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Diploma Unit 3 Course Info

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Unit 5 Tasting Categories

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Wine Tasting Portfolios for Unit 3 (Light Wines)

How and Why to Submit Tasting Portfolios

The WSET no longer requires tasting portfolios; however, we recommend that our students hand in tasting notes for us to evaluate at due dates we specify so that they can receive feedback in advance of their exams.

These tasting notes must be done in "neat and legible hand-written English" (as per the WSET Diploma Candidate Assessment Guide, which can be accessed online here). The notes may not be typed. They should be done using the standard WSET Diploma Tasting Note found in the Unit Study Guides.


WSET Diploma Unit 3 Portfolio Categories

During the 2003-04 year, students were required to submit tasting notes for 128 separate wines for grading. However, during 2004-05, that number was reduced significantly – only 26 separate categories.

These 26 are a good cross-section of the various styles of still wines available. For example, while the long list required a NZ Sauvignon Blanc and a South African Sauvignon Blanc and a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, all of which would probably be unoaked and of similar style, this shorter list only asked for one New World, unoaked Sauvignon Blanc.

The lists below use price category terms ranging from "low-priced" to "premium." In U.S. dollars these terms translate as:


White Wines
Wine Style
1. Premium, unoaked Chardonnay
2. Premium, oaked Chardonnay
3. Premium, German, Kabinett/ Spätlese Riesling
4. Premium, dry Riesling
5. Premium, Loire Sauvignon Blanc
6. Mid-priced, New World, unoaked Sauvignon Blanc
7. Inexpensive/ mid-priced dry, youthful, unoaked aromatic varietal wine
8. Inexpensive/ mid-priced dry, youthful, neutral wine (can be a blend)
9. Inexpensive/ mid-priced sweet wine
10. Premium, mature, complex, sweet wine
11. Inexpensive, youthful, fruit driven blend
12. Premium, mature, complex dry white
Rosé Wines
Wine Style
13. Any quality dry, rosé
14. Any off-dry to medium rosé
Red Wines
Wine Style
15. Premium, mature, complex, Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wine
16 Premium, mature, complex, New World, Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux blend, but could benefit from further ageing
17. Premium, mature, complex, medium/ full bodied Merlot
18. Inexpensive/ mid-priced, youthful, light bodied, Merlot
19. Premium, mature, complex, Pinot Noir from Burgundy
20. Inexpensive/ mid-priced, youthful, Pinot Noir
21. Premium, cool climate (relative to wine 22), medium/ full bodied Syrah/ Shiraz, ready to drink, but could benefit from further ageing
22. Premium, hot climate (relative to wine 21), full bodied Syrah/ Shiraz, ready to drink, but could benefit from further ageing
23. Any inexpensive youthful, light bodied, blended wine
24. Any premium, complex wine made from traditional Italian varieties
25. Any high-priced/ premium, traditional, oaked or oxidatively-aged red
26. Any inexpensive/ mid-priced, youthful wine made using carbonic maceration


Unit 3: The 128 Other Categories

This is the list of light wine categories required before August, 2004. Since the wines used for the Unit 3 blind tasting tests will come from these same 128 categories, the WSET still recommends that all Unit 3 students taste all 128 categories.

Those who attend our Unit 3 classes generally taste all of these wines during the classes.

We list the categories below for the benefit of home study students and also as advance notification for our own students.

There are choices within the table. For example, the second line on the list below asks for one of two Cru Classé Red Bordeaux, either a Medoc Cru Classé or one from the Haut Medoc.

1of 1 Red Generic Bordeaux      
1 of 2 Médoc Cru Classé Haut-Médoc Cru Classé    
1 of 1 White Generic Bordeaux      
1 of 2 Red Pessac-Leognan Red Graves    
1 of 2 Saint-Emilion Pomerol    
1 of 2 Entre-Deux-Mers White Graves    
1 of 3 Sauternes Barsac Other Sweet Bordeaux wine  
3 of 3 3 vintages of one red wine      
South West France
1 of 2 Inexpensive White varietal VdP Gers Inexpensive White varietal VdP Gascony    
1 of 1 Bord'x style red wine      
1 of 2 Cahors Madiran    
1 of 3 Bourgogne Rouge Hautes Côtes-de-Nuits Rouge Hautes Côtes-de-Beaune Rouge  
1 of 2 Red Commune Côtes-de-Nuits Red Commune Côtes-de-Beaune    
1 of 2 Red 1er or Grand Cru Côtes-de-Nuits Red 1er or Grand Cru Côtes-de-Beaune    
1 of 2 Chablis 1er Cru Chablis    
1 of 3 Meursault Puligny Montrachet Chassagne Montrachet  
1 of 3 Mâcon (white) Mâcon-Villages Pouilly-Fuissé  
1 of 2 Beaujolais Beaujolais Villages    
1 of 1 Any Beaujolais Cru      
1 of 2 Rosé d'Anjou Cabernet d'Anjou    
1 of 1 Muscadet Sur Lie      
1 of 4 Anjou Blanc Savennières Vouvray Sec Saumur Blanc
1 of 2 Pouilly Fumé White Sancerre    
1 of 4 Touraine Sauvignon Quincy Menetou-Salon Reuilly
1 of 3 Coteaux du Layon Vouvray Moelleux Montlouis  
1 of 4 Saumur-Champigny Bourgueil Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil Chinon
1 of 1 Pinot Noir      
2 of 4* Riesling Pinot Gris Gewurztraminer Muscat
1 of 1* *Grand Cru of one of same grape as chosen above      
1 of 2 Pinot Blanc Sylvaner    
1 of 2 Vendange Tardive Sélection de Grains Nobles    
2 of 3 Riesling Kabinett Riesling Spätlese Riesling Auslese  
1 of 3 Riesling BA Riesling Eiswein Riesling TBA  
1 of 2 Riesling Trocken Riesling Halbtrocken    
1 of 5 Müller-Thurgau Silvaner Weissburgunder Grauburgunder
1 of 2 Spätburgunder Dornfelder    
1 of 2 Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Nahe    
1 of 4 Rheingau Pfalz Rheinhessen Baden
1 of 2 Grüner Veltliner Riesling    
1 of 1 Any sweet Austrian quality wine      
1 of 1 Tokaji Aszú      
1 of 4 Modern Chardonnay Modern Sauv. Blanc Modern Irsai Oliver Modern Gewurz.
1 of 1 Modern varietal white wine      
1 of 1 Modern varietal red wine      
2 of 2 Côtes-du-Rhône Côtes-du-Rhône Villages    
1 of 3 Red varietal VdP Ardeche Red varietal VdP Bouches-du-Rhône Red varietal VdP Vaucluse  
2 of 5 Côte-Rôtie Hermitage Crozes Hermitage Cornas
1 of 4 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Gigondas Vacqueyras Lirac
1 of 1 Any Rhone white      
1 of 1 Any Rhone rosé      
Southern France
1 of 1 Inexpensive international white varietal VdP      
1 of 1 Inexpensive international red varietal VdP      
1 of 1 Premium international red varietal VdP      
2 of 7 Coteaux du Languedoc St.-Chinian Minervois Corbières
  Fitou Costières de Nimes Côtes du Roussillon  
1 of 2 Provence rosé Languedoc-Roussillon rosé    
Northern Italy
1 of 1 Inexpensive red Veneto IGT      
1 of 2 Varietal white Trentino-Alto Adige Varietal white Friuli-Grave    
1 of 2 Soave Gavi    
1 of 3 Barolo Barbaresco Gattinara  
1 of 2 Dolcetto Barbera    
1 of 2 Valpolicella Valpolicella Ripasso    
1 of 2 Valpolicella Amarone Valpolicella Recioto    
Central Italy
1 of 2 Red Tuscan IGT      
1 of 5 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Trebbiano d'Abruzzo Vernaccia di San Gimignano Orvieto
1 of 3 Chianti Classico Riserva Brunello di Montalcino Vino Nobile di Montepulciano  
Southern Italy & the Islands
1 of 2 Red IGT from international varietal Red IGT from traditional varietal    
1 of 2 White IGT from international varietal White IGT from traditional varietal    
1 of 1 Southern DOC/DOCG white      
1 of 1 Southern DOC/ DOCG red      
3 of 4 (red) Rioja Joven Rioja Crianza Rioja Reserva Rioja Gran Reserva
1 of 4 (red) Navarra Catalonia Somontano Costers del Segre
1 of 4 Red La Mancha Red Valdepeñas Red Valencia Red Jumilla
1 of 2 blended red from local and international varietals
  Navarra Catalonia    
1 of 5 (white) Catalonia Costers del Segre Navarra Rueda
1 of 2 (white) Modern style La Mancha Modern style Valencia    
1 of 1 Traditional white Rioja Reserva      
1 of 1 Any Spanish Rosé      
1 of 1 Any Portuguese rosé      
1 of 1 Vinho Verde      
1 of 1 Modern style white      
1 of 4 Red Dao Red Bairrada Red Ribatejo Red Ribatejano
1 of 3 Red Duoro Red Alentejo Red Borba  
1 of 2 Red wine from international varietal Red wine from blend of international & local varietals    
1 of 2 White wine from international varietal White wine from blend of international & local varietals    
1 of 2 Modern red AOQS Modern red VDP/ regional wine    
1 of 2 Modern white AOQS Modern white VdP or Regional wine    
1 of 1 Modern style white      
1 of 1 Modern style red      
1 of 1 Inexpensive generic Calif. red      
1 of 1 Inexpensive Calif. blush      
2 of 3 High quality oaked Chardonnay High quality unoaked Chardonnay High oaked Sauvignon Blanc (Fume Blanc)  
2 of 4 Red Zin Red Cabernet Sauv. Red Merlot Red Pinot Noir
1 of 3 Red Bordeaux varietal blend Red Rhône varietal blend Red Italian varietal blend  
1 of 2 Oregon Pinot Noir Washington Merlot    
1 of 1 Inexpensive high volume branded Red      
1 of 1 Mid range Sauvignon Blanc      
1 of 1 Premium varietal white wine (not Sauvignon Blanc)      
2 of 4 Premium Cabernet Sauv. Premium Merlot Premium Carmenère Premium red blend
2 of 2 Red varietal Malbec Red varietal Bonarda    
1 of 3 Red varietal Sangiovese Red varietal Tempranillo Red varietal Cabernet Sauvignon  
1 of 2 White varietal Torrontés White varietal Chardonnay    
1 of 1 Inexpensive high volume branded red wine      
1 of 1 Inexpensive high volume branded white wine      
1 of 2 Mid range varietal red Mid range blended red    
1 of 2 Premium range varietal red Premium range blended red    
2 of 2 Oaked Chardonnay Unoaked Chardonnay    
1 of 3 Hunter Valley Semillon Clare Valley Riesling Eden Valley Riesling  
2 of 5 Tasmanian Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Pinot Noir Barossa Shiraz Western Australia Cab. Sauvignon
  Coonawarra Cab. Sauvignon      
New Zealand
2 of 4 Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc Riesling Pinot Gris
1 of 2 Red Bordeaux blend Pinot Noir    
South Africa
1 of 1 Inexpensive Chenin Blanc      
1 of 1 Mid range Pinotage      
1 of 2 Premium red varietal wine Premium red blended wine    


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