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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > Rest of the Old World, W inc Switzerland, Slovenia, Romania, Kazakhstan, Czech Rep, Hungary, Israel

Winner Details

Rest of the Old World, WHITE, including including Switzerland, Slovenia, Romania, Kazakhstan, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel

2018 Gold 2        Silver 8                Bronze 4             Commended 10
2017 Gold 3        Silver 6                Bronze 2             Commended 9

Until recently, this category included both Lebanon and Greece, so to see a solid spread of medals like this despite those two countries now having flown the nest and been given sections of their own was really heartening.

This, often, is where the next star countries come from, and on this evidence that star is likely to be Hungary. If Slovenia – many of our tasters’ tip for the top – was a surprising under-performer, Hungary looked good, providing wines of freshness, complexity and texture.

In short, though, there are some wonderful wines on display here. None will walk off your list, but if you’re after stimulating by-the-glass selections, this is the section for you.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘There are regions here that people should be looking at: Croatia, Slovenia, Brazil.’ Andre Luis Martins, Cavalry & Guards Club

‘I love Hungarian wines, and these had that tropical fruit and a bit of floral character, balanced by acidity. And these aren’t just to stay young – they age really well. They’re capable of making some complex wines, and they’re really good value too.’ Valentin Radosav, Gymkhana

‘They’re always going to be a hard sell. They need to be by the glass or on a food-matching menu as otherwise people won’t pick them off the list.’ Simon Woods, team leader

‘There’s more and more varietal wine coming out of places like Slovenia and Romania, and it’s probably a good place for those countries to be at the moment, with shortages in the harvest in Italy, for example.’ Charles Pashby-Taylor, consultant

‘Hungary was a star.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

Award winners

Found 44 wines

Rest of the Old World (White & Red)

Château Ksara, Chardonnay 2016, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Gold medal winner

‘Plenty of fruit, good, juicy and vibrant,’ began team leader Simon Woods, finding this Gold winner to have ‘lots of power and presence, with ripe melon and peach’, and adding that it was ‘gutsy in style, but fresh, too’, while for Davide Dall’Amico of Royal Automobile Club it was ‘generous, with tree fruit and peach, nectarine, with spices from the oak and a chewy texture, but lengthy flavour’.

£16.52 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Ixsir, Grande Reserve, Red 2012, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Gold medal winner

‘A complete wine,’ began team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW in her praise, as Ixsir picked up the first of its two medals in this category, finding it ‘impressively ripe and juicy, with floral, fragrant and sumptuous cherry fruit’. Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte highlighted its ‘elegant palate, with a silky but grippy structure, and notes of leather, earth and black pepper, not to mention some dense fruit’, while Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin commended its ‘fine oak and powerful, juicy tannins’.

£20.13 Enotria&Coe

Arba, Lagyl Arba, Reserve, Saperavi 2014, Assa Valley, Kazakhstan

Gold medal winner

‘Extraordinary,’ began team leader Martin Lam as this took its place on the Gold podium, finding ‘plum fruits, herbs and spice, with some big, structured tannins’. The Don’s Carlos Ferreira was similarly impressed, and thought this had ‘cherry and strawberry notes, as well as some pine’, while The Vine Eno Gastro Pub’s Tatiana Mann appreciated additional aromas of ‘eucalyptus and cedar’, leading to a palate that had ‘richness and ripe tannins’.

£67.60 Arba Wine

Cramele Recas, Daciana, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Banat, Romania

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

Judges didn’t hold back in their praise for this one, unhesitatingly handing over the Gold. ‘Fresh pear fruit and floral notes on the nose, and a lively palate with a steely mineral finish,’ said Pierre Brunelli of L’Enclume, with Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason finding it ‘light, slightly smoky and saline, fresh and easy-drinking’. Consultant Chantal Serrano thought ‘green bell peppers, apples and pears’ led to a ‘floral, long finish, with great structure’.

£6.46 Matthew Clark

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

Gold medal winner

‘Wow – great character, with fresh fruit, but chocolate and spice, too,’ began Timothy Connor of Core by Clare Smyth in his praise of this Gold Lister, proclaiming it ‘overall great value for money’. Richard Cavagin-Carey of The Harwood Arms described ‘pleasant red-berry fruit on the palate, with crushed-rock minerality and fine tannins’, while team leader Martin Lam had only good things to say about its ‘smooth oak-edged fruit, with some grip, too’.

£7.40 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Edoardo Miroglio, Soli, Pinot Noir 2015, Thracian Valley, Bulgaria

Gold medal winner

This chalked up a Gold medal for Bulgaria with ‘an instant Pinot hit of sour cherries on the nose’, according to team leader Martin Lam, who spoke glowingly of a palate with ‘sweet and sour fruit, with a savoury hint around the edges’. Team leader Nigel Lister described it as having ‘an aromatic nose, with violets, tomato skin, and an earthiness, too’, while Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club found ‘gentle sweet and sour cherries, with smoked, sweet spices, and a light green-olive note too’.

£8.55 Swig Wines

Cicero, M, Pinot Noir 2012, Graubünden, Switzerland

Silver medal winner

‘Delicate Pinot Noir aromas of cherries, and some floral notes too,’ said team leader Lionel Periner, while Richard Cavagin-Carey of The Harwood Arms appreciated its ‘pleasant nose of redcurrants and dried herbs, leading into bright red fruit on the palate, with some precise, tight tannins’.

£19.00 Alpine Wines

Sonberk, Pálava VOC 2016, Mikulov, Czech Republic

Silver medal winner

An ‘aromatic style with orange peel and white flower notes, yellow apple and peach’, began Royal Automobile Club’s Davide Dall’Amico, also noting its ‘precise minerality and long-lasting flavours’, while Four Degree’s Jonathan Kleeman felt its ‘citrus and floral bloom notes would be top with spicy food’.

£14.14 Ellis of Richmond

Egon Müller, Château Belá, Riesling 2015, Stúrovo, Slovakia, Other

Silver medal winner

A ‘nose of petrol, beeswax and lime cordial, and a harmoniously dry palate with concentration’, began L’Enclume’s Pierre Brunelli, while Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason found ‘confit lime and lemon, some petillance, good body with floral/honey characters, nervy acidity and good structure, light and fresh’.

£14.48 Top Selection Ltd

Ixsir, Altitudes, Red 2012, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Silver medal winner

‘A refined and aromatic nose,’ began team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, going on to describe ‘cherry fruit and a plump, fleshy mid-palate, as well as a savoury, salty edge – an enjoyably juicy wine, with balanced tannins, too’.

£14.07 Enotria&Coe

Arba, Pino Arba, Pinot Noir 2014, Assa Valley, Kazakhstan

Silver medal winner

‘Rich and concentrated black cherry notes’ were joined, according to team leader Nigel Lister, by ‘herbal, garrigue notes’, while Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club liked its ‘gentle cinnamon spice with some rich leather notes and complex oak, leading to a long, fresh finish’.

£23.88 Theatre of Wine

Arba, Ak Bastau 2014, Assa Valley, Kazakhstan

Silver medal winner

Royal Automobile Club’s Davide Dall’Amico was intrigued by this wine’s ‘bruised apple and white flower aromas, a touch of honey and notes of bergamot, with wet-rock minerality and decent length’, with Four Degree’s Jonathan Kleeman noting ‘interesting, complex aromas with full, rounded body of ripe melon and peach stone’.

£12.19 Theatre of Wine

Arba, Lagyl Arba, Saperavi 2014, Assa Valley, Kazakhstan

Silver medal winner

‘Soft, juicy and Beaujolais-like in style, with creamy black fruit, bramble fruit and blueberries, as well as some damson notes,’ said Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason, while team leader Lionel Periner found ‘dark fruit aromas and good balance, leading to a long finish’.

£16.09 Theatre of Wine

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

Silver medal winner

Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club described an ‘earthy and complex wine’ that was also ‘perfumed, with raspberry notes and Moroccan spices, with liquorice on the finish’, while team leader Nigel Lister concluded that this was ‘elegant, ripe and well balanced’.

£80.35 Arba Wine

Domaine des Tourelles, Syrah du Liban 2012, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Silver medal winner

Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte enjoyed this wine’s ‘seductive oak, bright and pure red fruit, and some earthiness on the finish’, concluding that this was ‘balanced and age-worthy’, while Mikolaj Harmider of Adam’s Restaurant additionally described ‘a smoky nose, with dark berries and a touch of plum’.

£32.67 Boutinot

Domaine des Tourelles, Vielles Vignes, Cinsault 2015, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Silver medal winner

Mikolaj Harmider of Adam’s Restaurant found this to be ‘juicy and pleasant’, with notes of ‘strawberry compote and a touch of plum, together with delicate tannins’. Hakkasan Mayfair’s Jurijs Nemkovs thought there was ‘good balance, with spice and dark fruit’.

£12.08 Boutinot

Barkan, Altitude 720 2013, Upper Galilee, Israel

Silver medal winner

Coq d’Argent’s Lazaros Engonopoulos described notes of ‘sweet black fruit and spice’, as well as ‘herbal and earthy notes’, while team leader Nigel Lister liked this wine’s ‘good perfume, with red and black fruit and a nice mid-weight palate, with forest fruits’.

£22.67 Kedem Europe

Medi Valley, A Good Year, Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc 2016, Thracian Valley, Bulgaria

Silver medal winner

‘Great quality for the price!’ said Debbie Warner of Wild Wine Club, describing ‘dark currant fruit and cassis, with some soft American oak balanced by a long, fresh finish’, while Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club identified some ‘tobacco leaf and sea-breeze minerality on the finish’.

£7.40 Globul Wines

Puklavec Family, Estate Selection, Furmint/Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Stajerska, Slovenia

Silver medal winner

This had ‘good, honest grip and balance, and long, almost Riesling-like stony freshness through to the finish’, said team leader Simon Woods, with Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club highlighting ‘fresh green apple with anis flower aromas, herbal sweet notes with a peppery, tea leaf character’.

£8.21 Bibendum

Domeniile Blaga, Cuvée M, Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Dealu Mare, Romania

Silver medal winner

Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club described ‘fresh cherry aromas’ on an otherwise ‘mature nose, with cedar and pine, as well as some rustic notes of fresh tobacco with some spice’, while Lazaros Engonopoulos of Coq d’Argent further described ‘black fruit, sweet spice and an earthiness’.

£17.00 Domeniile Blaga SRL

Cave de la Côte, Swissness, Pinot Noir 2015, Morges, Switzerland

Bronze medal winner

‘A good chilled summer wine,’ thought team leader Martin Lam, who described this as ‘pale, bright and perfumed’, and liked its ‘violet and spice’ notes, while The Vine Eno Gastro Pub’s Tatiana Mann described a ‘beautiful forest-floor nose, leading to a lively, light body’.

£10.50 Alpine Wines

Château Ksara, Le Prieuré, Rouge 2016, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Bronze medal winner

‘A gently floral and fruity aroma,’ described team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, while Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte liked ‘ripe red fruits on the palate, with toasted oak and lots of spice’, adding that this was ‘balanced, with great purity of flavour’.

£9.32 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

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

Bronze medal winner

A ‘really interesting style of Riesling’ for team leader Laura Rhys MS, showing ‘juicy, elegant fruit, citrus lime and lemon notes, with pleasant minerality and acidity’, while for L’Enclume’s Pierre Brunelli it was ‘Alsace-like, with preserved lemon fruit and a crisp finish’.

£16.09 Theatre of Wine

Barkan, Assemblage, Eitan 2014, Jerusalem Hills, Israel

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Martin Lam thought this ‘a decent blend, with sweet and savoury fruit on the nose’. ‘On the nose there’s pine and eucalyptus, as well as red and black fruit,’ added The Don’s Carlos Ferreira, going on to describe ‘cigar and tobacco’ notes on the palate, which had ‘good acidity and complexity’.

£22.67 Kedem Europe

Barkan, Altitude 624 2013, Upper Galilee, Israel

Bronze medal winner

For Glasshouse’s Arletta Mala, this had ‘very ripe, dark fruit on a juicy palate, with well-balanced, well-integrated tannins, and good structure overall’, while The Vine Eno Gastro Pub’s Tatiana Mann identified a ‘smoky character, with some very juicy blackcurrants, too’.

£22.67 Kedem Europe

Cave de la Côte, Swissness, Chasselas Romand 2016, Morges, Switzerland

Bronze medal winner

Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason described this Swiss wine as ‘creamy, buttery and mineral on the nose, followed by a fresh palate with smooth, delicate citrus and stone fruit, nice elegance, depth and freshness’, adding that it would be ‘good with mussels’.

£9.90 Alpine Wines

Puklavec Family, Estate Selection, Furmint/Pinot Blanc 2016, Podravje, Slovenia

Bronze medal winner

Royal Automobile Club’s Davide Dall’Amico picked up ‘tree fruit, ripe peach, honeysuckle and grassy notes’, while Jonathan Kleeman of Four Degree found it an ‘uncomplex but focused quaffing wine, clean and fresh with stone fruit and citrus’.

£7.21 Bibendum

Edoardo Miroglio, Soli, Pinot Noir 2015, Thracian Valley, Bulgaria

Bronze medal winner

‘A very appealing, sweet and aromatic Pinot Noir nose,’ according to team leader Martin Lam, who described the palate as ‘balanced and juicy, with savoury-sweet fruit’, while The Don’s Carlos Ferreira liked its ‘beautiful, very fresh acidity, with a clean, long finish’.

£8.55 Swig Wines

Benkovac, Korlat, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Dalmatia, Croatia

Commended medal winner

£13.90 Eurowines

Domaine de Maison Blanche, Mont-sur-Rolle 2016, La Côte, Vaud, Switzerland

Commended medal winner

£13.75 Alpine Wines

Sonberk, Riesling VOC 2015, Mikulov, Czech Republic

Commended medal winner

£16.75 SONBERK

Rumelia, Merul, Mavrud 2014, Thracian Valley, Bulgaria

Commended medal winner

£6.50 Globul Wines

Arba, Kyzyl Bastau 2014, Assa Valley, Kazakhstan

Commended medal winner

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

Commended medal winner

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

Commended medal winner

£67.60 Arba Wine

Barkan, Assemblage, Almon 2016, Upper Galilee, Israel

Commended medal winner

£22.67 Kedem Europe

Domaine des Tourelles, Red 2014, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Commended medal winner

£8.94 Boutinot

Barkan, Assemblage, Tzafit 2014, Shimshon, Israel

Commended medal winner

£22.67 Kedem Europe

Barkan, Superieur, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Upper Galiee, Israel

Commended medal winner

£30.83 Kedem Europe

Tsarev Brod, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Danube Plain, Bulgaria

Commended medal winner

£8.50 Globul Wines

Domeniile Blaga, Cuvée XI, Merlot 2011, Dealu Mare, Romania

Commended medal winner

Domeniile Blaga, Allegro, Cuvée XXV 2012, Dealu Mare, Romania

Commended medal winner

Zelanos, Z, Chardonnay 2015, Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria

Commended medal winner

£9.15 Globul Wines

Zelanos, Pinot Gris 2016, Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria

Commended medal winner

£7.30 Globul Wines

 

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