This year's winner of the Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for the Best in Show Red Bordeaux Varietal Over £15 went to Sauska, Cuvée 5, Villány 2009, Hungary.
Sauska, Cuvée 5, Villány, Hungary 2009 (15%)
Lovely black fruit definition to classy aromas of chocolate and minty tobacco. Very peppery with a good sweet, ripe middle, cassis and inky, iodine notes. Intense and velvety with supple, elegant tannins and a long finish.
UK £74.50; BWC
Tasted against • Aurelius, St-Emilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France 2010 • Baron Edmond de Rothschild, Château Clarke, Listrac-Médoc, Bordeaux, France 2009 • Cavit, Quattro Vicariati, Trentino Superiore, Italy 2009 • Kristanˇciˇc, Pavó Rdeˇce, Brda, Primorska, Slovenia 2009 • Constantia Glen, Three, Constantia, South Africa 2009 • Spring Mountain Vineyard, Elivette, Napa Valley, California, USA 2010 • Tidswell Wines, Jennifer Cabernet Sauvignon, Limestone Coast, South Australia 2010 • Vistamar, Sepia Reserva Merlot, Maipó Valley, Chile 2011 • RJ Viñedos, Joffré e Hijas Premium Merlot, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina 2006
Hungary’s first International Trophy win is an impressive one. The higher priced Red Bordeaux varietal category is always hard-fought. A runnerup in this category last year, it’s Sauska’s time to shine.
This International Trophy follows two consecutive Regional Trophies for Christian Sauska’s eponymous winery, and each for a different wine. Sauska left Hungary in 1970 via a refugee camp in Italy, and escaped to the USA without a cent to work his way up from the factory floor, eventually heading a high-tech lighting company. Today he splits his time between the USA and Hungary, keeping a close interest in his winery and following the work of his young winemaking team of László Latorczai and Ildikó Markó.
This year, it is the flagship Cuvée 5 that wins the ultimate accolade – a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Sauska explains: ‘This wine is not associated with any specific vineyard or blend. It is based on our winemakers’ decision about what is best that year.’
In 2009 the vineyards were damaged by hail and rainstorms three times. Markó says: ‘Since it is always a small production, we don’t really focus on the business aspect: just taste, blend, fight, taste, blend, and fight some more, until finally everybody is happy.’
Caroline Gilby MW
Written by Decanter