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Today we are going to review a wine that is rightfully considered to be a living legend amongst its peers – Merlot – Rezerva 2013 by Domeniile Prince Matei. The domain was previously owned by Vinarte – one of the top romanian producers who put romanian single-varietal wines on the mappemonde. Howether, in 2019, Crama Villa Zorilor was sold to the holding that also owns the famous Via Viticola Sarica Niculitel. The wine itself is an icon – one of the best (if not THE best) single-varietal merlot wines of Romania, made of grapes that are sourced from the famous Dealu Mare wine growing region and executed in a classic old-world style, with 12 months of oak ageing (225L and 400L french oak barrels) and a minimum of 12 months of bottle ageing before being released on the market. This merlot wine is made without compromises – it is intended to highlight both, the varietal characteristics of the grape and the unique terroir of the Villa Zorilor vineyard. That said and 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-deep ruby
clarity: hazy garnet shades
intensity: rich & noble
fruit profile: red fruits
__red fruits: sour cherry | red plum | red currant | cranberry | pomegranate
fruit character: overripe & dried
non fruit: spice | oak | earthy | other
__spice: red pepper | nutmeg | cloves
__oak: sun-dried oakwood | hints of tobacco & leather
__earthy: black tea | cherry tree bark | clay | loam
__other: dried cranberry | dried red plum | dried sour cherry
__wood: old & new / medium roast
sweetness: bone dry
body: round | medium+
fruit profile: red fruits
fruit character: dried
non fruit: spice & oak
maturity: in its prime | can age another year
verdict: great | a must try wine
This is definitely a great wine of Romania and, with a total of 93.0 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 classic old-world merlot wine that is very close to the summit of its prime form – a wine that can still benefit from another year or two in the bottle. It is a wine of great quality, one that delivers firm, fine-grained tannins and very crisp, mouth-watering acidity and, with a little more time in the glass, a plethora of delicate spiciness and tertiary notes that are sought after by the wine connoisseurs. Prince Matei is one of the best merlot wines we’ve tasted so far – crisp, round and seedy, with nunced varietal characteristics and noble oak-infused flavours in the background – a wine that is mixing delicatness with finesse. All in all, this is a well structured and noble single-varietal merlot wine, with a nice balance between primary fruit notes and oak-derived flavours. This one here is a fine example of how a terrior-driven wine can be crafted using tradition and what nature has to offer, and the end result is a wine that has both, a distinctive personality and the footprint of the Villa Zorilor terroir. Our recommendation is to aerate the wine at least 15 to 25 minutes before serving, so that it will get enough oxygen to display its full aromatic potential. Enjoy!
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