Dinner with 3 wines from Davino and a 1995 Saint Estephe
I had dinner this week with Nicusor Cazan and Mr Dan Balaban, Davino’s major shareholder. Mr Balaban was kind enough to bring some of his older wines that are no longer available at the winery to taste them together. We met at Crowne Plaza’s La Veranda restaurant and tasted semi-blind a 2006 Domaine Ceptura Rouge, a 2006 and a 2009 Purpura Valahica Feteasca Neagra – 2009 Purpura Valahica will be launched in March this year, and also an older wine kindly provided by Nicusor Cazan: 1995 Chateau Phelan Segur.
Before starting the actual tasting I had a very tasty Risotto with smoked eggplant and Gorgonzola.
We started the tasting with the youngest and this was quite a surprising wine. It certainly seems to be one the most complete and succulent Feteasca Neagra I had so far. The wine spent already a few good months in bottle, being aged at the winery. Mr Balaban confessed that he really did not want to put this wine on the market at this stage, but he is forced to do it as the last vintage was completely sold out many months ago. Mr Balaban’s biggest concern is that his wines, just like all the other top Romanian wines, are consumed too young, the vast majority of consumers do not have the patience to wait for the wines to develop at least secondary, not to mention tertiary aromas.
2009 Davino Purpura Valahica Feteasca Neagra
Dark red-purple color. Very youthful nose, intense, still showing signs of elevage from the few months spent in Romanian oak barrels, mixed with red and black fruits, a rich minty aroma and more spices. Full bodied, well structured, surprisingly accessible and velvety for such a young wine, and well balanced. There is good richness on the palate for a Feteasca Neagra and remarkable freshness. The finish is medium to long, with red fruit flavors, but what dominates the aftertaste is the richness of spices, the mint being the main actor. A very interesting wine with a bright future. (88-89/100)
2006 Davino Purpura Valahica Feteasca Neagra
Red garnet color with ruby reflections. The nose is developed but still youthful, with mixed aromas of fresh red fruits and plenty of spices: cinnamon and anise shine as the wine breathes. Medium to full bodied, this 2006 has a more elegant appearance than its hedonistic younger brother, with a velvety mouth-feel and fully integrated tannins. The finish is medium, with intense spicy flavors in the aftertaste. The wine still has plenty of life ahead and would be interesting to revisit it in a few years again. (85-86/100)
2006 Davino Domaine Ceptura Rouge
This wine was served partially blind by Mr Balaban as I saw the label but the vintage was hidden. As I tasted the wine in December I managed to recognize it this time.
Red garnet color with no signs of evolution. A well developed nose, a bit more profound than the previous two Purpura Valahica wines, showing the fruity and spicy aromas of Feteasca Neagra, mixed with paprika and red currant. Full bodied, well structured, with mellow tannins and pleasant mouth-feel, the wine shows also a richer character on the palate. The finish is medium plus long and spicy. Still more potential for development. (87/100)
1995 Chateau Phelan Segur Saint Estephe
Red garnet color with very light signs of aging. The nose is fully developed and maturing, intense, with good Cabernet Sauvignon typicality, and seducing aromas of smoke, red and black currant, damp earth, plenty of green herbs, tobacco leaves and dry plums. Full bodied but supple, well balanced, with a very pleasant velvety mouth-feel and fully integrated tannins. Their is great freshness, a good flavor profile on the palate and a medium plus finish, with coffee, red currant, spices and a firm grip in the aftertaste that suggests further aging potential. Great drink-ability and no rush to drink it. (90/100)
I finished the meal with a cheese cake for dessert but unfortunately it was a bit too dry.