I picked this wine up merely as a curiosity. Romania doesn’t immediately come to mind when wine is discussed, but as an aficionado I felt I had the duty to try something new and expand my palate. In fact, Romania should be considered as part of the Old World, with vine cultivation dating back more than 6000 years (Wikipedia).
- Clarity: Clear
- Intensity: Medium
- Colour: Ruby
- Condition: Clean
- Intensity: Medium
- Development: Developing
- Sweetness: Dry
- Acidity: Medium+
- Tannin: Medium
- Alcohol: Medium+
- Body: Medium
- Flavor Intensity: Medium+
- Finish: Medium+
- Quality: Very Good
- Readiness/Cellaring: Can drink now, has potential for ageing
- Identity: Romania / Murfatlar / Feteascã Neagrã
- Price: High-priced (~$25)
- Long, fast tears
- Aromas of sour cherry, menthol, preserved orange peel, dusty oak
- Walking into an attic
- Flavours of sour cherry, dark chocolate, preserved orange peel, potpourri/dried flowers
- +5 mins → confectionary
- Most similar to Pinot Noir
- Try with: Duck, Veal
This wine is made from a varietal named Feteascã Neagrã, which is indigenous to Romania. Outside of this I knew nothing and expected nothing, making it ideal for an impartial and rational critique. I was aware of Romania’s position in Eastern Europe, and with a little research I learned that Murfatlar was close to the Black Sea, so I speculated this would be an area similar to, say, Bordeaux – largely continental, but with a large body of water as a moderating influence.
A brief explanation – a “continental” location can be thought of as being closer to the center of a land mass, away from water. Consider a desert with scorching days and freezing nights – the variation in temperature can be very wide. But with water as a “moderator” this can temper such extremes.
Imagine a pot of water on a stove – the metal pot will heat up more quickly than the water, but the water will retain heat long after the pot has cooled down. Now extend this analogy to the earth. When it is hot, a body of water will absorb heat and cool down the surrounding land. When it is cool, the water will release it’s retained heat and warm up the area.
I drew on my experience of other wines, and found it very similar to some Pinot Noirs I had tasted in the past, considering it’s colour and flavour profile. I was impressed with how robust it proved to be – even after two to three hours the wine still seemed fresh, with hardly any oxidation.
I noted “walking into an attic” – for some reason this was the image that came to mind when I considered the aroma profile, a kind of woody dustiness that later developed into felt or velvet. It was a textural sensation in my nose… now I’m worried I sound like I am on narcotics.
Overall, I am very satisfied with my selection, and consider it a bargain price to pay for a new experience. I originally thought this was a mid-priced wine, but after revisiting my notes this could technically be classed as a high-priced wine, and have indicated as such in my notes.
For future reference (and I may reiterate this in a future article) – Inexpensive = $0-$10 / Mid-priced = $10-$20 / High-priced = $20-$50 / Premium = $50-$100. And of course anything over $100 can just be considered Super-premium.
Read More: Rational Wine Review #3 – Gemtree Luna Temprana Tempranillo 2013