The 30th edition of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles was held last month in Poreč; for that reason, Istria hosted 320 judges from 50 countries, who tasted more than 7,500 wine samples, including 220 samples submitted by Croatian wineries. With four gold and two silver medals, Vina Belje is the most successful Croatian winery at this year’s two sessions of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.
Gold medals for quality were awarded to the 2022 Rosé Premium, the 2006 Goldberg Chardonnay, the 2009 Frankovka Premium, the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Premium, while silver was awarded to the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Premium and the 2020 Merlot Premium.
“We sent a selection of our premium red wines made from the Frankovka, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varieties to the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, and they were awarded two gold and two silver medals. This is a great success not only for Vina Belje, but also for the entire continental Croatia, which has traditionally been oriented toward white wine production, in particular Graševina. With the first Decanter regional award, given to our 2008 Merlot, we paved the way for recognition of Baranja’s potential in the production of premium red wines, and I am pleased because with each harvest over the course of 15 years, we have continuously produced exceptional red wines, which are recognisable and in high demand on the market,” stated Marijan Knežević, head oenologist of Vina Belje, adding that the award-winning 2022 Rosé Premium will soon enter the market.
With the Rosé Premium, Vina Belje brings innovation into its premium line, which is known for exceptional wines that have won numerous awards at competitions around the world. At first glance, this wine stands out thanks to its elegant bottle and soft pink colour, and upon tasting, its crispness and aroma of the dominant Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir are emphasised. It has a subtle, layered fragrance, with the fresh fruitiness of raspberry and pomegranate intertwined with herbal and citrus notes.
Medals awarded to Cabernet Sauvignon Premium and Merlot Premium, as well as the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Premium blend show that this is a very good year for red wines, which are reaching their full potential in Baranja. Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Premium, in the classic Bordeaux combination, is a wine characterised by rich crispness and texture, with a pronounced fruitiness and lushness. Baranja is also known as home to great vineyards for Chardonnay, which is confirmed by the gold medal awarded to the vintage 2006 Goldberg Chardonnay, which is available in fine dining restaurants.
Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is often described as a unique competition, since it is held in a different country every other year; up to this point, around 15 of the most famous wine-producing countries have been given the honour of hosting it, including Croatia. It is also one of the three largest wine rating competitions in the world, since around ten thousand wine bottles from all over the world are uncorked in the course of the three event days. The event is known for its independence, stringent selection processes and implemented tasting protocols; experienced food and wine journalists make up the majority of the judges.