Romanian wine comes out of the twilight years... Howard gets his teeth into a couple of new arrivals!
Romania is certainly not the first country that springs to mind when thinking of tasting something new (writes Howard Hutchins, Wine advisor in our Shrewsbury Cellar Shop). But perhaps it should be!
Tanners have just started stocking Romanian wines for the first time in living memory, with the Paparuda wine range hosting a Pinot Noir and a Pinot Grigio. They have been extremely well received by staff and customers (and the national press come to that). With both coming in at under £6 a bottle, they also offer seriously good value for money.
There is little dispute that Romania has the perfect conditions for quality wine production with its varied climatic and geographical conditions: it has a great history of wine production dating back centuries and is in fact, Europe’s fifth largest producer. But, it's fair to say, it has had a bit of a turbulent history, with political struggles not really helping its wine industry. However, things are changing - following the privitization of vineyards in the 1990s, there has been massive investment. A great example of this is the new Recas winery, from where we've sourced these wines.
The Paparuda wines, named after a Romanian rain ritual, are made from grapes sourced from a 625-hectare estate located on the fringes of the Transylvania and Banat regions near the city of Timisoara in the west of the country. Wine has been produced here continuously since 1477, in the last 10 years both the vineyard and winery have been completely and exhaustively modernised. The whole process from vineyard to bottle is undertaken in the most modern and most environmentally friendly way.
The winemaking team consists of Australian Hartley Smithers and Nora Iriate from Spain, who between them are veterans of over 50 harvests spanning many of the worlds wine producing regions. They oversee the production of these modern fruit-driven wines and they're doing a good job. To put it bluntly a serious amount of expertise, and money come to that, has been invested in this project and it is reflected in the quality of their wines:
Paparuda Pinot Grigio 2011 12.5% ABV
A great value Pinot Grigio packed full of ripe honeyed fruit, with just the right amount of freshness to make it brilliantly moreish and keep you coming back for more!
A perfect party wine or an ideal compliment to those light salads that spring demands.
Paparuda Pinot Noir 2011 13.5% ABV
Fragrant and fruity Pinot Noir with plenty of ripe red fruits, strawberries and raspberries, fresh and crunchy with hints of spice.
A delicious wine that would work well for those that like red with fish or chicken. There certainly aren’t many places in the world where you can find a Pinot Noir of this quality at this price.
"A soft, herbal pinot with red cherry, tarragon and fresh tobacco notes, and rather Italian in character. Serve Cool."
Susy Atkins, The Sunday Telegraph, Stella Magazine - Jan 2012
I think these are exciting times, with Romanian wines emerging from the shadows. The Romanian wine market is certainly in its infancy but there is no doubt that Romania is starting to make big strides in the international wine market. It is almost certain that the next few years will see plenty more wines coming from this part of the world.
To see what all the fuss is about, why not try the Paparuda wines for yourself?
This post was posted in Staff Favourites, Tanners News and was tagged with Cramele Recas, Hartley Smithers, Nora Iriate, Paparuda, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Romania, Romanian wine, Sunday Telegraph, Susy Atkins, Wine