The tenth anniversary edition of the singular international competition of blends and branded wines was held on 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 which is based in Valtice.
The event takes place with the support of the Wine Fund of the Czech Republic. The honorary president and spiritual father of the only wine contest of the Moravian-Silesian district is the guru of Czech and Moravian vini-viticulture Professor Vilém Kraus.
In all Czech and Moravian wine producers and foreign-wine importers entered a total of 99 individual wines in six competition categories: 21 white dry wines (category A1), 20 white semi-dry, semi-sweet and liqueur wines (A2 + E), 36 red wines (B), 13 rosé wines (C) and 9 sparkling wines (D). A total of 9 countries had wines in the competition: Czech Republic (67 samples), Spain (15), Slovakia (7), Poland (4), Denmark (2), France (1), Chile (1), Argentina (1) and South Africa (1). Wines which fulfilled the competition-statute conditions were assessed in the tasting room of National Wine Centre in Château Valtice on 16th April. A hundred-point system was used and only wines receiving 85 or more points were entitled to a gold medal. Silver medals were awarded for wines receiving between 82 and 84.99 points. The organisers were bound by the rules not to award more than 30% of all the wines entered in the competition. This rule was applied within all categories. An absolute novelty was the depth and aromatic profiles of every wine, which served the winemakers as better feedback than the simple number of points received.
A trio of specialised committees under the direction of Professor Fedor Malík, Docent Josef Balík and Bronislav Pavelka was composed of jurors coming from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Spain, who conferred 18 gold and 12 silver medals. Local wines were awarded 9 gold and 6 silver medals. Most successful among the foreign participants were wines emanating from Spain (3 gold, 3 silver) and Slovakia (1 gold, 3 silver). One gold apiece went to France, Argentina, Chile, South Africa along with the somewhat exotic wine nation of Poland. The sample from Denmark, whose wines were being rated in Central Europe for the first time ever, likewise also received a gold medal.
The title of Champion among the white wines went to the Riesling and Traminer Cuvée Binder Elegance 2011 late harvest (Pavel Binder – Family Winery, Rakvice) from the Velké Pavlovice wine sub-region. Champion in the red-wine category was the Spanish blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Samsó Lavinyeta Puntiapart 2009 (Lavinyeta / importer vinoteka.es s.r.o.). The prize for the highest-rated red wine of local provenence was granted to Cuvée Morabernet 2011 Moravian Land Wine (Lukáš Hlinecký, Čejkovice), produced from Cabernet Moravia and Alibernet grapes.
The victor in the other white wines category was EGO No. 57 2011 quality wine (Zámecké vinařství Bzenec s.r.o.), a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. The highest rating in the rosé category was received by Grapes Pink 2011 Moravian Land Wine (Wine School and Horticultural College of Valtice) made from the Lemberger (Frankovka) and Blauer Portugieser grape varieties. The winner in the sparkling-wine category was Champagne Bernard Rémy Millésime 2002 (Bernard Rémy / importer Heros vino s.r.o.), a classic cuvée of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The best overall collection of wines went to the Wine School and Horticultural College of Valtice.
Concurrently with this contest was, for the sixth time, the PRIX FIJEV CZ (Special Prize of the International Federation of Journalists and Writers on Wine). Jurors from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland who were also members of FIJEV nominated one white and one red wine from among the competing samples at Cuvée Ostrava that represented the best value for money, together with their intrinsic overall quality. The 2012 laurels went jointly to the Danish sparkling wine DON´s Cuvée Brut 2010 (Skaersogaard Vin) made from the Solaris, Madeleine Angevine and Sylvaner, together with the Andalusian brand wine Acinipo 2003 (Bodega F. Schatz), made from Lemberger (Frankovka), for which cuvée the grapes grew not far from the city of Málaga.
A notional medal and title of Champion were also awarded at Zámek Zábřeh Hotel on 26th April by the lay public committee. These results permit wine producers and importers to equate the opinions of the specialists with those of wine aficionados. In total the lay public committee awarded 17 gold and 13 silver medals. The Champions were the blend of Chardonnay and Sylvaner from Chasy Family Reserve 2005 (Vinařství Springer a.s.) and the Argentinian assemblage Malbec / Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Reserva (Pascual Toso / importer Jaroslav Kšána). The highest rated red wine of local provenance was Red Gentleman 2009 late harvest (Velkobílovická vína s.r.o.) produced from Cabernet Moravia and Zweigeltrebe.
The winners in the individual categories were according to the lay public Cuvée Golesz 2009 Likierowe (Roman Mysliwiec – Winnica Golesz), a coupage of the newly-developed Polish variety Jutrzenka and the American resistent cultivar Elmer (Swenson red), Rosálie 2011 late harvest (Martin Šebesta Family Winery), an assemblage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Zweigeltrebe, and Champagne Bernard Rémy Millésime 2002 (Bernard Rémy / importer Heros vino s.r.o.), which was the same as for the specialised committee. A matter of interest lay in the way the lay and specialised committees both awarded lower ratings for white wines with higher residual sugar levels.
The results from this one and only international wine competion taking place in Northern Moravia were made public on 26th April at the Cuvée Ostrava Wine Exhibition in Zábřeh castle. Professor Fedor Malík inaugurated the accompanying programme for the general public with his traditional tutored tasting of “Slovak wines at 5 o‘clock“. Thereafter the wine exhibition was made accessible to the public to the accompaniment of Moravian dulcimer music where 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 Josep Serra Pla (Spain) and “Wines from the Land of Salvador Dalí“.
The presumptuous aim of the organisers of Cuvée Ostrava 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”.