The 20th edition of this unique international competition of blends and branded wines was held 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 113 wines in six competition categories: 31 dry white wines (category A1), 23 semi-dry and semi-sweet white wines (A2), 26 red wines (B), 13 rosé wines (C), 18 sparkling wines (D) and 2 sweet and liqueur wines (E). A total of eight countries sent their samples to this competition: Czech Republic (82 wines), Slovakia (10), Germany (6), Spain (5), Italy (4), France (3), South Africa (2) 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 11th 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 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 Balík and Marek Šťastný awarded 3 double gold medals, 20 gold and 62 silver medals. Local Czech and Moravian wines were honoured with 1 double gold, 11 gold and 48 silver medals. Most successful among the foreign participants were wines emanating from Slovakia (5 gold, 2 silver), Spain (1 double gold, 3 gold, 1 silver), Germany (6 silver), followed by Italy (3 silver), France (1 gold, 1 silver), Bulgaria (1 double gold) and South Africa (1 silver).
The title of Champion in the category of dry white wines was awarded to coupage Morava Classic Rheinriesling / Welschriesling 2020 (Zámecké vinařství Bzenec, Czech Republic). The red-wine champion was Petit Enira 2017 (Domaine Bessa Valley, Bulgaria; imported by Prowine) made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot. The title of National Winner for the best-rated red wine of local provenance went to assemblage of Neronet and Merlot Element Ignis 2018 (Vinař Jiří Uherek, Czech Republic). The winner in the merged category of semi-dry and semi-sweet white wines and the sweet and liqueur wines was cuvée Noviny 2021 (Ľubomír Jelemenský, Slovakia) produced from the Solaris and Muscaris. The victor in the Rosé and/or Blanc de Noirs category was coupage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir Element Ventus 2021 (Vinař Jiří Uherek, Czech Republic). The winner in the sparkling-wine category was Cava Josep Ventosa Premium Brut NV (Josep Ventosa, Spain; imported by Winaři store), assemblage of Xarello, Parellada, Macabeo and Chardonnay. The domestic producer Zámecké vinařství Bzenec has 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 5th May 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 Cuvée Premium 2017 (Panonia Winery – Vinárstvo Golguz, Slovakia) made of Pinot blanc, Pinot gris and Chardonnay, as well as South African “Bordeaux-blend” of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet franc Max 2017 (Miles Mossop Wines, imported by Pinot). National winners were Morava Classic Riesling / Welschriesling 2020 (Zámecké vinařství Bzenec, Czech Republic) and coupage Zweigelt / Merlot 2019 (Vinařství Baloun, Czech Republic). The winners in the individual categories were assamblage of Welschriesling and Sylvaner Cuvée Blanc 2021 (ZD Němčičky, Czech Republic), then Cuvée Rosé 2021 (Vinařství Doležal, Czech Republic) and Cava Josep Ventosa Premium Brut NV (Josep Ventosa, imported by Winaři store).
The results from this – the one and only international wine competition taking place in Northern Moravia – were made public on the same day 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 lecture titled “How to taste wines” led by Czech Sommeliers Association member of the board Tomáš Dominec.
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.