The 16th edition of this unique international competition of blends and branded wines was held on the 16th and 26th 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 160 wines in six competition categories: 49 dry white wines (category A1), 32 semi-dry and semi-sweet white wines (A2), 42 red wines (B), 28 rosé wines (C), 7 sparkling wines (D) and 2 sweet and liqueur wines (E). A total of 12 countries sent their samples to this competition: Czech Republic (121 wines), Slovakia (13), Austria (6), Spain (5), Israel (5), Poland (3), Sweden (2), France (1), Italy (1), Argentina (1), Moldova (1) and Bulgaria (1). Wines which fulfilled the conditions of the competition statutes were assessed in the tasting room of National Wine Centre in Valtice on 16th April using the 100-point evaluation system under the patronage 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, Vladimíra Mrázová and Evžen Kašpárek awarded 2 double gold medals, 19 gold and 51 silver medals. Local Czech and Moravian wines were honoured with 2 double gold, 13 gold and 36 silver medals. Most successful among the foreign participants were wines emanating from Slovakia (2 gold, 4 silver) and Israel (2 gold, 3 silver), followed by the vinously exotic nation of Sweden (1 gold, 1 silver), Austria (2 silver), Argentina (1 gold), Moldova, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and Poland (all 1 silver).
The title of Champion in the category of dry white wines was awarded to Slovak cuvée of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc Ferdinand Fussmann Pannonia 2015 (Vinárstvo Golguz, Slovakia) from the wine region of Lesser Carpathians. The red-wine champion was the Israeli Assemblage Eitan 2013 (Barkan Wine Cellars, Israel) made from the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. The title of National Winner for the best-rated dry white and red wine of local provenance went to Chardonnay-Pinot Blanc Gourmet 2015 (Spielberg CZ, s.r.o., Czech Republic) and to blend of André and Pinot Noir Grande Theodor 2017 (Vinařství Otto Ilčík, Czech Republic). The winner in the merged category of semi-dry and semi-sweet white wines and the sweet and liqueur wines was Cuvée Premium 2015 (ZD Němčičky, Czech Republic) produced from the blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The victor in the Rosé and/or Blanc de Noirs category was cuvée of Lemberger and Cabernet Moravia La Guerre rosé 2015 (Vinařství Válka, Czech Republic). The winner in the sparkling-wine category was Maria Magdalena Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature NV (Proqin s.r.o., Czech Republic), an assemblage of Pinot Noir, Lemberger and St. Laurent. The Israeli producer Barkan Wine Cellars has received an award for the Best Overall Collection of Wines.
Concurrently with this contest was, for the twelfth 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 2018 were the Austrian amphora wine Maro 2013 (Ploder-Rosenberg, Austria) made from Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and newly developed crossing Muscaris, together with the Moldovan blend of the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc Sinodrea Matur Rezerva 2014 (Vinaria Nobile, Moldova).
Notional medals and Champion titles were also handed out at Zámek Zábřeh Hotel on 26th April 2018 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 qvevri coupage Aero 2013 (Ploder-Rosenberg, Austria), comprised of grapes from the Sauvignon Blanc, Roter Traminer, Muskateller and Muscaris, and the Altitude 624 2013 (Barkan Wine Cellars, Israel) on the base of Cabernet Sauvignon. National winners were the blend of Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Sylvaner, St. Antonius 2017 (Víno Blatel, Czech Republic), and the Cuvée Strážnice 2016 (Vinařství Žerotín, Czech Republic), which was made of Lemberger and Zweigeltrebe. The winners in the individual categories were the amber semi-dry Onakvé 2016 (Vinařství Žáček, Czech Republic), which was made from the grapes of Roter Traminer, Zeta, Chardonnay, Aurelius and Riesling, followed by the rosé Zweigeltrebe / Blauer Portugieser 2017 (ZD Němčičky, Czech Republic) and the Crémant de Spielberg 2013 (Spielberg CZ, spol. s r.o., Czech Republic), an assemblage of Riesling, Welschriesling and Pinot Blanc. The best overall collection of wines according the lay public was in accordance with specialised jury that of the Barkan Wine Cellars from Israel.
The results from this – the one and only international wine competition taking place in Northern Moravia – were made public on 26th April 2018 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 “Contrasts of the French wine regions” .
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.