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Winner Details

Rest of the Old World - White

Our entries here covered a large spread of the continent – from Cyprus and Croatia to Georgia and Slovakia, via Lebanon and Switzerland. But we didn’t get the kind of numbers from these countries that we usually do, and certain countries – most notably Romania and Bulgaria – were conspicuous by their absence.

And without these big-hitters, which typically bring in a few Golds every year, overall numbers and really good wines, specifically, were rather thin on the ground.

Somms are open to unusual countries – just see how the likes of Hungary, Greece and Israel have blossomed from this part of the competition over the past five years. But for the countries featured here there’s a lot of work still to do on this showing – both in the winery and in terms of driving entries.

From The Tasting Teams

‘This is more of a category for a fine-dining restaurant with a big list, where guests can compare wines and a sommelier can recommend something similar to a wine they like, but from an obscure country.’ Lionel Periner, team leader

‘I was really rooting for Lebanon, but they didn’t deliver. They were very dry, and lacking in personality.’ Claire Love, Loves Consultancy

‘We were suspicious [of the whites] initially, but the quality here was solid. I was very impressed with the commerciality and quality of almost all the wines, particularly the non-qvevri, modern, dry, Georgian white wines.’ Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting

‘The reds were all over the place, with different styles of winemaking, different abilities, and different amounts of money spent on them – and sometimes not spent well.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

‘It’s a shame when winemakers decide they’re going to throw out the potential of the character of their indigenous grapes and mask them with a lot of oak.’ Joshua Castle, Noble Rot

‘What a fun thing to put on your list!’ Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting

Award winners

Found 6 wines

Rest of the Old World countries - White

Vachnadziani, Krakhuna, Imereti 2018, Imereti, Georgia

Gold medal winner

'This has a peach melba nose, with good, ripe textured fruit and a lovely honeyed finish.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers. 'Citrus and some tropical fruit, with delicious, savoury acids.' Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting. 'A mature nose of honey, quince and beeswax, with a mineral, smoky, nutty and complex palate, and a mouthwatering finish.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader.

£9.48 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Paolo Basso, Il Bianco di Chiara 2018, Lugano, Switzerland

Gold medal winner

'This is a really polished bottle of wine, with well-integrated oak and vibrant fruit, with orchard fruits, nuts and a touch of lees.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'This is well-balanced, with ripe fruit and fresh acidity, leading to a soft, creamy finish with some lingering dried apricot notes.' Lukas Nikanorovas, 20 Stories. 'A delicious oaked and citrusy wine that would be great with cheese.' Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting.

£35.55 Top Selection

Egon Müler , Château Bela, Riesling 2018, Sturovo, Slovakia

Silver medal winner

'An interesting wine with some aromatic notes of tropical fruit and candied lemon, leading to a good palate with balanced acidity.' Lionel Periner, team leader. 'A floral, honeyed nose with ripe fruit and some green apple acidity. A very enjoyable wine, and versatile for food.' Lukas Nikanorovas, 20 Stories.

£15.64 Top Selection

Jako Vino, Stina Pošip 2018, Dalmatia, Croatia

Silver medal winner

'Crisp and fresh, with well-integrated oak, good minerality and a lovely floral character.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader. 'Nice citrus spring flower on the nose, leading to some great acidity on the palate, and a lovely refreshing finish.' Lionel Periner, team leader.

£22.50 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Kozlovic, Malvazija 2018, Istria, Croatia

Bronze medal winner

'Fresh and delicate, with some tangy orange, zesty ripe stone fruit, balanced acidity and long finish.' Vivienne Franks, Aspects of Wine. 'Notes of baked stone fruit and herbs with a lovely creamy texture. One for grilled bass.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers.

£11.37 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Kyperounda , Petritis 2018, Limassol, Cyprus

Commended medal winner

 

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