South Moravian Sonberk Winery has recorded another success in international competitions. Pálava and Riesling from the Sonberk Vineyard in Popice, Mikulov, were the winners of this year's international Decanter World Wine Awards in London. In a competition of more than 17,000 wines from around the world, the jury has awarded them both 95 points and the highest possible medals: Platinum Best in Category (formerly the Regional Trophy) and Platinum Best in Show (formerly the International Trophy), the latter arrives to the Czech Republic for the first time. In total there were 6 Sonberk wines awarded at DWWA 2017 - see here.
Dry Pálava 2015 VOC awarded with platinum medal Best in Show as the best dry aromatic wine for this year ranked among the best 34 wines in the world.
The naturally sweet selection of botrytised grapes Riesling 2014 reigned in the regional category Best Czech Sweet and the platinum medal Best in Category represents the wine´s 11th accolade from international competitions.
"For Sonberk this year's award is both an honor and assurance that with our flagship varieties - Ryzlink and Pálava - we are going in the right direction. Equally great is the news for our region that proves it can produce world-class premium wines. In addition, Pálava grape variety celebrates 40 years since it was first registered in the State Variety Book, so it is a nice anniversary gift for the Czech vine growers, too, " says Dagmar Fialová, the Sales and Marketing Director of Sonberk Winery.
The author of both wines is Sonberk´s own winemaker Oldřich Drápal Jr., whose manuscript is clearly recognizable in bottles. To his- now the best in the World - Pálava he adds: "The key to success were the fully matured Pálava grapes and their gentle processing using the gravitational technology. The resulting wine is an oenological mixture of several Pálava harvests, processed so that the spicy character of this variety steps forward even with the low residual sugar in the wine. "
And how does the best aromatic wine in the World actually taste? "The wine starts on a sweetish note but then opens up and as the florals come through its character and body emerge. Therefore it is not a wine just for simple food but also for more complex foods and flavours. I suggest that it be very well chilled like a good riesling and then allow it to warm in the glass to take on a change of temperatures and florals. Had a glass of your 2015 again with some mussels to see how well it worked and... it is a perfect match for spicier food too," says the British Star-Chef Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL, who created a tasting menu dedicated to Sonberk wines for Pálava´s international premiere in London last year.
The winning varieties cover almost half of the 45-hectare Sonberk vineyard. Their expansion, however, is not yet planned. "As in the past, we want to concentrate first and foremost on the highest quality of grapes in the given year, and on a sustainable way of farming both in the vineyard and the adjacent ecosystems, " concluded Sonberk´s vine grower Roman Slouk.
Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) was first held in 2004 and currently is the largest and most important international wine competition in the industry. In this year´s DWWA more than 17,200 wines were registered and blind-tasted by a jury of 219 evaluators (65 Masters of Wine and 20 Master Sommeliers). To win one of the top prizes, a wine must first be awarded a gold medal by an expert panel of judges led by a regional chair. To secure a Platinum Best in Show, the wine must ultimately go up against peers from around the world. DWWA awarded 175 wines Platinum Best in Category and 34 Platinum Best in Show.
Sonberk winery has been participating in DWWA regularly since 2008. Two years later it already recorded its first major success with Ryzlink rýnský 2008 being awarded a Regional Trophy for Best Dry White Wine of Central and Eastern Europe, first time in Czech history.
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