Annual Wine Stars Club Awards Presented at VINOcom 2015 in Zagreb

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Which wines have been performing well at Zagreb VINOcom? 

Zagreb VINOcom opened at Hotel Esplanade in the Croatian capital on November 27, 2015, and first impressions of the quality of the wine on offer are just in.

The Wine Stars Club, or ‘Klub Vinske Zvijezde’ was set up by three well known Croatian wine personalities: Željko Suhadolnik, Editor in Chief of the magazine Svijet u čaši (World in a Glass), Vitomir Andrić, long time wine editor for Večernji List, and Ivo Kozarčanin, the wine columnist for 24sata, are the three founders. The Wine Stars Club is an association for the promotion of wine culture and the enjoyment of wine. Anyone can become a member by applying and being accepted by a vote of the current members.

In the words of Željko Suhadolnik, they perform the strictest wine assesment in Croatia, and as well as the annual award, they announce a wine of the month, special awards and so on. The Club also organizes or sponsors tastings and wine education events.

Refreshingly the focus is on the consumers drinking the wine rather than the technical experts in the industry.

So how are the stars earned? The wines are tasted by a panel of tasters and awarded points. Then the wine stars are given out as follows:

Three stars (silver) – 85-89 points
Four stars (gold) – 90-94 points
Five stars (super gold) – 95-98 points
The Grand Star – 99-100 points

If no wines reach a particular level, then that level is not awarded.

This year in the course of eight wine tastings by twenty six different tasters tasting over 240 wines, they awarded one Grand Star, 11 Super Gold Stars and 36 Gold Stars.

The Grand Star went to the truly exceptional Bodren Cuvée Ledeno Vino (ice wine) 2007, from Continental Croatia. Ice wine is made only in a few years when weather conditions allow grapes to be left on the vines till first strong freezing temperatures, and then they are picked and transported for vinification, still frozen. Bodren also picked up a Super Gold for their 2012 Ice Wine.

The Best of the Best special awards we also awarded by the Club, taking the top wines and then tasting them again to chose the very best. We will list just a few of the Croatian ones, the Club pages have the complete list.

Best Croatian native varietal wine – Zinfandel/Crljenak 2011, Kairos, Kaštela, Dalmatia

Best Croatian sparkling wine – Noble Rosé Brut, Dvanajšćak-Kozol, Međimurje, Northern Croatia

Best overall white wines second place – Rajnski Rizling 2011, Korak, Plešivica, Continental Croatia

Best overall white wines first place – Qvevri 2011, Šember, Plešivica, Continental Croatia.

In the red wine category, even though four out of the eleven five star wines were Croatian reds, ultimately they lost out to Chile and Australia, with Belje Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 in a still respectable third place overall.


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