The German competition claims to be the largest international contest under OIV patronage, and it also claims to be one of the strictest ones: “With the self-imposed limit of 7,000 submissions each in February and July, the BWT is the first international wine contest that has introduced a limit for quality reasons.” Berliner Wine Trophy is undoubtedly important for Hungarian wineries, especially to enter the German market. This year the winter tasting has brought great news: 32 medals were given to Hungarian wines, 30 gold and 2 silver.
The most successful Hungarian winery is Bognár-Vin, a large company known for its relatively cheap wines from several wine regions. Bognár-Vin won 8 gold medals, followed by a similar type of large company, the Balaton based Varga Winery, which has a cellar in Eger wine region as well – they won 4 gold medals. The whole list of Hungarian medal winners can be found here, and now let us recommend 3 excellent wines of the gold winners.
Bock Libra, Villány, 2015
Bock Cellar is one of the most well-known wineries of the mediterranean Villány, its founder, József Bock is an influental personality of the wine region. This Bordeaux blend shows perfect harmony of the varieties, that is what the name ‘libra’ stands for. The 3 Bordeaux varieties come from different vineyards: Ördögárok (Cabernet Franc), Jammertal Cabernet Sauvignon), Fekete-hegy (Merlot). “A full-bodied, concentrated wine with an incredible wealth of aroma and depth of flavour. It is characterized by a deeply intense colour verging on black in which tobacco and milk chocolate appear alongside overripe fruit. Alongside the dried fruits, chocolate is a dominant element of its flavour.”
Kővilla Vállogatás Villányi Cuvée, Villány, 2015
Csányi Winery, founded by the world famous viticulturist, Zsigmond Teleki is most proud of the great founder’s heritage. ‘Kővilla’, a ‘Stone Villa’ is a building still standing on one of the vineyards cultivated by Teleki. This wine has won a gold at VinAgora, another OIV competition. The Merlot base of the wine was harvested at full ripeness. Blended with Cabernet Franc the resulting wine has become a spotless match. The base was being matured separately in 3rd use, 300 l Hungarian oak barrels. “Dark ruby colour. The intense nose is determined by the notes of sour cherry and blackberry accompanied by subtle tones from barrel ageing. The palate is exciting, firm but nice tannins, a touch of chocolate and the fruity flavours reminiscent of the nose.“
Tivald Szekszárdi Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017
This wine is another evidence to prove that Bordeaux varieties feel good in Hungary in case of careful viticultural practices. Tivald is a great, full bodied wine by Eszterbauer Winery, a perfect example of the grape variety. Full bodied, but as the wine writer of Pécsi Borozó wrote, the big body pairs with elegance and delicacy. “Deep and dark colours, temperate flavour, but very rich. It has the aroma of blackberry and blueberry, there is a hint of dark chocolate and cherry brandy. Very strong in the mouth, but pleasant tannins, pepper and sweet spices. The alcohol is understandably high, but it can’t ruin the structure, it has a matured and rich body. The use of the barrel is very nice. Takes a long leavewith very rich taste…” And who is Tivald? He was a simple day labourer working for the owner’s grandfather. János Eszterbauer well remembers his figure, always unshaved, always complaining about something – and always working. This wine and the label is an honour to him – and probably to all the simple, honest, hard working people.