Monday, 29 September 2014

An Italian in Bulgaria - Eduardo Miroglio

I called into the Emerging regions tasting in London the other week, they had wines from all corners of the world such as Croatia, Lebanon, Greece, Romania, China and even Brazil, but there was one producer from Bulgaria that really caught my eye, Edoardo Miroglio.

Edoardo an Italian textile and wine producer, on a trip to Bulgaria in 2002 discovered in the Thracian region, the perfect soil and climate conditions for the production of quality wines. After extensive soil and climate analysis, they found that the terrior of Elenovo was unique in Bulgaria and equally as good for growing red and white grapes. After combining his Italian know-how in the development of vineyards and oenology with the terrior they had found, they produced there first vintage in October 2005, the overall process in the production of the wine is led by the world famous oneologist, Marco Monchiero.

Over the 220 hectare estate they grow both French and indigenous Bulgarian varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Pinot Noir with others such as Mavrud, Rubin, Melnik 55 to name just a few. They produce in the region of 1 million litres annually, which they use only French oak for the maturation process of there wines.

I had the pleasure of tasting few of there range which were excellent, but what really caught my eye was the mini vertical of Pinot Noir, they age the wine for 12 - 15 months in French oak then another three - six months in bottle before release, to help it soften and allow all the flavours to integrate perfectly.

2012 Pinot Noir

This had a pale ruby red colour with quite pronounced aromas of red fruit with a touch of spice coming through from the background. These all came through on the palate with the fruit being more strawberry with some lovely red sour cherry. You got some smoke and spice coming through with it, all combining with the tannins perfectly, lovely now and only going to get better with age.

2011 Pinot Noir

Very similar to the 2012, however the acidity had softened out a little and the fruit was starting to get richer and the spice was coming through with much more vigour giving it a more savoury character, again was beautiful and a good insight as to how the 2012 will mature.

2008 Pinot Noir

The colour now is starting fade a little giving the wine an almost brick coloured edge, the fruit was again full of Strawberries, Cherries and Raspberries but now they are more cooked, jammy in the there style and the spice of Clove, Cinnamon and Vanilla are really starting to shine through.This was absolutely stunning, and really showed how the wine developed after a few more years in the bottle, soft silky tannins and such a great depth of flavours.

2006 Pinot Noir

As the 2008 just showing more development in the fruit and spice flavours and aromas, the tannins were almost non existent now, just a touch in the background so you knew that they were still there and a soft, juicy acidity which just worked so well together.

I have to say these wines really were truly stunning and definitely worth trying, they've aged beautifully and for me really rival some of the wines coming out of Burgundy, especially when your looking at a retail price of between £16 - £19.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A Pair of Bargains or Not?

I was reading an article the other day about the state of the UK wine trade and one of the stats which still amazes me is that the average bottle price in the UK is £5.27, which once you've take the VAT and duty out of the price, the cost of the wine, bottle, shipping, labelling and retailer profit is £2.34. This to me is just amazing, the once you take out the other costs, the wine inside the bottle is costing you anywhere between 50 - 60 pence, which when you think about it is not a lot, and also makes me wonder is it any good?

So with this in mind I popped down to my local supermarket to see what they had around this price, also remembering about the articles earlier this year with regards to so called special offer wines, that aren't really that good an offer! And I found quite a few around this price from all over the world, but decided on two a Tempranillo/Grenache blend from Spain and a Petit Verdot from South Australia;

2007 Marques de Carano Gran Reserva

Having a quick scan of the back label the first bit of information you see is that this wine hails from the Carinena region in north west Spain. Carinena is one of the oldest protected DO's (Denominacion de Origen) and was created in 1932, it is also acknowledged as the source of the French Carignan grape, which is still grown in the region and is better known as Mazuelo. The other bit of useful information apart from some information about the region is that it is aged for at least 24 months in American oak. Adding in the age I was expecting quite a lot from this wine, even more so as it's original price was £10.99 but it was on a better than half price offer for £5.

In the glass it had a deep inky purple colour, with pronounced aromas of dark fruit, cherries blackberries with a touch of sweet spice namely clove and cinnamon. On the palate you got the fruit and spice coming through, unfortunately it had a large amount of bitter, green tannins which were not enjoyable and made this a very disappointing glass of wine, and one I wouldn't recommend.

2013 Wine Makers Selection Petit Verdot by Sainsbury's

Petit Verdot is not something you tend to see a lot of as a single varietal, it's mainly used in blends and originates from Bordeaux in France, the grapes for this wine come from south Australia.

In the glass it had a bright ruby red colour, with aromas of red berries, predominately cherry with a touch of graphite (pencil lead) and violet hue's coming through, these all came through on the palate and combined with plenty of soft juicy tannins. It had a refreshing acidity which bought the flavours and tannins together perfectly. Again this bottle cost me £5 and I really enjoyed it, and would definitely recommend it even more so when you consider the price.

Considering what I was looking for when I purchased these two bottles, I don't think I did too badly, yes one I wouldn't recommend and but one I definitely would!