MW exam 2012 – The Experience

June 11th 2012

So, it is with great relief – and a blog that I have finished the Master of Wine examinations (for another year at least).

Having passed the theory examination last year but only passed one of the three tasting papers, I was back in Sydney for the tasting extravaganza. 

I was ready as I ever would be, I had focused on tasting, learning my ageing regulations for Rioja, Chianti, Barolo, ensuring I knew the production techniques for Amarone, Bual Madeira and white Zinfandel…

As usual, paper one was the white wine paper; paper two the red exam; and the mixed bag of the weird and the wonderful on day three.

Interestingly, I was disappointed after day one, leaving a page blank thus losing marks and almost having a wee sob. But I pulled myself together and when the crib sheet was distributed, I’d spotted 10 of the 12 wines as closely as humanly possible under blind conditions. I left paper three happy (that might have been because I imbibed all the 2004 Louis Roederer – too delicious to leave) but later found out I had bombed on at least three of the 12 wines – that might be my undoing.  I hope not.

Overall, I left the exam knowing I’d worked hard and done my best – which is all my mother tells me I can do, so it must be true.

Okay, so I missed the Barefoot Moscato (by more than a mile) and the Passito di Pantelleria was a Rutherglen Muscat in my mouth on the day but hopefully getting 27 of the 36 wines as near as damn it will be enough to get me over the line. If not, I did my best, mum.

Here are the wines:
Day 1
2010 Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie, Château de la Bretesche, Loire, France
2010 Vouvray Sec Cuvée Silex, D. Vigneau- Chevreau, Loire, France
2010 Menetou Salon Cuvée Beatrice, Henry Pellé, Loire, France
2009 Coteaux du Layon Chaume, Domaine des Forges, Loire, France
2010 Forte Alto pinot grigio, Alto-Adige, Italy
2011 Wither Hills pinot gris, Marlborough, New Zealand
2009 Zind Humbrecht pinot gris reserve, Alsace, France
2008 Puligny Montrachet, 1er Cru Perrieres, Jean Louis Chavy, Burgundy
2008 Meursault, Pierre Morey, Burgundy, France
2008 Tahbilk marsanne, Victoria, Australia
2010 Crozes-Hermitage blanc, Alain Graillot, Rhone, France

Day 2

2010 Santa Rita ‘120’ carmenere, Central Valley, Chile
2009 Robert Mondavi cabernet sauvignon, Napa Valley, California
2009 Yalumba ‘The Cigar’ cabernet sauvignon, Coonawarra, Australia
2008 Lady May, Glenelly, Stellenbosch, South Africa
2006 Chateau Quinault L’Enclos Grand Cru, St Emilion, Bordeaux
2007 Geremia, Rocca di Montegrossi, Tuscany, Italy
2008 Claus Preisinger zweigelt, Burgenland, Austria
2008 Vale do Bomfim, Dow, Douro, Portugal
2008 Becker Estate pinot noir, Pfalz, Germany
2008 Fess Parker’s Vineyard Syrah, JC Cellars, Santa Barbara, California
2007 Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes, Alain Voge, Rhone, France
2010 Mollydooker, The Boxer [shiraz], South Australia

Day 3
2004 Louis Roederer Brut Vintage, Champagne, France
NV Louis Roederer Brut Premier, Champagne, France
2005 Huet Vouvray Petillant, Loire, France
NV Jacob’s Creek sparkling shiraz, South East Australia
NV Brancott Estate sauvignon blanc brut, Marlborough, New Zealand
NV Beringer sparkling zinfandel rose, California, USA
2009 Zeltinger Himmelreich riesling eiswein ‘junior’, Selbach Oster, Mosel
2009 Tamar Ridge Kayena botrytis riesling, Tasmania, Australia
NV Martini, Asti, Piedmont, Italy
NV Rivesaltes muscat, vin doux naturel, France
NV Barefoot moscato, California, USA
2009 moscato passito di Pantelleria, ‘Ben Ryé’, Sicily, Italy





Posted in - Blog Posts & Master of Wine on June 11th 2012 2 Comments

As of now (2) people have had something to say...

  • adora - Reply

    3 January, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing the information. Could you tell us a little bit about how you prepare the blind testing paper since in New Zealand you might not have so many opportunities to taste wine from all over the world.. Thank you very much !

    • Rebecca Gibb - Reply

      2 February, 2016 at 3:25 am

      No problem at all! I think the best thing to do if you want to pass the practical paper of the Master of Wine is to study what the wines from around the world should taste like before you start doing blind tastings! Otherwise, you will waste a lot of money tasting without any real knowledge. There are wines from all around the world in New Zealand. There is not the wide range of Rioja or Austrian wine that you might find in the UK or US but there are enough examples to practise with.

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