ILLUSTRO | Rezerva | 2013
cabernet sauvignon | merlot


WineStatistics will be evaluating wines in no particular order on no particular schedule. Just stay tuned and you will never miss one. If the wine is tasted more than once, the rating table will be updated so as to reflect all the new impressions and observations. The logic is simple – the more we taste, the more we learn.

Tonight we are going to perform another trip into the past and re-evaluate a wine that we’ve already reviewed before – Illustro Rezerva 2013 from F’autor Winery. This is a classic Bordeaux blend, made of cabernet sauvignon and merlot grape varieties, which, in fact, is the most famous blend formula in the world, as those two varieties combined can mask each other’s flaws, thus resulting in more balanced, elegant and complex wines. Both grape varieties originated in the Bordeaux region and have become the two most popular red wine varieties on the mapamond. What’s surprising about those two varieties is that both are born from cabernet franc as the father variety, perhaps this is why there are so many similarities between them. That said, let’s find out how the wine has evolved during the last 24 months since our last review!
Take a look at the tasting notes below and our detailed assessment of the wine:



Deep and noble ruby color, with elegant shades of copper towards the rim of the glass.


The nose is strong, filled mostly with black fruits and savory flavours: ripe sour cherry, blackberry, black cherry, blackcurrant, black mulberry jam, blueberry, black raspberry, black plum, cherry tree wood, black soil, ash and some hints of pomegranate shell. An instant later the nose is filled with elegant notes of roasted oakwood, red and black pepper, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, tobacco, anise, leather, charred wood and some noble hints of cigar tobacco.


The wine is dry, with high alcohol level, high acidity and ripe tannin. It feels bold, earthy and smoky, with a nuanced seedy-tannic accent. This is a complex, expressive and elegant Bordeaux-style blend, as it tastes ripe and noble, with a nuanced new-world accent and a quite grippy mouthfeel. The wine has a fair overall balance and a nuanced angularity towards the end of the plate.


It has a long finish and a balanced, tart and seedy aftertaste.

chartsThis is definitely a fine Wine of Moldova and the overall rating says the same, with 91.2 points scored it is right there, among the best wines we’ve tasted so far. Please click on the chart icon on the left in order to get to the wine rating page, where you can find all the wines we’ve tasted to date.

Conclusion: this is a firm, noble and quite seedy wine, that has a distinctive new-world profile and a very nuanced acidity level – definitely a wine in its prime form. It still has some sharp edges and a highlighted angularity on the palate, yet one can clearly feel that the difference is there – those 24 months of bottle ageing improved the overall quality of the blend, which now feels more noble and even more elegant. It has plenty of tannic grip on the palate, with a textured character and a touch of alcoholic warmth showing through. The wine has been aged for 12 months in french oak barrels and is produced in a limited edition of only 6100 bottles. We would recommend to pair this wine with a T-bone steak or a grilled top sirloin steak in order to highlight the seedy-spicy flavours in the wine and bring out all its fruitiness and elegances. Enjoy!

WineStatistics tasting results:

Rezerva | 2013

grape: | cabernet sauvignon | merlot |

region: Moldova | Valul lui Traian

overall rating: | 91.2 |

maturity: in its prime

conclusion: fine | highly recommended


(c) The WineStatistics ratings are based solely on our own knowledge of the world of wine and on our personal wine tastes, which may, or may not, differ from yours – the reader. There are no absolutes of right and wrong in wine appreciation.

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