This year’s Mundus Vini Spring Tasting session within the 32nd Mundus Vini Grand International Wine Award was impressive — as impressive, perhaps, as ever before, but also bringing new trends and new challenges the contemporary winemaking is facing into the spotlight.
To begin with, a few remarkable numbers. Director Degustation Christian Wolf and board member Prof. Dr. Ulrich Fischer, supported by a very efficient, dynamic, stress-resistant and very friendly Mundus Vini team, gave their warm welcome to a total of 242 international wine experts from 46 countries within 6 days. Two rounds of tastings, each 3 intense and inspiring days, presented 7,568 wines from all over the world, plus 187 non-alcoholic wines; all of them were critically tasted and evaluated by the expert commission.
During the blind tasting and evaluation, experts were informed of the category, grape variety, vintage and residual sugar level for each sample. Tanksamples awere marked accordingly.
Prices for the submitted wines were ranging from less than Euro 2,99 (17 wines) to over Euro 50 (139 premium wines), the core being Euro 5 — 15 (1497 wines), while fine wines in the price range of Euro 15-30 counted as many as 912.
The geography of wines, as well as the members of the jury, was incredible, proving once again that the world of wine is expanding, yet bringing people in the industry closer, despite geographical and cultural differences. New wine regions are emerging, totally changing the map of winemaking and shifting the long-existing barriers subdividing it into the Old World and the New World.
The results of the blind tastings and evaluation are as follows: 3021 wines, including 70 Grand Golds, 1920 Golds, and 1031 Silvers. Focusing on Grand Gold, one may see that, apart from the usual headliners such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Austria, Greece and Germany, Grand Gold has been won by the regions with robust winemaking traditions but significantly less worldwide export coverage, such as Turkey, Serbia, UK, Croatia, Hungary and Bulgaria. We are very happy for Moldova bringing home 4 Grand Gold medals for 2021 Pinot Noir de Purcari Limited Edition by the famous Purcari winery, 2018 Domeniile Davidescu GENERATII Rara Neagra / Syrah / Feteasca Neagra and 2018 Domeniile Davidescu GENERATII – Saperavi by Vinaria din Vale, as well as 2019 Barbaro by Fautor SRL.
Two Grand Golds went to Georgia, awarded to 2020 Glekhuri Saperavi Qvevri Special Edition by Teliani Valley, and 2020 Vazisubani Estate Saperavi Qvevri by Vazisubani Estate. Speaking of Georgia, our team is happy to congratulate SHUMI Winery, the Wine Travel Awards 2023 nominee, for winning 1 Gold and 2 Silver medals.
As a lover of Israeli wines, I paid attention to the Grand Gold for 2019 Yarden Malbec by
Golan Heights Winery from Katzrin, Israel. Yarden wines also won a generous harvest of 7 Gold medals. Interesting news came from China, where the winemaking and wine culture seem to be booming these days: 2018 Niya Winemaker Cabernet Sauvignon Dry by CITIC GUOAN WINE from Beijing, from grapes grown in Xinjiang — Grand Gold. I was lucky to blind-taste this wine on my board. Suffice it to say, the high score was given to it by all the board members. In total, apart from Grand Gold, wines from China were granted 20 golden and 4 silver medals by Mundus Vini Spring Tasting 2023.
Ukrainian wineries also submitted their wines for the competition, and we are extremely happy to congratulate the Wine Travel Awards nominee and our long-term partner, Vinos de la Luz, with a brilliant Ukrainian premiere: 2020 Big Wines Big Art Odesa Black Ivan Marchuk, the first Ukrainian-produced wine of BIG WINES, the branch of Vinos de la Luz, won a gold medal! Chateau Chizay, an amazing winery from Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia), is a proud winner of two Silvers: for 2018 Merlot Aged and 2018 Pinot Noir Aged. Well done, Ukraine, the country of ancient winemaking traditions and unbreakable spirit!
A reminder: for those of you who are planning to visit ProWein 2023 expo, the WTA team is holding a tasting of 6 high-class Ukrainian wines on Tuesday, March 21, at 16 PM, Hall 13 (Forum 13.2).
Trending now: alcohol-free wines. This trend, no matter how many heated discussions it caused among the jury, as well as wine experts in general, is growing so steadily that it cannot be ignored. For the first time, the tasting of non-alcoholic wines was held at MUNDUS VINI Spring Tasting 2023. A total of 187 wines were tasted, the best of which were awarded 21 gold and 54 silver medals. The unanimous opinion of the jury of experts specially assembled for this competition: the organoleptic features and overall quality of alcohol-free wines have noticeably improved across the board. “There are numerous wines that can be highly recommended in this segment, and some that bring outstanding quality to the glass”, said Meininger, the organizers of Mundus Vini, in their report of the event.
Another trend which was actually welcomed by experts with great enthusiasm is the upsurge of PIWI wines. PIWI, resulting mostly from climate change and the “green” agenda as such, are sustainably produced wines from grape varieties with naturally high resistance properties, such as Johanniter, Solaris, Muscaris, Souvignier Gris, Calardis Blanc, Cabernet Blanc etc. Some experts claimed that these varieties did not have the sophistication and complexity of organoleptic features, demonstrated by the classic varieties. However, PIWI winemakers have already managed to prove the opposite, working with the new varieties that produce very different wines with their own character and organoleptic profiles, from grapes grown at the vines which are not cultivated in the laboratory, but in the vineyard, no genetic engineering involved. The Mundus Vini team and PIWI International organized a special tasting for the jury of the first session during the evening program, and the wines tasted there were, according to some experts, clean, elegant, and “demonstrating an impressive character”. Here I need to add that a few craft wineries from Ukraine, such as Bohdan’s Winery, Yanchyn Hills, Chateau Edem, Vitaliy Malanchuk and others, have been working with these varieties successfully for several years. Hopefully, we will have an opportunity to taste their wines at Mundus Vini some time soon.
Meininger and Mundus Vini will present the selection of the award-winning wines of the Spring Tasting 2023 at ProWein in Düsseldorf in mid-March. Subscribe to the event not to miss it. Thank you, Mundus Vini, and see you at ProWein 2023!
Wine Travel Awards and Drinks+ Media Group are grateful to Meininger Verlag GmbH and Mundus Vini team for collaboration and invitation to participate in the MUNDUS VINI Spring Tasting 2023. To be continued!
Author: Victoria Makarova
Photos: Victoria Makarova, AD LUMINA for Mundus Vini.