We use cookies to operate this website and to improve its usability. Full details of what cookies are, why we use them and how you can manage them can be found by reading our Privacy & Cookies pages. Please note that by using this site you are consenting to the use of cookies.

Accept
Reject
Home Winners > Winners 2019 > Rest of the Old World - White (including Georgia, Kazakhstan & Lebanon)

Winner Details

Rest of the Old World, WHITE

2019 GOLD: 4      SILVER: 5      BRONZE: 4      COMMENDED: 8
2018 GOLD: 2      SILVER: 3      BRONZE: 2      COMMENDED: 8

This, if you like, is the kindergarten category of the Sommelier Wine Awards. Lesser-known regions start here with small entries, grow in confidence and then finally spread their wings and branch out into tasting flights (and sections) all of their own. It’s happened in the past with Greece, Israel and Turkey, and this year Slovenia and Hungary flew the nest as well.

Because of these changes, comparing previous years’ performances here can be somewhat invidious. It’s a lot more reliable to take a look at the feedback from the tasters, and this year it was super-positive.

Most of the wines here were from Romania and Croatia, which in itself tells you something about how the compass of Europe’s wine world is gradually shifting to the east. Romania’s wines were generally clean, modern and (highly unusually) dominated almost entirely by one producer who, on this evidence, is clearly doing something right. Croatia’s wines tended to be funkier and more unusual.

All in all, this was a fascinating category. In the past it’s sometimes under-delivered. But not this year. In fact, it’s one of the best places to go looking for ‘quirky and interesting’ in the whole competition.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Love it. Brilliant. Funky, strong, interesting, great value for money, real talking points. Exactly what we look at: emerging regions where you can get value – and really good winemaking as well.’ Sunaina Sethi, JKS Restaurants

‘I would use these by the glass, or for pairings. They would never sell off the list, but you can bring things into a wine pairing here that people wouldn’t expect.’ Laurent Richet MS, team leader

‘Hard to sell – often due to an unpronounceable grape or producer.’ James Fryer, Woodhead 17

‘Really interesting winemaking, sensitive wines, elegant and restrained – which isn’t to everyone’s palate. It felt authentic and some were quite special. The challenge is that people don’t know about these regions, so it’s always a hand sell.’ Claire Love, Loves Consultancy

‘They were cheap but they were well made and worth the money. The £20 wines were still good value and food friendly. Not strident or showy, just well done and put together.’ Nigel Lister, team leader

‘A remarkable flight, every single wine was distinct from each other. Each one stood up. It really shows the development of good, accurate winemaking in lesser-known parts of Europe.’ Martin Lam, team leader 

Award winners

Found 21 wines

Rest of the Old World countries - White

Jidvei, Grigorescu, Gewürztraminer 2018, Târnave, Romania

Gold medal winner

This Gewürztraminer was deserving of a Gold medal not only for its great value, but for its ‘rose-petal nose, like Turkish delight, with some good persistence, too’, according to Victoria Sharples of St John Wines, while team leader Laura Rhys MS enjoyed its ‘lychee, coconut ice and spice’ notes. Consultant Anja Breit, meanwhile, saw the excellent food-matching potential here, imagining it paired with ‘spicy Asian food or terrine of foie gras’.

£7.95 Transylvania’s Finest Ltd

Jidvei, Feteasca Regala 2009, Târnave, Romania

Gold medal winner

Judges were generous in their praise as they awarded this Gold, with team leader Laurent Richet MS describing it as ‘ripe, round and creamy, with ripe apple and good concentration’, while Guillaume Mahaut of ETM Group thought it was ‘fruity, soft and Muscat-like, with grape, peach and floral notes, and a long, complex finish’. Elisa Soggia of Kai Mayfair appreciated ‘a hint of vanilla and some green apple on a round and buttery palate, with a long finish’.

£10.95 Transylvania’s Finest Ltd

Kozlović, Malvazija 2017, Istria, Croatia

Gold medal winner

‘Wow,’ began team leader Laurent Richet MS as this took its rightful place on the Gold List, describing a fascinating combination of ‘banana, toffee, wheat beer and white chocolate, leading to ripe fruit on the palate, like yellow apple and yellow plum, as well as some vanilla, and lovely, high minerality’. ‘Aromatic and fresh,’ added Elisa Soggia of Kai Mayfair, who found the palate ‘rich, with lots of citrus and vanilla, elderflower and stone fruits, and a bright finish’.

£10.99 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Jidvei, Traditional, Riesling 2018, Târnave, Romania

Gold medal winner

As this Romanian Riesling was awarded a well-deserved Gold, consultant Emanuel Pesqueira praised it as ‘very aromatic, with rosewater and lychee notes’, while team leader Martin Lam appreciated its ‘fresh white flowers and citrus on the nose, with a palate that’s dry, slatey, crunchy and delicious’. Victoria Sharples of St John Wines, meanwhile, spoke highly of its ‘violets and hawthorn notes on the nose, with a sour and pithy finish’.

£6.95 Transylvania’s Finest Ltd

Jako Vino, Cuvee White, Stina 2018, Dalmatia, Croatia

Silver medal winner

Consultant Anja Breit described this Silver medal-winning wine as ‘grassy and chalky on the nose, yet with high acidity, ripe peach, and textured’. She thought it would be ‘a nice wine to list instead of a Sauvignon’.

£11.67 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Paolo Basso, Il Bianco di Chiara 2016, Ticino, Switzerland

Silver medal winner

Team leader Laura Rhys MS found this wine to have ‘aromas of soft fruits’ and ‘a creamy oak edge’, and described it as ‘complex’. Is it worth the price, she wondered? It’s won a Silver medal, so yes.

£35.55 Top Selection

Erdutski Vinogradi, Graševina 2017, Slavonia, Croatia

Silver medal winner

‘Citrus, petrol and oiliness on the nose, yet the palate is fresher with good acidity,’ said Honami Masumoto of House of Sake.

£10.60 Erdutski vinogradi d.o.o.

Feravino, Miraz, Graševina 2017, Slavonia, Croatia

Silver medal winner

The nose on this wine reminded consultant Anja Breit of ‘wax, honey, floral notes and ripe stone fruit’, and she thought the palate had ‘interesting ripe flavours and high acidity on the finish’.

£14.08 Croatian Wine Club

Jidvei, Mysterium, TR+SB 2018, Târnave, Romania

Silver medal winner

Team leader Laura Rhys MS enjoyed the ‘juicy fruit of citrus, tropical fruits and green pepper’ in this Silver medal-winning wine. Detecting the Sauvignon, she described it as ‘a good example and a classic’.

£10.95 Transylvania’s Finest Ltd

Château Ksara, Cuvée du Pape, Chardonnay, 2016, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Bronze medal winner

Honami Matsumoto of House of Sake picked up ‘stone fruits, sweet spices and toasty tones’, and described this wine as ‘buttery, creamy, with a textured oaky palate and a distinctly savoury finish’.

£16.52 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Jidvei, Owner's Choice, Maria, Feteasca Alba 2018, Târnave, Romania

Bronze medal winner

‘With a soft and delicate nose of apples, the palate is equally quiet and lighter in style, yet the wine has good acidity and citrussy-ness,’ said Honami Matsumoto of House of Sake.

£12.95 Transylvania’s Finest Ltd

Jidvei, Owner's Choice, Maria, Pinot Gris 2018, Târnave, Romania

Bronze medal winner

‘A bold juicy fruit bomb with spice and excellent length,’ said team leader Laura Rhys MS.

£12.95 Transylvania’s Finest Ltd

Jidvei, Traditional, Feteasca Alba 2018, Târnave, Romania

Bronze medal winner

Consultant Anja Breit described the nose as ‘clean and cool’ and the palate as ‘light with bitter aromas’. She summed it up as ‘sound, yet simple enough and great value’.

£6.95 Transylvania’s Finest Ltd

Jidvei, Rhin Riesling 2009, Târnave, Romania

Commended medal winner

Vina Papak, Radosh, Grasevina 2017, Hrvatsko Podunavlje, Croatia

Commended medal winner

Jidvei, Pinot Gris 2009, Târnave, Romania

Commended medal winner

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

Commended medal winner

£68.70 Arba Wine

Jidvei, Owner's Choice, Ana, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Târnave, Romania

Commended medal winner

Jidvei, Owner's Choice, Ana, Chardonnay 2018, Târnave, Romania

Commended medal winner

Jidvei, Mysterium, RR+SB 2018, Târnave, Romania

Commended medal winner

Jidvei, Traditional, Feteasca Regala 2018, Târnave, Romania

Commended medal winner

 

Subscribe to the SWA newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest Sommelier Wine Awards news.