123 Hungarian medals plus 1 Best in Show at Decanter World Wine Awards!
A record number of medals went to Hungary at the 17th edition of the grandiose British contest. Two years ago 70, last year 105 medals, while this year 123 medals and a Best in Show title were given to Hungarian entries. Tokaj received a 1 Best in Show, 5 Platinum, all for Tokaji Aszú wines, all with 97 scores. Hungary collected 12 gold medals as well, mostly again for Tokaj wines. We won 40 silver medals, too, and it is great to see several red wines among the highest scored silver winners! Plus Hungary received 66 bronze medals, even a Petnat was awarded (by Kristinus Wine Estate).
Old King has solidified its throne
The Best in Show acknowledgement went to Juliet Victor, a young winery, congratulations, what a success story!
Barta Cellar is another real success story – we have reported about the praising reviews and the acknowledgements several times. This relatively young estate has its vineyard in one of the oldest, steepest and most valuable vineyards of Mád, Tokaj. Barta 6 puttonyos Tokaji Aszú Öreg Király 2016 (‘Öreg Király’ means ‘Old King’) is one of the 5 Platinum winners, and proved once again the merit of the terroir and the skill of the winemaker. As Vivien Ujvári, winemaker of Barta Cellar commented, ‘This wine is timeless. It will be as amazing in decades as it is now, while this aszú is also about reaching the extremes, crossing boundaries. Elegant wine with endless length.’
The other Platinum winners are: Sauska 5 puttonyos aszú 2017, Dobogó 6 puttonyos aszú 2013, Harsányi 6 puttonyos aszú 2016, Kern 5 puttonyos aszú 2014.
Red success – over the barrique age
Most of the gold winner Hungarian wines arrived from Tokaj as well, for example Dereszla 5 and 6 puttonyos aszú wines from 2016 and 2010 or Grand Tokaj dessert wine from 2013. However, what we can also see this year, is the wide recognition of Hungarian red wines, mainly among the silver winners. As Regional Chair for North, Central & Eastern Europe, Beth Willard commented, ‘I think that there’s an overall improvement in the qualityof the flights overall, mainly because the wines are really balanced and fresh, but showing incredible varietal character so that’s really exciting. It’s really great to see some of the reds from Eastern Europe, so countries like Moldova, Romania and Hungary, showing a lot more freshness and really great quality oak. The wines are a lot more balanced, so we’ve had some standout wines from those regions.’
Indeed, the winemakers understood the call for freshness and left the overoaked wines behind.
– Sauska has long been famous for its elegant red wines, and again it collected a silver medal besides its Platinum. The silver went to Sauska Kékfrankos 2017, which is a great pleasure for us since Kékfrankos is our most important native red variety.
– Kadarka is another indigenous grape of ours, and it is not often honoured with medals, mainly because this sensitive grape is very hard to handle. Tóth Ferenc Winery from Eger managed to win a silver medal for its Superior Kadarka 2018!
– ‘Cabernet Franc has found its new home in Villány’ – as we keep saying after Michael Broadbent, and thanks God the success of Franc in Villány, the so called Villányi Franc has proved its potential again, among others with Csányi Winery Kővilla Válogatás Villányi Franc 2015.
The largest contest in the world
‘Over 28 consecutive days in August, 116 of the world’s top wine experts, including 37 Masters of Wine and nine Master Sommeliers, blind tasted 16,518 wines under strict Covid safety guidelines, resulting in 50 Best in Show, 178 Platinum, 537 Gold, 5,234 Silver and 7,508 Bronze medals.‘ – with these statistics Decanter World Wine Award is undoubtedly the largest international wine contest.