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.