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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > Rest of the Old World,WHITE, including Armenia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Lebanon & Slovenia

Winner Details

Rest of the Old World, WHITE, including Armenia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Lebanon & Slovenia

2017 Gold: 3 Silver: 6 Bronze: 3 Commended: 11
2016 Gold: 4 Silver: 4 Bronze: 4 Commended: 4

There is a whole army of men trawling up and down the country, week in week out, standing on the touchlines of empty, wind-swept football grounds to scout for the next Cristiano Ronaldo. ‘Just one diamond in the rough,’ they tell themselves, ‘that’s all it takes…’

Well, this is our wine equivalent of non-league football. There are wines here from countries that most of us can barely spell, let alone find on a map – but that doesn’t mean they’re no good. Nor even, always, that they’re cheap.

The Arba Kazakh Riesling was a magnificent bottle, made against the odds at 1000m of altitude in a country where most of the wine is barely fit to clean your tractor with. Elsewhere Hungary and, particularly, Slovenia looked very promising.

With a lot of really good, interesting wines throughout the medals, this section augurs well for the next generation of Cristiano Ronaldo wine stars.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘The [Slovenian whites] were impressive, and all under £10. Fruit-driven, crisp and light, they’d be a point of difference on a list, and pair well with fish or other light dishes, or even just as an aperitif.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

‘I really liked these. There was ripeness, tropical notes, and lots of purity of fruit.’ Sumi Sarma, Sumilier

‘There’s good quality Austrian Grüner at £7/£8 a bottle readily available and these Hungarian whites started at £9…’ Martin Lam, team leader

‘Who buys these? Regions you don’t know, unusual grape varieties. Simple – and very expensive.’ Sam Caporn MW, team leader
‘The Slovenian whites were lovely, with freshness, and texture as well. People should definitely be considering these.’ Julien Sahut, Sexy Fish

‘These were very impressive and not massively expensive. Shellfish, oysters, anything like that would be bang on. There are similarities to how I use Picpoul de Pinet.’ Ian Howard, The White Hart Inn at Lydgate

Award winners

Found 32 wines

Rest of the Old World (White & Red)

Arba Wine, Ak Arba, Reserve, Kazakh Riesling 2014, Assa Valley, Kazakhstan

Gold medal winner

Taking Gold for its complex, savoury, herbal character, this was described by team leader Andrea Briccarello as having ‘tomato leaf and basil, with great freshness and complexity, and layers of fruit, with a long, spicy finish’. The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira praised ‘tropical notes on the nose and elegance on the palate, with notes of lemon ice cream and biscuit’, while Matthieu Longuère MS of Le Cordon Bleu London found ‘mineral, flint notes, with beeswax, too – lovely, elegant and complex’.

£54.87 Arba Wine

Domaine des Tourelles, Marquis des Beys 2011, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Gold medal winner

A Gold-worthy wine of ‘massive complexity’ for team leader Angela Reddin, who found it ‘inky deep with soy and balsamic notes on the nose, olives and hot earth, then cassis and herbs on a palate of vibrant fruit weight, layers of flavour and a long, driving finish’. Hakkasan Group’s Diana Rollan also noted ‘toasty coffee notes, dark chocolate and smoky black pepper with cassis, plenty of tannin and full character’. ‘A lovely wine for steaks and game,’ suggested Caroline Catering’s Richard Brooks.

£18.99 Boutinot

Arba Wine, Sary Arba, Rkatsiteli 2014, Assa Valley, Kazakhstan

Silver medal winner

Carlos Ferreira of The Sign of the Don found ‘cooked apple and pear with spicy toasted notes on the nose, a creamy and elegant palate that’s very well balanced, with touches of salty mineral and greener asparagus notes’, and Sumi Sarma of Sumilier highlighted its fruity complexity, with ‘ripe lemon and grapefruit, floral jasmine and honeysuckle with softened peaches, brilliant mouthwatering acidity, refreshing yet concentrated’.

£14.79 Theatre of Wine

Arba Wine, Pino Arba, Reserve, Pinot Noir 2013, Assa Valley, Kazakhstan

Silver medal winner

‘Lovely, intense and ethereal, great perfume and a fresh aftertaste,’ said an impressed Xabier Alvarez of Trangallán, with Sake No Hana’s Tobias Brauweiler MS highlighting its ‘open style, with red fruit and perfumed rose petal notes on the nose, cherry and plum fruit with notes of kirsch and pleasant tannins’.

£80.35 Arba Wine

Arba Wine, Lagyl Arba, Reserve, Saperavi 2013, Assa Valley, Kazakhstan

Silver medal winner

‘Black cherry and dark plums, fruit-forward on the nose with high, very fine-grained tannins,’ said Sumi Sarma of Sumilier, while Street XO’s Raphael Thierry liked its ‘good concentration, sweet juicy fruit, and integrated tannic structure’. ‘Nice fruit and lots of new cedar oak notes,’ added team leader Annette Scarfe MW.

£67.60 Arba Wine

Karam, Syrah de Nicolas 2008, Jezzine, Lebanon

Silver medal winner

‘The nose shows development,’ began team leader Angela Reddin, finding ‘ironstone graphite mineral notes over plump red fruits, the palate broadening out with more dark fruit flavours, still with plenty of tannins, though they sit well in this style’. ‘Beautiful nose with a touch of menthol for freshness, well-developed black fruit, full and chocolatey,’ added J Corey Evans of St Swithins Wine Shippers.

£14.08 Karam Wines

Domaine des Tourelles, Vielles Vignes, Cinsault 2014, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Silver medal winner

‘A nose that draws me in with its inviting spice and elusive warmth that intrigues,’ said J Corey Evans of St Swithins Wine Shippers, who enjoyed its ‘soft, fleshy black fruits, and great consistency between nose and palate’, with team leader Angela Reddin picking up on its ‘blueberry and damson fruit with violets, rich layering and soft, chocolatey tannins’.

£11.99 Boutinot

Domeniile Sahateni, Draculea, Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2013, Dealu Mare, Romania

Silver medal winner

‘Elegant nose, and there’s good concentration of black fruits and spice, very well balanced and a good finish,’ began Carlos Ferreira of The Sign of the Don, while Sumi Sarma of Sumilier highlighted its ‘supple, fruit-forward style and good texture, impressive concentration and harmony of oak, fruit and acidity’.

£11.95 Transylvania Wine LTD

Ixsir, Altitudes, Red 2011, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Silver medal winner

This was simply ‘elegant and peppery, with perfumed plum and blackcurrant, balance and elegance’ for Geoffray Bénat of Cépages Wine Bistro, while team leader Angela Reddin found ‘smoked meat notes and cassis, balsamic aromas, a sapid palate and great fruit weight’, and Hakkasan Group’s Diana Rollan called it as ‘great for steak’.

£13.85 Enotria&Coe

Vinarija Benkovac, Korlat, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Dalmatinska Zagora, Croatia

Bronze medal winner

Adam Michocki of Chez Bruce liked its ‘juicy, fruit compote nose with mainly black cherries, then precise fruit focus on the palate, intensive in flavours with easy, fluffy tannins’, and The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira highlighted its ‘friendly nose, very soft tannins and a good price’.

£5.50 Eurowines

Arba Wine, Ak Bastau 2013, Assa Valley, Kazakhstan

Bronze medal winner

A blended style fairly unlikely to be found anywhere else, featuring the local Rkatsiteli and Akserrua varieties with two types of Riesling and a drop of Gewürztraminer for good measure. ‘Lovely pear and apple fruit with some hints of fennel or anis complexity, a lively palate that’s quite chalky and salty, but pleasant,’ said Adam Michocki of Chez Bruce.

£12.19 Theatre of Wine

Arba Wine, Kyzyl Bastau 2013, Assa Valley, Kazakhstan

Bronze medal winner

Damien Trinckquel of Galvin Brasserie de Luxe Edinburgh found it ‘velvety with a lovely finish, ample with great balance of flavour on the palate, ranging from primary fruit characters through to more developed, forest fruit notes’.

£12.19 Theatre of Wine

Voskevaz, Karasi Collection, Areni Noir 2015, Vayots Dzor, Armenia

Bronze medal winner

This was all about ‘elegant red cherries and raspberries’ for Sake No Hana’s Tobias Brauweiler MS, while for team leader Sam Caporn MW there was ‘light cedar, with fragrant oak dominating, lifted red fruit underneath, but a quite elegant and stylish wine’.

£24.50 GinVino

Serve, Dominion Dracula, Feteasca Neagra 2014, Dealu Mare, Romania

Bronze medal winner

‘A big fruity wine, showing red and black cherry jam on the palate, very well balanced, a gentle mouthfeel with a good finish,’ said The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira, with Adam Michocki of Chez Bruce also noting ‘smoked prune, some liqueur cherry, and it’s slightly rustic, in the good way’.

£9.85 Transylvania Wine LTD

Château Ksara, Réserve du Couvent 2014, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Bronze medal winner

Diana Rollan of Hakkasan Group found ‘red berries and minerals with smoky balsamic hints on the nose, high acidity on a bright, bold palate showing oaky, toasty concentration and full-bodied style’.

£10.17 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

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

Bronze medal winner

‘Open red fruit style, summer berries and redcurrant with a hint of smoky barbecue aromas and lead pencil,’ began team leader Angela Reddin, who was pleased with its ‘good fruit delivery with ironstone mineral elements’.

£9.24 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Van Ardi, Areni/Kakhet/Haghtanak 2015, Ashtarak, Armenia

Bronze medal winner

‘Full and vibrant, a summery expression with sweet flowers, violets and roses, blue plummy fruit and great structure, perfect for a big table,’ said Damien Trinckquel of Galvin Brasserie de Luxe Edinburgh. ‘Lovely and bright, fragrant and floral,’ agreed team leader Sam Caporn MW.

£11.50 GinVino

Arba Wine, Ainala Arba, Gewurztraminer 2015, Assa Valley, Kazakhstan

Commended medal winner

Arba Wine, Pino Arba, Pinot Noir 2013, Assa Valley, Kazakhstan

Commended medal winner

Arba Wine, Altyn Arba, Reserve, Chardonnay 2013, Assa Valley, Kazakhstan

Commended medal winner

£67.60 Arba Wine

Matošević, Alba, Malvazija Istarska 2016, Istria, Croatia

Commended medal winner

£10.50 Liberty Wines

Matošević, Grimalda, White 2015, Istria, Croatia

Commended medal winner

Matošević, Grimalda, Red 2013, Istria, Croatia

Commended medal winner

£18.45 Liberty Wines

Klet Brda, Quercus, Cabernet/Merlot 2015, Brda , Slovenia

Commended medal winner

Matošević, Alba Antiqua, Malvazija Istarska 2014, Istria, Croatia

Commended medal winner

£18.75 Liberty Wines

Voskevaz, Karasi Collection, Voskehat 2015, Aragatsotn, Armenia

Commended medal winner

£21.50 GinVino

Voskevaz, Voskepar 2014, Aragatsotn, Armenia

Commended medal winner

£14.75 GinVino

Voskevaz, Nuraz 2014, Ararat Valley, Armenia

Commended medal winner

£11.50 GinVino

Kozlović, Malvazija 2015, Istria, Croatia

Commended medal winner

Ixsir, Altitudes, White 2015, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Commended medal winner

£13.85 Enotria&Coe

Ixsir, Grande Réserve, White 2015, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Commended medal winner

£15.31 Enotria&Coe

Ixsir, Grande Réserve, Red 2011, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Commended medal winner

£17.96 Enotria&Coe

 

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