What earns a wine a Grand Gold medal?

The 2023 Winelovers Wine Awards resulted in many wines with scores above 90, and despite rigorous scoring, the jury awarded four Grand Gold medals. Pajzos 6 Puttonyos 2017 Legend Aszú and Trifecta Szent Tamás 2017 Aszú had the highest scores of 96 points, while Holdvölgy Culture Aszú 2010 and Bodor Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 earned their top medals with 95 points.

So what is expected, what is required for a wine to score 95 and above and earn a Grand Gold medal that only few wines deserve?
If the judges give a wine a score of 95 or above, the wine has various qualities that make it stand out from the rest as well as being balanced, pure and technologically flawless. These include, for example, complexity, which the judges usually highlight in high-scoring wines.
Complexity means that the greatest possible number of aromas and flavours are present in the wine in various categories and are strongly defined by not only primary but also secondary or even tertiary notes. Length, or finish, is often highlighted as one of the most important indicators of wine quality. The complexity and length of the 6 Puttonyos Tokaji Aszú, which was awarded a Grand Gold medal, were outstanding.
The wine’s finesse is also important and although this is a more subjective part of the assessment, it is easily recognised by very experienced judges. Finesse is one of the quality parameters that refers to a wine’s texture and structure. It denotes a kind of refinement, elegance and sophistication related to the structural elements of the wine, mainly the acidity and, in the case of red wines, the tannin structure. Bodor Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon was described as having great finesse, mainly because of its velvety, smooth tannins.
Of course, experienced judges also take other aspects into account when giving their scores: wine style, varietal or terroir typicity, intensity, integration and concentration may all contribute to the best result for a wine.
Let’s take a closer look at the Grand Gold medal winning wines!
Golden yellow in colour, with a complex nose of dried apricot and pear as well as prominent nutty, honeyed baked apple. It is lively on the palate with attractive acidity and well-balanced residual sugar. It boasts notes of vanilla and plenty of candied fruit, yet it is also youthful and energetic with an infinite finish.
Amber-coloured with a nose of apricot and many flowers. Full-bodied on the palate, mouth-filling apricot flavour with nicely integrated oak, finesse and elegance, with an extremely long, mineral finish.
An elegant, characterful and majestic wine with ripe tannins. It owes its uniqueness and depth to the fact that despite maintaining the Villány tradition of full body and high alcohol, it still retains its striking fruity notes. It is mature, but also youthfully energetic, making it truly special.
A deep golden yellow colour, with notes of tropical fruit, plenty of oriental spice, green tea, subtle floral notes and a hint of vanilla and mint. The acidity balances the sugar perfectly, which is enlivened by refreshing lime and citrus notes. The aroma profile is complemented by sweet citrus and subtle spicy aromas. Filigree, elegant and precise: truly original.
This video features some of the judges of the Winelovers Wine Awards telling us what they value most in a wine.

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