International Wine Challenge

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The International Wine Challenge (IWC) owned by William Reed Business Media is now in its 35th year. The IWC is accepted as the world's finest and most meticulously judged wine competition which assesses every wine blind and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage Throughout the rigorous judging processes, each medal winning wine is tasted on three separate occasions by at least 10 different judges and awards include medals (Gold, Silver, Bronze) and Commended awards

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Elly Barham-Marsh Helen Kenny
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International Wine Challenge

Hungary Whites: Hungarian white wines clean up at International Wine Challenge with flurry of medal wins

Hungary white wines wow at the International Wine Challenge 2015

  • Five Gold, seven Silver, and seven Bronze medals awarded to Hungarian wines
  • The Tokaj region leads the medal charge, producing 11 of the 19 medal winners
  • Famed for sweet wines, IWC discovers fine examples of Hungarian dry white and sparkling wines

Hungarian winemakers wowed the judges at this year’s International Wine Challenge, picking up a flurry of medals during the intensive two-week blind tasting process in April. Five Gold, seven Silver, and seven Bronze medals were awarded to Hungarian wines, as the nation’s winemaking industry continues to thrive. All medal winners were white, with prizes being awarded to still, sweet, botrytis and sparkling Hungarian entries.

  • Winemakers from the Tokaj region performed very well at the competition, with 11 of the 19 medal winners being produced in the historic wine region, located in northeastern Hungary, which was named a World Heritage site in 2002.
  • Three of the Gold medal winners were botrytis entries, which is most typically associated with the region and involves late harvesting of grapes affected by ‘noble’ rot to create sweet wines.
  • Two examples created with the Furmint grape, the grape predominately used in Tokaj botrytis wine production, received Gold medals. Patricius Borház Kft was awarded a Gold medal for its sweet Patricius Tokaji 6 Puttonyos Aszú 2006 and Royal Tokaji’s 6 Puttonyos Tokaji Aszú 2011 also struck Gold.
  • An example of the sweetest of all botrytis styles, Tokaji Essencia, which was once described by King Louis XV of France as ‘the wine of Kings, the King of wines’, also received a Gold medal at the competition. Tokaji Essencia 2007, produced by Tokaj Kereskedõház Zrt. scooped a golden prize after impressing the judges.
  • Sauska Tokaj Winery picked up the fourth Gold medal for the Tokaj region, this time for a dry white wine. The Sauska Cuvée 113 2013 is made of Hungarian grapes Furmint and Hárslevelü blended with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Yellow Muscat.
  • Premium Nagy-Somolól Jufark 2013 was the only Hungarian Gold medal winner to be produced outside of Tokaj, created by Tornia Pincészet in the Somló region. The vineyard also received a Bronze medal for its Top Selection Grófi Juhfark 2011.
  • Törley Sparkling Wine Cellar Ltd received the only medal for a Hungarian sparkling wine, picking up a Bronze medal for its Törley Gála NV, a bubbly blend of Királyleányka, Riesling and Grüner Veltiner. The vineyard also received a second Bronze medal for its György Villa Zöldveltelini, a still dry Grüner Veltiner.
  • Nyakas Pince Budai Chardonnay 2014 by Nyakas Pince Zrt scooped a Bronze medal, the only Hungarian Chardonnay to receive a medal. A Silver was awarded to the Lajvér Avantgarde Cuvée Blanc 2014, a Sauvignon Blanc Cserszegi Fűszeres blend created by Lajvér Borászat in the Szekszárd region of the country.
  • Marks & Spencer Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2007, produced for the UK retailer by Hilltop Winery, also received a Silver medal at the competition.
  • Visit the IWC website for the full list of winners:


Charles Metcalfe, co-chairman of the IWC commented:

“Hungarian white wines really excelled at this year’s competition, across a range of styles. Tokaj demonstrated its historic class by taking almost all of the top awards. Their great tradition of making deliciously sweet, and botrytis-affected wines is stronger than ever, and there is a new generation of dry whites that are muscling their way onto the scene as well. The grape names may be challenging to pronounce, but the flavours are terrific.”

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