Grab a corkscrew and say "nazdrave!", because the Bacchus Bulgarian Wine of the Year 2008 has been named: Santa Sarah Privat 2006. Bacchus, the Bulgarian magazine for wine and a gourmet culture, announced the results of its first-annual competition at a ceremony at the Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan on the evening of November 21 2008.
In the year leading up to this final announcement, more than 250 Bulgarian wines submitted to the magazine were evaluated, with the top 50 going on to the three-stage final.
In addition to receiving the title of Bulgarian Wine of the Year, the Santa Sarah Privat 2006, a blend of mavrud and cabernet sauvignon that was slow fermented in German oak barrels and then aged for 10 months in new French oak barrels, also was named the top red wine of 2008. In total, 4300 bottles were made.
Taking home the title of best white wine of 2008 was Chateau de Val Cuvee Trophy 2007 by the winery Chateau de Val. The best sparking wine was Edoardo Miroglio Brut Metodo Classico 2005 by Edoardo Miroglio, the best rose was Vinprom Svishtov's Gorchivka rose 2007 and the best dessert wine was Santa Sarah Snow Wine 2005, also by Santa Sarah. This latter also won the special prize The Wine of Elle, conferred by competition partner, the Bulgarian edition of the magazine Elle.
In an exceptional move, the winery Terra Tangra, whose Roto 2006 came in second, Cuvee 2006, sixth and Grand Reserva 2006, ninth, was named Winery of the Year.
At the ceremony, Emil Koralov, special projects director at Bacchus and competition founder, said that it had been "exceptionally difficult" to choose between the two best wines and that additional tastings had been necessary to discern the winner. "What is more important, however," he said, "is that we succeeded in reaching, to a large part, our goals in this first competition - to stimulate Bulgarian producers to make their products better and more competitive, and to encourage the consumption of good wine."
The top 10 Bulgarian wines of 2008:
1) Santa Sarah Privat 2006
2) Terra Tangra Roto 2006
3) Solitaire Elenovo merlot 2006
4) Maxxima Private Reserve 2003
5) Logodaj Nobile rubin 2006
6) Terra Tangra Cuvee 2006
7) Katarzyna Question Mark 2007
8) Bessa Valley Enira Reserva 2006
9) Terra Tangra Grand Reserva 2006
10) Vinissimo American Barrel 2006