The 17th edition of this unique international competition of blends and branded wines was held on the 15th and 25th 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 129 wines in six competition categories: 34 dry white wines (category A1), 27 semi-dry and semi-sweet white wines (A2), 38 red wines (B), 15 rosé wines (C), 11 sparkling wines (D) and 4 sweet and liqueur wines (E). A total of 12 countries sent their samples to this competition: Czech Republic (89 wines), Slovakia (8), Poland (7), Romania (6), Spain (4), Sweden (4), Italy (3), Hungary (2), Lebanon (2), Denmark (2), France (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 15th 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, Sándor Szedmák, Radomil Baloun and Pavel Chrást awarded 7 double gold medals, 32 gold and 37 silver medals. Local Czech and Moravian wines were honoured with 1 double gold, 19 gold and 34 silver medals. Most successful among the foreign participants were wines emanating from Romania (1 double gold, 4 gold), Slovakia (1 double gold, 1 gold, 1 silver) and Spain (3 gold), followed by Lebanon (1 double gold, 1 gold), the vinously exotic nations of Sweden (2 gold), Denmark (1 gold, 1 silver) and Poland (2 silver), Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria (all 1 double gold), France (1 gold).
The title of Champion in the category of dry white wines was awarded to Slovak cuvée of Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay Cuvée Premium 2017 (Vinárstvo Golguz, Slovakia) from the wine region of Lesser Carpathians. The red-wine champion was the Italian Umbria Tegolaro 2013 (Azienda Agraria Carini, Italy) made from the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The title of National Winner for the best-rated dry white and red wine of local provenance went to assemblage of Chardonnay and Traminer Cuvée Chatrč 2018 (Vinařství Žerotín, Czech Republic) and to blend of Cabernet Cortis, Dornfelder and Alibernet Element Ignis 2017 (Bojanovský sklep Uherek, Czech Republic). The winner in the merged category of semi-dry and semi-sweet white wines and the sweet and liqueur wines was Blue Label 2013 5-puttonyos Aszú (Royal Tokaji, Hungary) produced from the dried berries of Furmint, Hárslevelü and Yellow Muscadelle. The victor in the Rosé and/or Blanc de Noirs category was coupage of Lemberger and Blauer Portugieser Cuvée MP+Fr Rosé 2018 (ZD Němčičky, Czech Republic). The winner in the sparkling-wine category was Stephanus Brut 2016 (Proqin, Czech Republic), an assemblage of Riesling and Welschriesling. The Romanian producer Viticola Corcova has received an award for the Best Overall Collection of Wines.
Concurrently with this contest was, for the thirteenth 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 2019 were the Cuvée Pinot 2018 (Vinařství Baloun, Czech Republic) made from Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, together with the blend of the Seyval Blanc, Johanniter and Bianca Cuvée 2016 (Piwnice Półtorak, Poland).
Notional medals and Champion titles were also handed out at Zámek Zábřeh Hotel on 25th April 2019 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 Cuvée Pinot 2018 (Vinařství Tichý, Czech Republic), comprised of grapes from the Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, and the Bordeaux coupage of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc Château Clos Cormey (Château Clos Cormey, France). National winner in red-wines category was the blend of Merlot, Blauer Portugieser and Pinot noir 1362 Top Collection 2015 (Víno Hruška, Czech Republic). The winners in the individual categories were in accordance with specialised jury Blue Label 2013 5 puttonyos Aszú (Royal Tokaji, Hungary), Cuvée MP+Fr Rosé 2018 (ZD Němčičky, Czech Republic) and Stephanus Brut 2016 (Proqin, Czech Republic). The best overall collection of wines according the lay public was also Viticola Corcova from Romania.
The results from this – the one and only international wine competition taking place in Northern Moravia – were made public on 25th April 2019 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 “Modern France versus Traditional France” .
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.