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The Communication Media Group Drinks+ received the invitation to participate in the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon before 24.02.2022 and, of course, was very delighted about participating in such a significant wine event, and the opportunity to meet wine professionals from around the World. However, 24.02.2022 happened and the Ukrainian flag on the degustation table, among all other international flags, symbolized much more than a country’s representation in a wine competition. And we wore it proudly.
Honor and Praise Sauvignon Blanc Wines, Contest Significance
Sauvignon Blanc, being in the top 3 most widely planted international white grape varieties in the world, attracted so much attention over the last decade, and conquer the global wine scene in such a way that winemakers from around the world started to experiment much more in their cellars in order to make the offer more diverse and to meet the needs of the most fastidious consumers.
The 13th Concours Mondial du Sauvignon was the newest edition of this internationally renowned wine competition that aims to honor and praise wines made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes and showcase the diversity of this varietal. This contest is the largest and most significant international competition entirely dedicated to Sauvignon Blanc wines.
The objective of the contest is to promote the quality and diversity of the Sauvignon variety wines and the most outstanding styles of it and to popularize it to consumers and markets.
In 2022, 1120 Sauvignon Blanc wines from 23 producing countries, including France, Italy, Austria, New Zealand, South Africa and Chile were submitted. The increasing popularity of the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon in Eastern Europe is substantiated in the rising number of entries from the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary and Croatia.
Over the past decade, the competition has taken place in Sauvignon producer regions all over Europe including Bordeaux, Touraine, Styria, Rueda and Friuli. In 2022, Concours Mondial du Sauvignon took place from the 17th to 20th of March in Torres Vedras, a small beautiful town situated about an hour north of Lisbon, Portugal. Because of the recognition of the diversity of wines of this wine region, Torres Vedras was awarded by RECEVIN as the ‘European Wine City’ in 2018.
Judges and Evaluations
To guarantee the impartial and balanced approach, as well as the diversity of expertise, the evaluation process of Concours Mondial du Sauvignon was held by top-class judges from over twenty nationalities, including the Ukrainian representative. The judging panel consisted of masters of wines, producers, winemakers, sommeliers, distributors, wine writers and journalists and other opinion leaders of the industry with rich tasting experience.
Blind tastings of more than 80 samples were divided between 2 contest days. During the tasting sessions the wines are grouped taking into account their origin, category, blend proportions and price.
To achieve the correctness of evaluations and to secure consumers, after the competition the organizers conduct subsequent checks on award-winning entries, by comparing a selection of those products with anonymously bought samples from the same batch.
This year with the assistance of new technologies all evaluations were submitted digitally, each judge had a gadget – an evaluation tablet with pre-established wine characteristics to highlight, as well as a free form to justify the judge’s personal evaluation. Each group of judges had their leader to clarify doubts and achieve a common understanding on whether a wine is worth special recognition.
Medals and Recognition
Gold and silver medals in certain categories became the main indicators of success at the contest. Additionally, the jury awarded special trophies to entries achieving the highest scores in special categories such as Sauvignon Blend, Sweet Sauvignon, Oaked Sauvignon and Best Sauvignon in the Competition.
Medals Ranking in 2022: France became a leader with 143 medals, with also the most awarded region this year, Loire Valley, with 100 medals. Followed by Austria with 75 medals (worth noting that 39 Gold and 32 Silver medals and 2 trophy winners were all given to wines from Styria). The third most recognized wine country for Sauvignon Blanc was Italy with 31 medals.
Over 96% of the Austrian wines in the competition were from Styria, a Sauvignon wine region that has garnered increased global recognition over the past few years. And even though the tastings were done blindly, I soon realized, as the results were revealed, that the highest scores that I gave all coincided with Styrian wines.
Having tasted so many Sauvignon Blancs blindly, my personal breakthrough was to confirm the idea about the great terroir, particularly for this grape variety, that is the Austrian region of Steiermark. Sauvignon Blanc is one of Steiermark’s specialties, where wines often demonstrate freshness, powerfulness, good balance, volume, spicy or salty minerality, ripe fruits and, above all, good ageing potential.
Steiermark, Bundesland, known in english as Styria, is on southeastern and central Austria, bordering Slovenia on the south and bounded by Bundesländer Kärnten (Carinthia) on the south, Salzburg on the west, Oberösterreich und Niederösterreich (Upper and Lower Austria) on the north, and Burgenland on the east.
Styria collected the most awards in the oaked category – 42 (and nearly 60% of awarded Styrian wines were oaked), as well as the 2022 Revelation Oaked Sauvignon trophy awarded to the Peter Skoff Sauvignon blanc Ried Kranachberg Reserve 2015.
The Sauvignon Blanc variety produces world-class wines across all 3 wine regions of Styria with DAC indication (“Districtus Austriae Controllatus”). When so many top winemakers focus on one variety, success is inevitable – also very important: the terroir of the Styrian wine-growing region is predestined for this variety, and the Styrian Sauvignon Blanc variants matured in wood were particularly successful at the Concours Mondial Sauvignon.
Styrian wines play an important role in the great global Sauvignon arena, regularly showing themselves at the major competitions such as Concours Mondial Sauvignon. Some of the world’s most respected wine experts have included the Sauvignon Blancs from Styria in the ranks of the best dry white wines in the world.
Besides the two days of official tastings, the members of the jury visited a masterclass on Sauvignon Blanc and a workshop on the host town regional wines. Finding some time as well to visit 4 local wineries with wine tourism facilities such as the very renowned Adega Mãe Winery, Quinta de Almiara, Quinta da Boa Esperança and Quinta da Folgorosa. And all 4 wineries revealed high quality of hospitality, service and authenticity.
With level of excellence, the organizers tried to exhibit some Portuguese heritage and traditions using authentic Fado music, delicious local food and wines, all of this crowned with multiple breathtaking viewpoints to observe the beauty of the Portuguese land such as meditating over the sunset at Santa Cruz – part of the municipality of Torres Vedras.
All cultural activities were organized in a way to know Portugal better and to develop some special connection with this gorgeous wine producing country.
2022 Concours Mondial du Sauvignon Revelations
The final remark of the judges was the unprecedentedly high number of oaked Sauvignon Blancs that entered the competition this year: 225, or a fifth of total entries. Most of the oaked Sauvignon wines came from Styria and Bordeaux. And they performed extremely well, with 35% of them receiving medals.
The results of the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon 2022:
Dubourdieu Trophy (Best Competing Sauvignon)
Domaine Jean-Christophe Mandard Blanc 2020
Touraine Chenonceaux, Loire Valley, France
Tonnellerie Sylvain Trophy (Oaked Sauvignon Revelation)
Peter Skoff Sauvignon blanc Ried Kranachberg Reserve 2015
Sauvignon Blend Revelation
Ktima Biblia Chora White 2021
Mt Panego, Macedonia, Greece
Sweet Sauvignon Revelation
SKALÁK Sauvignon Slámové Víno 2015
Slovacka, Moravia, Czech Republic
Caillottes 2020, Joël & Sylvie Cirotte
Sancerre, Loire Valley, France
Wruss Sauvignon Blanc Gamlitz DAC 2020
South Styria, Austria
New Zealand Revelation
Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2021
Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand
Cantina Rauscedo Sauvignon 2020
Venezia Giulia IGT, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
South Africa Revelation
Diemersdal The Journal Sauvignon blanc 2021
Cape Town, Coastal Region, South Africa
Complete list of results: https://resultats.cmsauvignon.com/en/results