Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters: The Results and Analysis

Judge’s profile

Sarah Heller MW is a wine communicator, designer and consultant based in Hong Kong and the youngest Master of Wine. Having graduated from Yale University with a degree in fine art, Sarah began her career in the New York and Hong Kong wine trades and wineries in France and Italy. She was Executive Director of events and education firm Meiburg Wine Media in Hong Kong for three years. Sarah currently writes for the South China Morning Post, Spirito di Vino and #legend magazine; her educational wine videos on Chinese app ShowMuse have over a million views. She speaks and consults on Asian wine markets, with a special focus on E-commerce. Her boutique design agency Radix & Folium works with clients in the F&B and wine industries to create market-appropriate packaging, branding and training materials. She recently tried her hand at F&B with a pop-up wine bar in central Hong Kong. Sarah also regularly judges wine competitions like the Cathay Pacific HKIWSC and China’s Wine100. She is also the winner of Drinks Business Asian Awards Young Achiever of the Year, Prestige Hong Kong 40 Under 40, 2017 Winner of Villa Maria Prize, Errazuriz Award, Robert Mondavi Winery Award, and Austrian Wine Marketing Board Outstanding Achievement Award.

Seattle native Darius Allyn MS became the 60th American passing the Master Sommelier examination in 2005, after obtaining his Advanced Oenology Diploma from leading winemaking school UC Davis in 2004. With over 30 years of hospitality experience, Allyn has created and led award-winning wine programmes around the world including Wine Spectator Grand Award recipient Aureole Las Vegas and Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney Australia. A firm believer in industry wine education, Allyn was Adjunct Professor in University of Nevada Las Vegas. Over past decade, Allyn frequently travelled to Asia to lead courses for Court of Master Sommeliers whilst continuing to be active as Examiner for Master Sommelier level candidates. Allyn possesses extensive judging and speaking experience, having participated in over 20 international wine conferences and competitions.

Eddie McDougall, an award-winning winemaker and TV personality in Asia, is the creator of TLC’s popular The Flying Winemaker TV series. A trained winemaker with a diploma in Wine Technology and Viticulture from the University of Melbourne, McDougall has more than a decade of winemaking experiences working with wineries such as Vietti and Innocent Bystander. McDougall just successfully launched his Asian Wine Festival last year, showcasing some of the best wines made in Asian countries from Japan to Bali in Indonesia.
Rebecca Leung is an independent wine educator, wine journalist & consultant based in Hong Kong. She is also a certified Educator & Internal Assessor accredited by WSET (UK), a holder of the WSET Diploma. Rebecca writes her own wine blog “Wine is Beautiful” and has regular columns in many publications. Rebecca is an active wine judge & traveler. 
Ron Taylor, born in Scotland and a resident of Hong Kong, has been studying wine and spirits for over 30 years and lecturing for at least 18
of those years. He is a Certified Educator and Approved Assessor/Invigilator of the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers, Member of the Association of Wine Educators, Society of Wine Educators, Guild of Sommeliers and the Hong Kong Wine Society, and a very proud graduate of the Australian Wine Research Institute Advanced Judging Course. He has taught consumers, the F&B industry and staff of leading Hong Kong wine companies in both WSET courses and bespoke material.
Howard Palmes, is the General Manager of Fine Vintage Fine Wines Limited. He passed his Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma in 1986 prior to moving to Hong Kong in 1988. He managed the Hong Kong Club and then the Hong Kong Golf Club for twenty years prior to joining the Wine & Spirits Industry. Fine Vintage is a small family owned business specialising in representing other family-owned producers of fine wines, spirits and saké. As Hong Kong’s major Single Malt Whisky specialist, the company imports a wide range of renowned brands in Scotland to new emerging brands from Taiwan and India. Howard’s hobbies include drinking Burgundy, hiking, motor racing, reading and whisky.