30 May 2016

Trophies and Grand Trophy winners for the Balkans in 2016

Just landed from Sofia where I spent two days judging wines from the Balkans in the 5th edition of the Balkans International Wine Competition. This was an overall fascinating experience well organised and hosted by a great lady, Galina Todorova Niforou, BIWC's managing director. 

During the two days of judging I had the chance to taste approximately 120 wines and I have to say I was really impressed by the freshness, the vivacity and the tension in the whites. Reds however did not show a similar restrained profile based on fruit purity and they were at a significant extent luxuriously treated with oak. I am quite concerned that still many producers favour overipeness and vanilla or toasty aromas over elegance and silkiness meaning that there is a lot of work in getting out the proper word. 

Overall 41 Gold medals were awarded - 14 for Bulgaria, 9 for Greece, 1 Israel, 2 for FYROM, 1 for Montenegro, 4 for Romania , 8 for Serbia and 2 for Turkey. 

For 2016 the Grand Trophy winner (best in show) is a sweet wine from Santorini, Greece the Sigalas Vinsanto 2006!

The other Trophy winners per categories are:

Trophy for white wine - Domain Marash, Lenea Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Bulgaria

Trophy for red wine - Ktima Pavlidis Emphasis, Tempranillo 2012, Greece

Trophy for rosé - Vinum Rosé 2015, Serbia

Trophy for sparkling wine - Plantaze Montenegrin Val 2012, Montenegro

Trophy for dessert wine - Sigalas Vinsanto, 2006 Santorini, Greece

Τhere were also trophies for wines from local varieties as below:

Trophy for best white wine from indigenous variety - Posip Volarevic 2015, Croatia

Trophy for best red wine from indigenous variety - Xinomavro, Ramnista 2012, Kir Yanni, Greece

Trophy for best dessert wine from indigenous variety - Grasa de Kotnari 2000 Cotnari, Romania

A personal note on the wines from indigenous varieties is that I would like to see in the upcoming competitions a more solid and stronger take - home message with less emphasis on wines from international varieties. There are many reasons for that as one may understand, showing the Balkans' heritage being the most important.  

Panagiota Kalogeropoulou from Domaine Sigalas receiving the Grand Trophy
Panagiota Kalogeropoulou from Domaine Sigalas receiving the Grand Trophy
Judges and Panel Chairs (Robin Kick MW, Kenichi Ohashi MW, Yiannis Karakasis MW) with Chairman Konstantinos Lazarakis MW and Galina Todorova Niforou
Judges and Panel Chairs (Robin Kick MW, Kenichi Ohashi MW, Yiannis Karakasis MW) with Chairman Konstantinos Lazarakis MW and Galina Todorova Niforou
BIWC's managing director Galina with Panagiota from Sigalas
BIWC's managing director Galina with Panagiota from Sigalas

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