An interesting dinner and some wines from the weekend
SAT I visited the wine fair organized by Vinul.ro in the Old center of Bucharest. There were a few wines that I did not know prior, I tasted now and I liked. Here is a list with what I found really interesting – I did not get any written tasting notes nor the exact name or vintage of some the wines from the fair; my feedback about the fair is only from memory:
– from Cramele Halewood(Halewood wineries) I liked the new dark red labeled 2009 Hyperion Feteasca Neagra. I tasted this wine together with Marc Dworkin(Enira and Alira) and he also pointed out that the big potential of the Romanian Feteasca Neagra (Black Maiden grape) starts to shine more and more. The wine is still very youthful and needs more time in the bottle but it has freshness and good balance already.
– from Vinchile (it is the first time I try their wines) I liked a lot their Malbec(it was the only one present at their table): not over extracted, not a fruit bomb but a balanced wine with a great medium bitter sweet dark chocolaty finish, a really nice wine. Also I liked Aromo: a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Carmenere and 5% Petit Verdot. Good balanced wine with a good freshness, balance and good length.
– at Crama Oprisor I liked more the 2008 Miracol Cabernet Sauvignon than their red labeled 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. I also wanted to taste the 2009 Smerenie but they asked me to come after 2 hours or the next day as there was none open. There was however an unopened bottle on their table. Why bother bringing the wine at the fair in the first place.
– from Domeniile Urlati I tried an interesting blend called Incantation.
– from Enira and Alira I liked the Enira 2007, a wine I drank 2 weeks ago, and the Enira Reserva 2006.
On SUN I had a lovely dinner at home with my wife and Tania, a guest from Switzerland. We did some home cooking and had two wines with the ladies: 2001 Mas la Plana Cabernet Sauvignon from Torres and a 2008 Las Flors de la Peira.
2001 Miguel Torres Cabernet Sauvignon Mas la Plana
This is a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 18 months in new French oak barrels. This is one of the wines I purchased about 2 weeks ago in the package with the 2001 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Tenute Marchese. The wine has a very long cork similar to the ones from classified Bordeaux growths.
The wine has a dark red violet color with no trace of aging. The nose is elegant and developed with plenty of dark chocolate and cocoa, smoke, dark cherry, leather, black pepper and very discreet tones of green vegetables. In the mouth the wine is rich and full bodied, well balanced with ripe tannins and a good mouth feel. The finish is medium plus with firm tannins and a bitter sweet dark chocolaty aftertaste. The tannins are firm, not aggressive on the finish and this wine has a long life ahead but drinking very well now. 91 points
2008 Las Flors de la Peira
The 2008 Las Flors has a youthful nose, is oaky, with plenty of ripe dark fruits and a touch of black pepper. In the mouth the wine is medium plus bodied, oaky, rich with a beautiful black pepper layer, has good freshness, firm tannins, good balance for the 14.5% alcohol and finishes with a medium plus peppery cranberry aftertaste. The wine needs more time in the bottle to integrate the oak but will develop well. For now it is an 88-89 points wine.
The wine of the night for our SUN dinner was the 2001 Mas la Plana from Torres.
On MON evening I had a very pleasant dinner with Marc Dworkin, the winemaker of Enira and Alira, at a restaurant in the Old center of Bucharest called Charme. The restaurant looks very nice but the food needs some improving. We had two Italian wines: a Tenuta Rapitala Solinero Sicilia IGT 2005 brought by Marc and a 2001 Antinori Marchese Chianti Classico Riserva brought by me.
100% Syrah aged for 12 months in oak from Sicilia.
The wine has a youthful nose, oaky, with nice spicy red fruits and a touch of heat. In the mouth the wine is medium plus bodied with good structure, fat without being over the top, pleasant mouth feel and balance, very fruity and with a medium spicy finish and firm tannins. The wine needs more time to balance the oak but the tannins are promising at least 10 years more of life. For me a 86-87 points wine.
2001 Antinori Marchese Chianti Classico Riserva
I am very quickly running out of stock on this wine and with every new bottle I have I love it more and more.
The color is dark red with a brick rim. The nose is elegant with leather, mushrooms, sweet dark cherry and after the fruity Syrah a new stinky dimension of barnyard expresses into this 10 years old Chianti Classico Riserva. In the mouth the wine is elegant, well balanced, with racy tannins and beautiful velvety texture. The finish is short to medium with a leathery dark fruit aftertaste. (89 points) Marc found this wine a bit closed.
I got an invitation from Alfred Binder to speak in March during one of his lessons(The wines of France) about the Investment in wine as apparently I accumulated some valuable information on the topic after some money spent on books and actual cases of wine bought. I asked Marc more about the current Fine wine market dynamics and his opinion about the investment in wine. The Chinesse are in a buying frenzy for Left bank wines and most of the 2006s and 2007s were massively sold in Honk Kong and China. Honk Kong saw huge changes in the wine business and the restaurants now have extensive wine lists compared to even 1 year ago. It is expected that the prices of the Bordeaux 2010 will be very similar to the already sky rocketing prices of the 2009 en-primeurs. “Bordeaux has no memory” – a nice quota from Marc. With the almost doubling in price of the 2005 1er Grand Cru Classe wines this scenario has all the chances of becoming a reality.
As much as Marc regrets the bad weather Romania saw in 2010 and not being able to make Feteasca Neagra from Aliman, he is very thrilled about the Syrah made in Bessa Valley in 2010 which he says is greater than the promising 2009. Time will tell and us, the consumers, have only to be patient and wait for the release of the future wines. As stated at the beginning of this post, I already like more the Enira 2007 than the 2006. If they keep the same pace for the rest of the wines, we will have great wines on the coming years from Enira and hopefully Alira.
Thanks for reading!