The 15th edition of this unique international competition of blends and branded wines was held on the 10th and 27th April by the Club of Ostrava’s Amateur Wine Evaluators, K.A.H.A.N, in conjunction with the Zámek Zábřeh Hotel in Ostrava and the National Wine Centre. The event took place with the support of the Wine Fund of the Czech Republic. The initiator and spiritual father of this – the only wine contest taking place in the Moravian-Silesian district – was the guru of Czech and Moravian vini-viticulture, the late Professor Vilém Kraus.
Czech and Moravian wine producers and foreign-wine importers entered into this year’s edition a total of 140 wines in six competition categories: 32 dry white wines (category A1), 40 semi-dry and semi-sweet white wines (A2), 22 red wines (B), 25 rosé wines (C), 9 sparkling wines (D) and 12 sweet and liqueur wines (E). A total of 7 countries sent their samples to this competition: Czech Republic (107 wines), Slovakia (21), Denmark (5), Spain (2), Austria (2), Sweden (2) and Bulgaria (1). Wines which fulfilled the conditions of the competition statutes were assessed in the tasting room of National Wine Centre in Château Valtice on 10th April using the 100-point evaluation system under the partonage of the National Wine Centre. A hundred-point system was used in accordance with the criteria as defined by the National Standards for Certifying wine competitions of the Czech Republic. Wines receiving 90 points or over were in receipt of a great gold medal, wines achieving between 86 and 89.99 points were awarded a gold medal, wines achieving between 83 and 85.99 points were awarded a silver medal. It was decided by the organisers not to award any bronze medals.
A quartet of specialised committees under the direction of Professor Fedor Malík, Josef Balík, Radomil Baloun and Oldřich Drápal awarded 2 double gold medals, 26 gold and 39 silver medals. Local Moravian wines were honoured with 1 double gold, 15 gold and 28 silver medals. Most successful among the foreign participants were wines emanating from Slovakia (1 double gold, 8 gold, 5 silver) followed by Spain (2 gold), Denmark (1 gold, 2 silver), Austria (2 silver), Sweden (1 silver) and Bulgaria (1 silver).
The title of Champion in the category of dry white wines was awarded to cuvée Sauvignon / Pinot Blanc 2015 (Vinařství Jan Plaček, Czech Republic) from the Znojmo wine sub-region. The red-wine champion was a Spanish blend of Tempranillo, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon Finca Sanguijuela 2009 (Bodega F. Schatz, Spain). The prize for the best-rated red wine of local provenance went to Cuvée 1362 Blatnicz Superior 2013 (Víno Hruška s.r.o., Czech Republic) made from the Zweigeltrebe, Pinot Noir and Blaufränkisch (Lemberger) grape varieties.
The winner in the category of semi-dry and semi-sweet white wines was Cuvée MT+MM 2016 (Vinařství Tichý, Czech Republic) produced from the blend of the Müller-Thurgau and Moravian Muscat cultivars. The victor in the Rosé and/or Blanc de Noirs category was Eminhof André / Frankovka (Lemberger) 2015 (Diana Moravia s.r.o., Czech Republic). The winner in the sparkling-wine category was Matthias Pinot Chardonnay Sekt NV (Proqin s.r.o., Czech Republic), an assemblage of Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay. The winner among the sweet and liqueur wines was the Tokajská výberová esencia 1999 (Tokaj & Co. s.r.o., Slovakia), produced from the botrytised berries of Furmint, Lipovina (Hárslevelü) and Yellow Muscadelle. The Slovak producer Tokaj & Co. s.r.o. has thus received an award for the Best Overall Collection for the fourth time this year.
Concurrently with this contest was, for the eleventh time, the PRIX FIJEV CZ (Special Prize of the International Federation of Journalists and Writers on Wine and Spirits). Jurors who are also FIJEV members nominate for this award those wines that drew attention as much through their exceptional vinous qualities as by their showing the true path winemaking should be taking. Laureates for the year 2017 went to the Danish sparkling wine DON´s Rosé Brut 2015 (Skærsøgaard Vin, Denmark) made from Rondo, a grape for whose birth Professor Vilém Kraus was responsible, together with the Gemischter Schmatz 2016 (Weingut Weinwurm, Austria), a traditional product from the collective harvesting and processing of grapes from mixed plantings of Neuburger, Pinot Blanc and Welschriesling.
Notional medals and Champion titles were also handed out at Zámek Zábřeh Hotel on 27th April 2017 by the Committee of the Lay Public. These results permit wine producers and importers to compare the opinions of the specialists with those of wine aficionados. The Champions as chosen by the lay public were the blend 4 Živly 2015 (Karpatská Perla s.r.o, Slovakia), comprised of grapes from the Riesling, Gruner Veltliner, Aurelius and Pinot Gris varieties, and the Finca Sanguijuela 2009 (Bodega F. Schatz, Spain), which was also a winner with the specialised committee. The highest marked red wine of local provenance was the blend of Dornfelder with Cabernet Moravia, Element Ignis 2015 (Bojanovský sklep Uherek, Czech Republic). The winners in the individual categories were once again in accordance with the those of specialised jury with the semi-dry Cuvée MT+MM 2016 (Vinařství Tichý, Czech Republic) and Matthias Pinot Chardonnay Sekt (Proqin s.r.o, Czech Republic), followed by the coupage of Frankovka (Lemberger) and Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé Francs 2016 (Vinařství Jan Plaček, Czech Republic) and the Tokajský výber 5-putňový 2003 (Tokaj & Co., s.r.o, Slovakia). Likewise the best overall collection of wines according the the lay public was that of the firm Tokaj & Co. from Slovakia.
The results from this – the one and only international wine competion taking place in Northern Moravia – were made public on 27th April 2017 at the Cuvée Ostrava Wine Exhibition in Zábřeh Castle. Professor Fedor Malík inaugurated the accompanying programme with his traditional tutored tasting of “Slovak wines at 5 o‘clock“. Thereafter the wine exhibition was made freely accessible to the general public to the plangent sounds of Moravian dulcimer music, while visitors could sample not only the wines from the competition, but also varietal wines from those Moravian winemakers and importers of foreign wines who were present. The accompanying programme culminated with a presentation by Tomáš Dominec titled “Bordeaux Alternatif“.
The presumptuous aim of the organisers of the Cuvée Ostrava competition is to witness a renaissance of the good name of blends or brands and their return to the forefront of the products on offer from Czech and Moravian winemakers, as is customary in other major wine-producing countries. In the words of the spiritual father of the competition Professor Vilém Kraus: “There’s no Cuvée like a Cuvée” meaning that each and every blend is different.