Soare 2001 vs 2005 by Vinarte
I met Nicusor Cazan, another fellow wine blogger from Bucharest, last night to taste two Romanian wines from Vinarte. We gathered just in time for dinner at Trattoria Roma near Opera Center, and did an academical exercise by having a small vertical of Vinarte’s flagship wine: Castel Soare from two vintages. I am always curios to taste an older Romanian wine. We had a Magnum of 2001 vintage and a regular bottle of 2005 vintage. Both wines, as printed on the back label, are 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 12 months in oak barrels. I previously tasted the 2004 version of this wine here.
2005 Castel Soare Vinarte (12.8% alc)
Ruby red color, similar to a darker Pinot Noir. A developing, youthful nose, tight, with initial aromas of mushrooms that faded away quickly with aeration, leaving space to red fruits and a touch of dried herbs. Medium bodied, with firm tannins, balanced, with red fruit, light greenness and a touch of earth on the palate, and a medium finish with pleasant acidity. The wine is young and comes a bit on the light side for now. (84/100)
2001 Castel Soare Vinarte from Magnum (13.5% alc)
Youthful dark red garnet color, with shades of brick on the rim. A well developed and maturing nose, rich, with charming complexity, sweet, with aromas of old leather, earth, barnyard, red fruits, chocolate and plums. A really nice and interesting nose. Medium to full bodied, very youthful in the mouth, with assertive tannins and good lift, a lively red fruit, cedar and earthy-mineral palate, with further depth given by espresso-coffee bean bitterness. A pleasant mouth-feel and a medium plus finish, with chewy tannins and earthy red fruit in the aftertaste. The nose is sweet, while the palate is more like an old school Bordeaux, with pleasant bitterness and discreet sweet red fruit. A really nice wine. (89/100)
As a conclusion: both wines show a good oak integration and the alcohol is well balanced. The 2001 is surprisingly youthful, and developed into a really interesting wine that can evolve even further. The tannins are still firm, but they are not aggressive and give this wine a good freshness. 2005 does not seem to posses the same texture to develop similarly in time as its older brother. For me, Soare 2001 in Magnum is not only a very interesting wine, but is a wine I will buy to keep in my cellar and see how it evolves over the next 3-5 years. Magnums of 2001 are available at Metro and at the winery for around 160-170 RON.