Hungary has collected a good number of medals this year at super rigorous International Wine Challenge: 16 commended, 14 bronze, 17 silver and 5 gold medals. On top of that we can celebrate 2 Trophy winners (the best of the gold winners): Patricius Estate from Tokaj for its 6 puttonyos Tokaji Aszú and Tornai Winery from Somló for its Premium Hárslevelű. This is the 4th IWC Trophy of Tornai, therefore we can say that this Somló winery is the most successful Hungarian player of IWC regarding the past 5 years.
Why to trust IWC?
DWWA (Decanter World Wine Award) or IWC (International Wine Challenge)? For wine experts it is a kind of religion, a question of decision. Those, who judge for the first one, do not participate in the second one and vice versa. The undoubted fact is that both British wine competitions are trustworthy and serve as guide for winelovers and professionals. The speciality of IWC is that each medal winning wine is tasted on at least three separate occasions.The 36th IWC results are announced and Hungary is proud: altogether 52 medals and 2 trophies! This is a great result for our country indeed. Romania and Bulgaria for example is not among the trophy winners, and Argentina, a much larger wine country can boast with only 3 trophies. Of course Portugal, Spain, Italy and France are much ahead, but compared to the size of Hungary, this year is astonishingly successful for Hungary.
Indigenious varieties in the limelight
Tornai Wineryfrom Somló is the most successful Hungarian participant of IWC regarding the past 5 years. „We got our fourth International Wine Challenge Trophy award with the 2017 Top Selection Grófi Hárslevelű. Such a result is unprecedented in Hungary and is also rare in the world”– commented the winery. „It is interesting to see how similar our results are, whether it is a domestic competition, the selection of the wines of the Hungarian Science Academy or a big world competition. So far this year, we have won 5 gold and 12 silver medals at national and world competitions, the most successful variety is Juhfark (Aranyhegy 2015, 2016, Grófi 2017, Prémium 2016) with 8 awards. Zenit 2018 was awarded 7 medals alone, while 2018 Grófi Hárslevelű was awarded 5 medals. Zenit was also chosen as the wine of the Hungarian Science Academy in 2019. So indigenous and local varieties of Somló and Hungary perform best, which again proves that in the ever more intense competition all over the world we can really be successful with the unique and limited wines characterized by our special terroir and varieties” – adds Tornai Winery. And the trophy winner according to IWC judges:
Top Selection Grófi Hárslevelű, 2017
„This is rich and honeyed, yet has precision. With a saline edge to the vital pear and peach fruit and a hint of sweetness. Big and balanced, Lovely stuff!”
Patricius: the second trophy in the past 5 years
The Tokaj estate can be extremely proud as well: they won 2 trophies in 2 consecutive years. While last year their 2008 vintage 6 puttonyos Tokaji Aszú was awarded the highest acknowledgement, this year their 5 puttonyos Tokaji Aszú from 2013 has been appreciated with a trophy. Read what the international judges think of this wine!
Patricius Tokaji Aszú 5 puttonyos, 2013
„Beautiful pale gold hue with rich complex nougat, toffee and marmalade bouquet. Unctuous but not cloying, with super length of dried fruit and candied peel.”
Patricius wines are available at Budapest Airport duty free shop (Heinemann store), and in fact their late harvest Katinka blend was the top selling wine of the store, and if you travel to Budapest in May, you will have a chance to taste Katinka in the store with some goose liver paté!
A gold winner newcomer
Hungary won 5 gold medals at IWC: 2 wines are the above mentioned trophy winners, there is another Tornai wine with gold (Top Selection Grófi Juhfark, 2017), a Royal Tokaji Late Harvest (from 2017) and a new winery with an ancient style: Juliet Victor Sweet Szamorodni, 2016. Szamorodni is an exciting style to watch: bunches are harvested with botrytised berries together, the procedure is less labour consuming – thus less expensive –, but the complexity and all the merits of botrytis are there.