ABC? Well then you’re welcome on another day – Romanian style Chardonnay

A classic quote from the 1931 Dracula movie is  I never drink… wine – it’s perhaps not the best quotation if your in the business of selling wine – but Romania produces other reds than A, B, AB & O and they also produce anaemic wine both rosé and whites– so from iconic monsters to iconic wines?

Via a Swedish wine importer Levi import I’ve gotten to taste a few wines from Romania, as I’ve stated before the East European market is banging on the door with lots of interesting wines. They still have some miles to go to reach the really great ones, but there are lots of really good ones to be found and if you want to be on the frontier searching for wine nuggets,  tomorrows great ones might very possibly be from Eastern Europe.

Up for grabs this time was 2008 Trei hectare Chardonnay Murfatlar, a Romanian wine from the producer Mutfatlar Romania from the region Murfatlar, Dobrudja close to theBlack Sea. Murfatlar is the biggest Romanian wine producing region inRomania today with some8200 hectares of vineyards and MutfatlarRomania is one of the bigger producers with some3000 hectares of vineyards. Though East Europe might seem a new and upcoming region it’s really very old, with wine traditions going back to at least 2000 BC and is perhaps older than the vampire myth itself, at least it’s a lot older than the Dracula myth of Romania. Many vineyards and wineries were in shambles after the years behind the iron curtain, but lots have been done since then, new wineries and new ideas mixed with old are starting to show results.

The aroma is fresh with a floral touch and hints of yellow apple, oak, vanilla and bitter almond. It’s summer fresh!

The first notes are of oak and barrel spices. A little oxygen and it’s opens up; there is a nice note of apples distillate, a hint of pear, with a pleasant but fairly narrow acid, that however works very well in the wine. The taste is slightly more autumnal than summery, but fresh, a little fat with good width in the finish and a slightly oxidized tone with a long slightly spicy aftertaste with a hint of almonds – I like this but my partner is not as convinced, however she rarely loves oaked chardonnay. Would be interesting to taste after a few years in the wine cellar.

This is a wine to drink with food rather than a social wine,  and I believe it will age nicely for the next 3-5 years if not more. The wine in itself is interesting, it is closer to an old world wine than to a new world, but is not quite as refined and elegant as the wines of Burgundy, or as fresh as a Chablis or equally fruity and heavily oaked as many Spanish Chardonnays, instead it has some sharper elbows and some rough notes, though I think elegance is something that may come with age. In other words – do not do it like Count Dracula, drink wine!

Magnus Reuterdahl

Ps. ABC=Anything but Chardonnay! Ds.

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