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Today we are going to review a truly unique wine from the Dealu Mare wine region in Muntenia – Valahorum Apogeum Feteasca Neagra 2016 by Tohani. Feteasca Neagra is an indigenous romanian variety that has been grown for hundreds of years on substantial plantings in the south of Moldova and eastern Muntenia and today, this is the most famous red variety in Romania. Wines made from feteasca neagra grapes are usually fruit-forward, complex and structured, wines that quite often are compared to merlot and cabernet franc, mostly due to their body, fine tannins and elegant textures. There is a rising demand for feteasca neagra wines both, on the local market as well as on the international markets and many experts name this variety as the visit card of romanian wines. This particular wine is a pure representation of three elements: vines, terroir and an unique vinification method. The wine is made of grapes sourced from 50-years old feteasca neagra vines that are grown in a natural amphitheatre in the Dealu Mare region on brown, calcareous soils. In order to preserve the purity of feteasca neagra variety, Virgil Mândru, the winemaker, applied an ancestral, 2000-years old method of fermenting the grape must in big, clay amphora vessels. After the fermentation, the wine has been aged for 24 months in french (Allier) oak barriques, followed by another 12 months of bottle ageing before being released on the market. The 2016 vintage is Apogeum‘s 6th edition, produced in a limited edition of only 9850 bottles. That said, without further ado, let’s take a look at the wine tasting results.
Take a look at the tasting notes below and our detailed assessment of the wine:
colour: medium ruby
clarity: clear ruby shades
intensity: powerful & noble
fruit profile: red fruits | black fruits | blue fruits
__red fruits: sour cherry | red currant
__black fruits: black plum | black cherry | blackberry
__blue fruits: blue plum | blueberry
fruit character: ripe
non fruit: spice | oak | sweet | savory | earthy
__spice: red pepper | black pepper | nutmeg
__oak: sweet tobacco | roasted oakwood | hints of liquorice
__sweet: blueberry jam
__savory: irony & steely notes | subtle hints of leather
__earthy: black soil dust | red bricks | clay
__wood: new / light roast
__grip: fine & green
__dominant: acidity & alcohol
body: round & lean | medium body
fruit profile: black fruits & blue fruits
fruit character: ripe
non fruit: spice & oak
aftertaste: crisp & appealing
maturity: developing | age for 3 or 4 more years
verdict: great | a must try wine
This is definitely a great wine of Romania and, with a total of 92.5 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.
Verdict: this is a fruit-forward and quite lean feteasca neagra wine, with an amazing mixture of ripe red, blue and black fruits in the foreground, supported by noble oak flavours and some delicate hints of terroir-driven, irony-earthy hints in the background. The wine feels round and supple, with crisp and overwhelming acidity, fine tannins and just a touch of alcoholic warmth on the mouthfeel, that leads to an appealingly-crisp and slightly seedy finale. This is a wine that is still developing into the bottle, thus one that requires another 3 or 4 years of bottle ageing. All in all, this is a very honest and noble feteasca neagra wine, with a well maintained balance between primary fruit flavours and those oak-infused, secondary spicy notes – a fine example of how a terrior-driven wine can be crafted using tradition and technology, and the end result is a wine that has both, distinctive personality and the footprint of the Dealu Mare terroir.
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