Home Winners > Winners 2015 > Rest of Europe, Including Hungary, Lebanon, Croatia & Slovenia

Winner Details


Rest of Europe, including Hungary, Lebanon, Croatia & Slovenia

2015: Gold 2 Silver 4 Bronze 7 Commended 6
2014: Gold 4 Silver 7 Bronze 10 Commended 12

With Greece and Turkey having headed off to set up their own pages in this results book, this section was made up mostly of wines from Croatia, Slovenia, Lebanon and Hungary. And though the number of medals was shared out more or less evenly, the Hungarians were probably the happiest of the four, with two Golds and a Silver for some high-quality white winemaking.

In fact, the reds generally were somewhat of a disappointment, our tasters torn between wanting local flavours and complaining when they couldn’t understand what was in their glass. A bit like wanting to watch Chekov in the original Russian, then wishing there were subtitles. One other sadness was the fact that there were no Bulgarian medals this year. After such a strong performance in 2014 – three Golds no less – let’s hope this is a temporary absence.

FOOTNOTE: Where wines are not yet available in the UK, a realistic estimate of the DPD price is given, and the winery’s details are given to contact.

From the Tasting Teams

‘People recognise that Lebanon makes quality wine, but there is still a sense of exploration, of going off the beaten path.’ Jonathan Kleeman, The Ritz Hotel

‘Stylistically, Lebanon sits between France and the New World, which appeals to a lot of people.’ Yves Desmaris MS, Lutyens

‘Furmint offers you something a bit different. It has the minerality and structure to counter quite rich dishes like slow-cooked cod.’ Giuseppe Longobardi, The Cross at Kenilworth

‘I really enjoyed the acidity of the Hungarian whites – fresh, but integrated. I was expecting them to be a lot lighter, but they had a good weight and structure, with a waxy mouthfeel.’ Charles Van Wyk, FJB Hotels

‘I thought the whites would be a much more funky flight but they were all trying to replicate other styles. The wines were really well made, but too many lacked identity.’ Laurent Richet MS, Restaurant Sat Bains

‘A couple of the reds were very interesting, complex, intense, fruit with flavours like tobacco and herbs – they would be great for spicy food.’ Joao Ribeiro, Buddha Bar London

Award winners

Found 5 wines

Rest of Old World, including Hungary, Lebanon, Croatia & Slovenia

Karam Winery, Saint John 2011, Jezzine, Lebanon

Silver medal winner

‘Showing development, with VA and balsamic characters, tertiary spiciness and organic minerality, forest floor undergrowth,’ said team leader Olivier Marie, with Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel adding: ‘Ripe plums, Oriental spices and an explosive palate; needs time.’

£16.00 Bulles Blanc Rouge

Château Ksara, Le Prieuré Rouge 2013, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Bronze medal winner

‘Clean and complex, with tobacco leaf and herbal characters,’ began team leader Olivier Marie, adding: ‘Thyme and rosemary garrigue-like notes, scented fruit and dark cherries, and the tannins are civilised.’

£8.15 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Château Ksara, Le Souverain 2011, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Bronze medal winner

‘Opulent and expressive, with young red fruit complexity and notes of forest floor and warm wood,’ said Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel. ‘Super dark fruits with intense flavour and a medley of spice,’ agreed Jonathan Kleeman of The Ritz Hotel.

£37.31 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Château Ksara, Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Commended medal winner

Château Ksara, Réserve du Couvent 2013, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Commended medal winner


Subscribe to the SWA newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest industry news.