This year I was invited as a judge for the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in Istria (Croatia). The second day of judging in panel 12 was much better than the first day (no gold medals!). The second day we tasted a flight of interesting white wines from Croatia, followed by flights or red wines from Portugal (Peninsula de Setubal), Switzerland and Spain (Rioja).
Croatia: silver and gold!
The Posip Hvar Hills from the vintage 2022 scored enough point of the panel for a well deserved silver medal. It’s a fresh wine with some herbal and spicy notes. Also a bit tropical flavours.
Sveta Lucija Zlahtina also form the vintage 2022 scored enough points for a gold medal. Beautiful wine with a lot a citrus and tropcial fruit. Powerful with a good minerality and structure. Complexity! This wine is made by Katunar Estate Winery. Compliments!
Red wines from Portugal one gold and six silver
After this interesting flight with white wines from Croatia we started with our first flight with 14 red wines from Portugal: Peninsula de Setubal vintage 2022, 2021 and 2020. Some blends and some varietal wines. The first silver medal: 2022 Vinhas de Pegões Touriga Nacional. Well balanced with red fruit and some spicy notes. Soft tannins, well made by Cooperativa Agricola de Santo Isidro de Pegões. The second silver medal: 2022 Herdade de Gâmbia, a wine from Sociedade Agricola Boas Quintas Lda. Dark red color, red fruit aroma, soft tannins, well balanced. The third silver medal: 2021 Alto Pina Reserve from the Cooperativa Agricola de Santo Isidro de Pegões. Medium red color, clean on the nose, red fruit aroma, soft tannines and some spicy notes. Also another silver medal for a very interesting wine: 2021 Valoroso, a blend of cabernet sauvignon, touriga nacional and syrah. My number one in this flight with a lovely aroma of dark black fruit and spicy notes. Powerful with soft tannines and a long aftertaste. Well made by Casa Ermelinda Freitas – Vinhos SA. The next silver medal: 2021 Vinha do Rosario Touriga Nacional also from Casa Ermelinda Freitas – Vinhos, SA. Nice ripe red fruit and soft on the palate, good balance. Good producer!
We finished the flight with a gold medal for the red wine from vintage 2020: Casa Ermelinda Freitas Touriga Nacional Reserva. Congratulations for this producer: 2 silver medals and 1 gold!
Some very good red wines from Switzerland
A flight with 11 red wines form different areas and vintages. Our panel was impressed about the 2020 Les Vins de Philippe Chevrier – Gamaret from the region Genève, producer La Cave de Genève. It’s a blend of merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Beautiful expression of both grape varieties: black fruit and spicy notes, soft tannins. Well balanced! Points enough for a gold medal.
The 2020 Ungulus Cabernet Franc Riserva: silver medal. This wine is from the region Ticino and made by Castello di Cantone SA. I found the degree of alcohol (15%) to high.
We finished the flight with the 2019 Invinitus Diolinoir from the region St. Gallen and made by Wetli Weine AG: gold medal! This grape variety has two parents: red de Diolly and pinot noir. The oak is from Switzerland.
Our last flight of day 2: 12 wines from Rioja most silver medals
The first wine in the flight: 2018 Viña Arnaiz, Rioja Crianza from J. Garcia Carrion, a blend of mazuelo and tempranillo, was good enough for a silver medal. Well made crianza style. This second wine in this flight: 2018 Terroir de Zinio Reserva, made by Zinio Bodegas, 100% tempranillo: silver medal. More spicy thans the previous one. Also soft tannins, well balanced. We continued with a third silver medal for the third wine of this flight: 2018 Acuro Reserva from Bodegas del Medievo, a 100% tempranillo. I scored a bit higher because of the more silky tannines and more delicate style. The next silver medal: 2018 Terroir de Zinio Reserva from Zinio Bodegas, a 100% tempranillo. Good concentration. Next silver medal: 2018 Uvaris Reserva from Anecoop S. Coop, also a 100% tempranillo. Our last silver medal: 2018 Marques de Griñon Seleccion Especial Reserva from Marques de la Concordia Family of Wines, a 100% tempranillo. We finished this flight with a gold medal for the 2018 Ramon Bilbao Mirto with an impressive delicate taste!
Chris Alblas, international wine expert