Tasting Enira – the whole range
I received an invitation from Mr Ghenadie Bobeica, the person in charge of Winero – the producer of Alira and importer of Enira wines in Romania, to taste together their whole range of wines that are currently available on the market. The tasting was hosted at the Escargot in the company of one of the shareholders of Enira/Alira – Dr Karl Heinz Hauptmann. Together we had the chance to sample about 8 wines. This was a good opportunity to find out more about their Romanian project at Aliman.
Dr Karl H. Hauptmann is the main shareholder of Bessa Valley Winery, the producer of Enira wines, and has also vineyards in China, Germany(Mosel – 1 ha and looking to purchase more), Switzerland and now in Romania. He was Managing Director of Merrill Lynch in London and Vice-President of the London Bankers Trust International. He confessed discovering his passion for wine in 1987 while having a lunch in London when he tried different old vintages of Bordeaux – from 1975 down to 1929. He started to actively collect wine only 11-12 years later and buying his first vineyards in 2000-2001. Now his wines collection contains over 11.000 bottles of Bordeaux and insignificant quantities from other areas. He started to purchase en-primeur Bordeaux in 1999-2000 and continued doing so ever since.
There are exciting things to be expected from the Romanian project at Aliman. Dr Hauptmann compares Feteasca Neagra to Blaufränkisch grape from Austria, capable of producing a low alcoholic but aromatic wine, more Burgundian style than what it is available today on the Romanian market. This is a totally different perspective than what Recas has in mind with their joint venture with Masi to use Feteasca Neagra for an Amarone style wine. So the next years will be very interesting for Feteasca Neagra. There are also plans to start planting white Romanian grape varieties in limited amounts initially at Aliman – 2 ha for each variety – just to experiment with the terroir and see what gives the best results.
Last night we tasted 8 wines: 2009 Enira Rose (blend of Syrah and Petit Verdot), 2008 Easy by Enira, 2009 Alira Merlot, 2008 Cabernet by Enira, 2006 Enira, 2006 Enira Reserva, 2007 BV and 2007 Syrah. Unfortunately the BV was corked so we couldn’t drink it. I did not drink BV and Syrah previously therefore it was a great chance for me to taste the wines(at least the Syrah).
The wines I liked the most from the bunch were the 2008 Cabernet by Enira and the 2007 Syrah. The Cabernet has evolved nicely since the last time in spring when I last drank it.Even though it is not a too complex wine, the purity of the fruit, the nice mouth feel and the beautiful balance are really making this a very good pairing for barbecues or any other unpretentious food.
The 2007 Syrah by Enira is a hedonistic wine with a tremendous balance without being over the top. The nose shows plenty of ripe dark fruits mixed with spices and floral aromas(lilies and violets are really nice). In the mouth the wine is full body with silky texture and beautiful concentration, really balanced. The strong point of this wine is its long finish. The wine coats the palate with concentrated sweet fruit and spices, the aftertaste lasting more than 10-15 seconds. It is a wine that goes very well on its own and it is reminding more of an Amarone than of a Rhone Syrah. Excellent+ wine. People that like Bordeaux might not prefer this style.
The food was good as usual at Escargot. I had a tasty beef steak with a mix of vegetables that paired well with the last three wines, the high end range.
Initially Dr Hauptmann intended to purchase vineyards in 2000 in Romania, but due to complicated procedures and easier access to land in Bulgaria they decided to start in Bulgaria. According to him, both countries have the same great potential for wine making and the only advantage Enira has over Alira is the 5-7 years advance that gave the vines time to accommodate better. It is expected for the vines in both sites to hit their real potential once they are 20 years old.
Great night with interesting wines and good company.
Thanks for reading!