Rejections: reasons and what to do after a rejectionAnswering Daniel Jewerbury and Paul Fontain
From 2012 IVDP’s activities report pag 33 (http://www.ivdp.pt/pt/docs/Relatorio%20 ... 202012.pdf
I’m sorry it’s in Portuguese):
The last year rejection was 4% of the samples for Port wine and 18% for Douro wine (as referred in pag 28 of the same document).
For Port wine, the main reason for rejection is not having the quality for this particular category (the same for Douro wines). For example, if someone sends a sample for Vintage that has only an LBV’s quality, it’s rejected. Other reasons are: not having the age (for a 10 y.o Tawny for example, who’s sensory characteristics is from 8 years) or having faults (volatile acidity, bad wood, mould…).
If someone has a wine rejected, he can try to improve the wine and send another sample (have in mind that Port is usually a blend of different wines). Otherwise he can send the wine for a lower category. For example, a wine that has been rejected as a Reserve Tawny, can be approved as a Tawny. But the decision so send for a different category is from the owner. IVDP decides about the category that the wine has been sent.
If someone disagrees of the rejection, can appeal to the “Junta Consultiva de Provadores (JCP)” ,which members are well known winemakers*. Only 17% (for Port in 2012) of the rejections have made an appeal, so I would say that Producers reasonably understand the reasons of rejection.
I think it’s good to have the JCP (the appeal council) for two main reasons:
1- The regular tasting panel can be harder because he knows that if commits a mistake by rejecting a wine, this mistake is corrected in the higher instance (JCP)
2- It’s an opportunity to assess if the regular tasting panel is tasting using the standards of the Port wine company (the tasters of JCP works on them). There are some meetings between the JCP tasters and I in order to check if we’re all tasting in the same way.
Finally there’s a minor difference in the way that the 2 panels taste: the Tasting Chamber, when the taster have a doubt if a wine must be approved or rejected, rejects the wine; while the JCP approves the wine
*JCP members at this moment (2 of them are going to change soon)
José Maria Soares de Franco (Duorum, previously Sogrape – Ferreira/Sandeman/Offley)
Peter Symington (Graham’s/Dow’s/Warre/Vesúvio/Cockburn’s…)
David Guimaraens (Taylor’s/Fonseca/Croft/Delaforce…)
José Manuel Sousa Soares (Gran Cruz/Dalva, previously Barros/Feist)
José Pinheiro (supporting “small” Producers in Douro, previously Sogrape – Ferreira/Sandeman/Offley)
Luis Sottomayor (Sogrape – Ferreira/Sandeman/Offley)
Jim Reader (he’s “helping” a Gran Cruz/Dalva, previously Cockburn’s)