice in their Napa Valley Cabernets. This Lodi-grown Cabernet was said to be in high-demand by big-name Napa wineries. Apparently the 337 Cab was desired for its deep, opulent fruit that  gave wonderful mid-palate to the Napa Valley Cab blends. Eventually a decision was made that the wine was too good to sell off, and Delicato began bottling it as the 337 Cabernet.

So despite my laughing at the Bulk Wine Competition’s expense, I really should show them a debt of gratitude.  It seems I probably bulk wine may be a significant part of my wine diet without my even knowing it. Thank you to you bulk wine producers for pushing quality upwards.

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