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A 6 BGN Wine Received Golden Rhyton from Vinaria 2011


Ivan Bakalov in e-vestnik

Awards were given for the second time in the history of Vinaria National Wine and Beverages Fair in Plovdiv in the category Retail wines. The Golden Rhyton for red wine was awarded to Vinprom Yambol's Persona Cabernet Fran 2008 that can be purchased for 6 BGN in retail stores. Amazing accomplishment, which must have despaired many producers of more expensive and sophisticated wines.

Anybody that has not kept track of this competition or of the national wine tastings for several years will be surprised– well, what kind of wines have they been rewarding then, if there is a "retail" category for the second time? And they will be right to wonder because for many years a group of wine connoisseurs and people that keep track of wine fairs all over the world, have been writing articles and stating that already manufactured wines, which could be found in stores, should be assessed at the national examination, and they should be bought exactly from stores for the competition.

On the contrary, for decades during the tasting contest they present wines that have been specially "mixed" for the occasion, unlabeled , just carrying a number– for example, Cabernet Sauvignon, sample № 7 of any given winery (this practice continues even now for some categories of the competition). And such wines used to win medals, rythons; these medals or rhytons are then put on the label of some wine that is only a vague reminder of the awarded one and is sold as such.

The prestige of the Vinaria competition plummeted for the last few years. This year's jury has foreign members for the second time, not only Bulgarian wine tasters and Oenologists from the participating wineries. And also for the first time the awarded wines were tasted for a second time to have their qualities confirmed.

Currrently, the most trustworthy category isRetail Wine. There, the first vintage of Cabernet Franc from the vineyards of Vinprom Yambol is a huge success. Wine making often hides such surprises – a 6 BGN wine could taste better than 3-4 times more expensive wine that requires more effort to produce. 

According to the rules, the Golden rhyton is given to the wine with the highest  score in its category but not less than 85 points (according to the 100-points scale system). In the past, wines received gold medals but not Golden Rythons, because they scored less than 85 points. Now the competition results do not contain points but since the minimum is 85 it can only mean that Persona Cabernet Fran is above this limit. 

In this case, it is no wonder that a wine with a price this low has been highly acclaimed.  When you have your own vineyards, managed by agriculturists, cultivated with modern machinery and competent wine technologists, good grapes will make good wine. Even if it is cheaper, because it was from a larger batch for mass production.

Persona Cabernet Fran 2008 in terms of price - quality ratio has no rival. In general, the connoisseurs  are well familiar with the difference between the varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The second one is milder, less sharper in taste, smoother but at the same time is velvet in flavor and with blue fruit nuances, ripe, with mild tannins that is preferred by some connoisseurs. 

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