The 19th edition of this unique international competition of blends and branded wines was held on 23rd August and 16th September by the Club of Ostrava’s Amateur Wine Evaluators, K.A.H.A.N, in conjunction with the Castle 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 116 wines in six competition categories: 29 dry white wines (category A1), 29 semi-dry and semi-sweet white wines (A2), 34 red wines (B), 7 rosé wines (C), 14 sparkling wines (D) and 3 sweet and liqueur wines (E). A total of seven countries sent their samples to this competition: Czech Republic (88 wines), Slovakia (20), Spain (3), Denmark (2), Italy (1), 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 23rd August 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. The organizers have tightened the condition for awarding medals compared to previous years. Wines receiving 90 points or over were in receipt of a double gold medal, wines achieving between 87 and 89.99 points were awarded a gold medal, wines achieving between 84 and 86.99 points were awarded a silver medal. It was decided by the organizers not to award any bronze medals.
A trio of specialised committees under the direction of Fedor Malík, Josef Valihrach and Michal Kumšta awarded 4 double gold medals, 24 gold and 42 silver medals. Local Czech and Moravian wines were honoured with 4 double gold, 19 gold and 33 silver medals. Most successful among the foreign participants were wines emanating from Slovakia (2 gold, 5 silver), followed by Spain (1 gold, 2 silver), the vinously exotic nation of Denmark (1 gold, 1 silver), France (1 gold) and Bulgaria (1 silver).
The title of Champion in the category of dry white wines was awarded to cuvée of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay EGO No. 57 2020 (Zámecké vinařství Bzenec, Czech Republic) from the wine region of Moravia. The red-wine champion was Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux Château Les Bertrands 2018 (Château Les Bertrands, France; imported by Winaři.cz) made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The title of National Winner for the best-rated red wine of local provenance went to assemblage of Alibernet, Merlot and Malbec Cuvée Grand Reserva 2018 (Štěpán Maňák, Czech Republic). The winner in the merged category of semi-dry and semi-sweet white wines and the sweet and liqueur wines was EGO No. 57 2019 (Zámecké vinařství Bzenec, Czech Republic) produced from the Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. The victor in the Rosé and/or Blanc de Noirs category was coupage of Pinot Noir and Zweigelt Element Ventus 2020 (Vinař Jiří Uherek, Czech Republic). The winner in the sparkling-wine category was Sekt 1876 Brut (Zámecké vinařství Bzenec, Czech Republic). The domestic producer Zámecké vinařství Bzenec has also received an award for the Best Overall Collection of Wines.
Champion titles were also handed out in the frame of Cuvée Ostrava Wine Exhibition at Castle Zábřeh Hotel on 16th September 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 also the EGO No. 57 2020 (Zámecké vinařství Bzenec, Czech Republic) and the Andalusian coupage of Tempranillo, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon Finca Sanguijuela Reserva 2013 (Bodega F. Schatz, Spain). National winner was Dvě tratě Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot 2018 (Vinařství Mikrosvín Mikulov, Czech Republic). The winners in the individual categories were Cuvée Netrahi 2020 (Vinařství Mezi Horami, Czech Republic), rosé Element Ventus 2020 (Vinař Jiří Uherek, Czech Republic) and Sekt 1876 Brut (Zámecké vinařství Bzenec, Czech Republic).
The results from this – the one and only international wine competition taking place in Northern Moravia – were made public on 16th April 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 “Speaking about Bordeaux.…”
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.