London’s Imperial College wins Left Bank Bordeaux Cup

The Imperial College London team emerged as victors at this year’s final of the prestigious Left Bank Bordeaux Cup tasting competition.

Left Bank Bordeaux competition
The winning team from Imperial College London, with Baron Eric de Rothschild, Emmanuel Cruse and members of the Commanderie du Bontemps.

The final of this competition, organised by the Commanderie du Bontemps, again took place at the renowned Château Lafite Rothschild, at an event that participants won’t soon forget. This competition is for young students of French and foreign universities and takes place over six months.

The first selection phase for foreign teams began in January in New York and in the end, the competition brought together more than 50 students from eight teams: Massachusetts Institute of Technology and UCLA (USA), Paris-Dauphine and EMLYON (France), Hong Kong Baptist University and Sichuan International Studies University (Asia), University of Cambridge and Imperial College London (UK).

The grand finale consisted of two parts, starting with a theoretical test, which included a general knowledge quiz about wine, domaines, appellations, the 1855 classification, wine personalities… After this preliminary phase, the heart of the competition followed: a blind tasting. The examination consisted of three sets of tastings, each including three questions on, for example, the appellation, vintage, etc. This year’s blind tasting selection was very tempting: Cantenac Brown 2005, Giscours 2002, Prieuré-Lichine 2004, Château de Pez 2005, Haut-Marbuzet 2005, Haut-Bailly 2005, Rieussec 2007, Guiraud 2006 and Myrat 2008.

The British teams again showed their brilliant tasting skills this year, with the Imperial College of London finishing in first place, followed by their compatriots, the University of Cambridge, in second place. The University Paris-Dauphine in France finished in third place. The French teams tend to do very well in the general knowledge sections – although, admittedly, they have a slight advantage – but they do not always live up to their English comrades’ tasting abilities.

All participants at the final had the privilege and pleasure to visit some of the most beautiful properties on the left bank of Bordeaux over three days, finishing with an evening of “haute couture” at Lafite Rothschild. Baron Eric de Rothschild said to his guests: “It is always a pleasure to welcome you here to what is probably my favourite night of the year.” The winners also received some vinous gifts from Baron Eric – the kind of bottles that frequent iDealwine auctions: Cantenac-Brown, Lafite Rothschild, Rieussec…


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