An imperial wine from Dionysus homeland

Yesterday we opened a Bulgarian bottle provided to me by the Wine Company (an internet shop on the Swedish market). The wine is a classic Bordeaux blend made on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot by Santa Sahra; Zar Simeon Reserva 2008 Trakiatal. The wine is named after Bulgaria’s last emperor (tsar) Zar Simeon II, Simeon Borisov Saxe-Coburg Gotha. He was emperor between 1943-1946 and later prime minister in the republic of Bulgaria 2001-2005.

The vinyards are located in the area Thracia in the southern parts of Bulgaria near the village Goritza not far from the southern parts of the Black sea. The history of wine is old in these parts and the archaeological records regarding wine goes back to at least 1400 BC. This is also claimed to be the homeland of Dionysus – the god of wine. He was from the beginning a fertility god and according to some sources the Dionysus cult can be traced to Thracia. The area is characterized by a mild Mediterranean climate, the soil is largely composed of limestone, sandstone and woodlands.

2008 Zar Simeon Reserva

The aroma is rich in fruit with some hints of jam -it’s an open and enticing aroma, with notes of sweet,dark berries and spices and hints of eucalyptus. It’s almost a little too accessible!

The flavor is more complex than the aroma, it’s young, a bit fleshy with hints of black currant and blackberry combined with a lively acidity and a slightly earthy spicy finish with hints of sweet licorice. It has a good body, perhaps a bit sprawling, rustic and a little too much power at the expense of elegance. However, this is a nice wine, especially if compared with other Bordeaux blends in the same price range. The wine should be nice with a hardy autumn stew, grilled meats etc. To drink with the coming one to two years. In other words a good everyday wine or for a barbecue evening.

It’s good to see that Eastern Europe wines delivers, I will keep an open eye for more wines from this part of Europe. Something tells me that when prices of the really good wines from the “old” world (Western Europe) rises, and if you are looking for wine in old world style, this is the part of the world you’ll might finds them. Quality wise there is still som ways to go, but they’re getting there, and there is something quite appealing in that rustic finish as well.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Free sample!

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