It is not often that I receive an invitation to a wine tasting for wines that made from native grapes that I do not know. Such was the case when I was invited to Avra Estiatorio Restaurant in Manhattan to taste Romanian wines.
The speaker was Marinela Ardelean , a global wine and spirits critic.
Marinela said the event, called Open the Romanian Wine, was a planned to coincide with Romania’s National Day, which is traditionally held on December 1st.
The goal of the Open The Romanian Wine Program is to increase awareness and availability of Romanian wines in the U.S. marketplace and beyond. Romania is the 12th largest wine producer globally and sixth in the European market. Currently less than 10% of production is exported, and the domestic market is the main marketplace for distribution. Romanian wine producers are now lifting the veil on their stunning selections and demonstrating their winemaking skills. They are continuing an historic winemaking tradition of more than six millennia while working with approximately 165 native grape varieties.
She added that six of the country’s newest wine producers were represented along with native varieties: Negru de Dragasani, Busuloaca De Bohotin, Tamaloasa Romaneasca, Babeasca Neagra and Feteasca Neagra which is the most renowned Romanian grape variety.
Rhien Extra Magnifique Brut NV (Chardonnay) The Iconic Estates. After adding the selected yeasts for the secondary fermentation the wine is placed in bottles and kept in a horizontal position for 9 months followed by clarification for about 30 days. During this time the bottles are placed inclined on special desks and rotated twice a day and the impurities are trapped in the neck of the bottle followed by disgorging and a dosage is added (Sugar 6.6 g/l. The wine has hints of citrus fruit, honey, floral notes, a touch of baked pears and a note of almonds $42
Hyperion Rose Feteascã Neagrã 2020 The Iconic Estate, manual harvest. There is short skin contact to insure some color. Then the skins are separated from the juice and fermentation takes place for 10 days at 10 degrees C. Less are separated by graviton. This is a fresh and fruity wine with hints of strawberry and raspberry. Sugar 3.2 g/l. $ 23
Spectrum Busuloaca De Bohotin Domenile Averesti. After gravitational decanting which takes 24 hours, the must is fermented in 2,000 liter vessels at 12C for 18 days to archive the sugar content of 9.7 g/l the controlled fermentation was stopped by cooling to 5C. The wine has aromas of rose petals, wild strawberries, herbs, basil, grass and a note of honeysuckle. $25
Bãbeasca Neagrã 2020 La Sapata. The winery follows organic agriculture rules and there are 4,300 plants per hectare. Vinification follows biodynamic and ecological rules. This is a fresh fruity wine with hints of prune, cherry and other red fruits. At $10 a bottle it is a bargain.
Olt de Vie Negru De Drăgășani Avinces. The grapes are double sorted and destemmed before temperature controlled fermentation takes place. 30% of the wine is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months. The wine has hints of black cherries, blueberries, a note of violets and touch of spice $13
Hyperion Feceascã Neagrã 2016 The Iconic Estate manual harvest. Maceration and fermentation takes place in stainless steel for 12 months at a controlled temperature. Selected yeasts are is used for alcoholic fermentation and wild yeast for the malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months. The wine has hints of black and red fruit with dry sweet plums, spices, vanilla and a touch of chocolate. $24