VALAHORUM | Paolo Mennini | Negru de Dragasani | 2016
negru de dragasani


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Tonight we are going to review a very unique wine from the famous Dragasani wine region – Valahorum Paolo Mennini Negru de Dragasani 2016 by Tohani. This is a single varietal negru de dragasani wine, which is a romanian grape variety, obtained as a hybrid crossing between negru vartos and saperavi varieties. This wine is part of the Valahorum wine line, which in its essence is a wallachian hora between Tohani‘s top three wineries, Apogeum, Crama Mennini and Mierla Alba, from Romania’s famous Dealu Mare and Dragasani regions. The wine we are reviewing tonight is signed by Paolo Mennini and it has been aged for 18 months in used french oak barriques in order to add subtle woodiness to the wine and, at the same time, to preserve as much as possible varietal aromatics of the negru de dragasani grapes. But let us skip all that boring theory and, without further ado, let’s move on – straight to the wine tasting phase. On we go!
Take a look at the tasting notes below and our detailed assessment of the wine:


Very deep and noble ruby color with elegant purple hues towards the rim of the glass.


The nose is strong, filled mostly with black fruit flavours: black cherry, ripe sour cherry, black plum, blackberry, ripe blue plum, blackcurrant, black raspberry, black mulberry, dried black plum, dried black cherry and some insistent hints of blackberry jam. An instant later the nose is filled with elegant notes of roasted oakwood, nutmeg, black pepper, cloves, tobacco and hints of anise.


The wine is extra-dry, with strong alcohol level, strong acidity and rough tannin. It feels muscular, tart and rough, with a firm and bold body and a bitter-seedy profile. This is a quite austere, aggressive and sharp wine – a real tannic-bomb, as it tastes astringent, strong and powerful. The wine has a fair overall balance, with primary fruit aromas dominating over the oak-infused flavours, still, the wine feels too youthful and angular in its current state.


The wine has a long finish and a arough, quite tannic and bitter-seedy aftertaste.

96x96This is definitely a fine wine of Romania and, with a total of 90.7 points scored, this wine is right there, among the best wines we’ve rated so far. Check our complete database on the wine rating page, where you can find all the wines that we have tasted and reviewed or go to the about us page and find out more about our exquisite rating system.

Conclusion: overall this is a very youthful wine that is still on the rise, a wine that requires 3 to 5 more years of bottle ageing in order to round up its edges and develop some much desired elegance and finesse. In its current state the wine feels rough, sharp and angular, with overwhelming acidity and an astringent tannic grip on the mouthfeel. It feels bold and expansive, with a textured character and nuanced muscularity – you’ll have to make sure there are enough fat and protein in the food to counter all that tannin. That said, we would strongly recommend to pair this wine with spicy meaty dishes with slightly smoky or barbecued accents, like for example a smoked paprika steak, a reverse sear ribeye steak or a spicy t-bone steak with black pepper and smoked paprika. Saluti!

WineStatistics tasting results:

Paolo Mennini | Negru de Dragasani | 2016

grape: | negru de dragasani |

region: Romania | Dragasani

overall rating: | 90.7 |

maturity: on the rise

conclusion: fine | (highly recommended)



© 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. Just remember that there are no absolutes of right and wrong in wine appreciation.

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