Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wine Review: Villa Yambol Mavrud 2013 & Domain Boyar Royal Reserve Mavrud 2011

July is Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com!

Villa Yambol Mavrud 2013 & Domain Boyar Royal Reserve Mavrud 2011

You can read about the history of Bulgarian wine in "
Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History" and read about what's going on with it today in "Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine

So this is it! The conclusion of Bulgarian Wine Month and it's ending with two examples of the indigenous grape called Mavrud! 

There's been three wines this month that got a perfect 5/5 rating: VINI Rosé 2013, Domaine Boyar Reserve Merlot 2012 and Villa Yambol Merlot 2013. This Mavrud show-down now becomes a rubber-match for the two 5/5 Merlot's.

Villa Yambol (AKA Vinprom Yambol) was founded in 1924 and is the oldest winery still standing in southern Bulgaria. Here I have the two varieties that made Bulgaria such a great buy for wine in the 70's and 80's: Merlot and Cabernet. They're both from Thracian Valley and have strange, indented, wavy loops on the shoulders.

Domaine Boyar was established in 1991 and was the first private winery in Bulgaria to be founded after communism. Although the winery is based out of Sofia, all of the wines I'll be reviewing from them are from Thracian Valley. If I saw the label without a place of origin I'd guess they were from Chile, which is probably an intentional marketing strategy.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Wine Review: Villa Yambol Merlot 2013 & Villa Yambol Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

July is Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com!

Villa Yambol Merlot 2013 & Villa Yambol Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

You can read about the history of Bulgarian wine in "Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History" and read about what's going on with it today in "Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine".

I'm keeping this month's reviews quick and simple because I've got A LOT of them to review and plenty of other things going on! Usually you'll see stupid stuff like a monkey flipping you off with his arm around a woman in a bikini, but the chances of that are slim this month. Sorry. Getting right to the point. Alright, maybe a little bit of messing around.

Villa Yambol (AKA Vinprom Yambol) was founded in 1924 and is the oldest winery still standing in southern Bulgaria. Here I have the two varieties that made Bulgaria such a great buy for wine in the 70's and 80's: Merlot and Cabernet. They're both from Thracian Valley and have strange, indented, wavy loops on the shoulders which make it look like cheap swill. We'll see if it's of swill quality.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wine Review: Domaine Boyar Selection Chardonnay 2013 & Domaine Boyar Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

July is Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com!

Domaine Boyar Chardonnay 2013 & Domaine Boyar Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

You can read about the history of Bulgarian wine in "Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History" and read about what's going on with it today in "Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine".

Normally I can get carried away in my reviews and you'll end up reading an article on my opinion of something completely unrelated or something closely related to the wine being reviewed. But I've got A LOT of wine to review this month so I'm going to keep it quick and simple!

Domaine Boyar was established in 1991 and was the first private winery in Bulgaria to be founded after communism. Although the winery is based out of Sofia, all of the wines I'll be reviewing from them are from Thracian Valley. If I saw the label without a place of origin I'd guess they were from Chile, which is probably an intentional marketing strategy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Numerical sugar levels


Wait, sooo... what?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Wine Review: Domaine Boyar Selection Traminer 2013 & Domaine Boyar Reserve Merlot 2012

July is Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com!

Domaine Boyar Traminer 2013 & Domaine Boyar Merlot 2012


You can read about the history of Bulgarian wine in "Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History" and read about what's going on with it today in "Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine".

I know my reviews are rather lengthy and I go on a bunch of tirades and I say crazy stupid things sometimes, but I've got a bunch of wine to review this month. An insane amount. I've already written about Bulgaria at length and most of these wines are international varietals, so it's not like I'll be telling you about something you don't already know, except if the wine is good or not.

I'm gonna keep it quick and simple. Domaine Boyar was established in 1991 and was the first private winery in Bulgaria to be founded after communism. Although the winery is based out of Sofia, all of the wines I'll be reviewing from them are from Thracian Valley. If I saw the label without a place of origin I'd guess they were from Chile, which is probably an intentional marketing strategy.

DOMAINE BOYAR SELECTION TRAMINER 2013

Traminer is also known as Gewurztraminer, which means Spicy Grape. Even with a German name and mostly French home, the grape originated in Italy. It's known as Gewurztraminer in Alsace and California, and Traminer in its newer locales such as Australia.

This one was fermented in cold temperatures in 100% stainless steel and kept on the leese to be stirred for more flavor. After that it was racked and filtered. It has a 13% ABV. The cork is synthetic.

If anything by this varietal doesn't show lychee nuts then it's an absolute failure, and this one aces the test on the nose and the palate. But that's really it. Other than a spicy finish it's very one dimensional. It'll be great for slurping down with a turkey dinner but all by itself it gets old fast.

I was excited to try this but was disappointed. It's not terrible but you can get much better from the varietal for your dollar.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $12
Rating: 2/5 = Not Impressive. (what does that mean?)

DOMAINE BOYAR RESERVE MERLOT 2012

It looks like this Merlot is very high-tech. Check out these clippings from the tech sheet: "vertical fermenters and roto-fermenters" .. "sensory evaluation in conjunction with lab analysis"... "a Vaselin press"... "using selected malolactic bacteria". Hurray for science! It was also aged for eight months in oak, 40% French and 60% American. It has a 13% ABV and the cork is real cork.

The nose is immense and thick and Port-ish.  Raisins, plums, maple and caramel. It sings to me like an evil temptress luring me into certain death. On the palate it's full bodied and the texture is kinda grainy. The mouth is more acidic than the nose would indicate with flavors of cranberries, plums and raspberries.

I'm gonna be honest with you, as I always am: what I loved most about this wine is that it was ALMOST appassimento style. If you told me this was from Italy I'd probably believe you. It's got that classy kind of touch of sweetness that I love, not the crappy touch of sweetness.

This Merlot is brilliant. The last Merlot I reviewed from Bulgaria I really liked but I had to give it a 3/5 because Merlot's quality in the $8-$12 price range is dominant right now and it blended in with the crowd, but this Merlot exceeds anything for the $11 it'll cost you. And it's different while still maintaining the attributes that keep it varietally correct.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $11
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended. (what does that mean?)

YOU CAN BUY BOTH OF THESE WINES ON BULGARIANWINE.COM

The bottles used were supplied free of charge by BulgarianWine.com for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wine Review: VINI Chardonnay 2013 & VINI Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

July is Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com!

You can read about the history of Bulgarian wine in "Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History" and read about what's going on with it today in "Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine".

I'm keeping this month's reviews quick and simple because I've got A LOT of them to review AND I've got to take the CSS exam this month! Usually you'll see stupid stuff like a monkey flipping you off with his arm around a woman in a bikini, but the chances of that are slim this month. Sorry. Getting right to the point. Alright, maybe a little bit of messing around.

VINI was created by Vance Petrunoff, president of Bulgarian Master Vintners, as an affordable introduction of Bulgarian wine to the American mainstream market. Only one of them is more than $9 (the Pinot Noir is $10). They're all from Thracian Valley and they're all screw-top.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Wine Review: VINI Rosé 2013 & VINI Merlot 2013

July is Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com!

VINI Rose 2013 & VINI Merlot 2013

You can read about the history of Bulgarian wine in "Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History" and read about what's going on with it today in "Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine".

Normally I can get carried away in my reviews and you'll end up reading an article on my opinion of something completely unrelated or something closely related to the wine being reviewed. But I've got A LOT of wine to review this month so I'm going to keep it quick and simple!

VINI was created by Vance Petrunoff, president of Bulgarian Master Vintners, as an affordable introduction of Bulgarian wine to the American mainstream market. Only one of them is more than $9 (the Pinot Noir is $10). They're all from Thracian Valley and they're all screw-top.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Wine Review: VINI Sauvignon Blanc 2013 & VINI Pinot Noir 2013

July is Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com!

VINI Sauvignon Blanc 2013 & VINI Pinot Noir 2013

You can read about the history of Bulgarian wine in "Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History" and read about what's going on with it today in "Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine".

I know my reviews are rather lengthy and I go on a bunch of tirades and I say crazy stupid things sometimes, but I've got a bunch of wine to review this month. An insane amount. I've already written about Bulgaria at length and most of these wines are international varietals, so it's not like I'll be telling you about something you don't already know, except if the wine is good or not.

I'm going to keep it quick and simple. VINI was created by Vance Petrunoff, president of Bulgarian Master Vintners, as an affordable introduction of Bulgarian wine to the American mainstream market. Only one of them is more than $9. They're all from Thracian Valley and they're all screw-top.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bulgaria - Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine

July is Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com!

Bulgarian wine grape harvester
In Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History I went over the entire history of Bulgarian wine the best that I possibly could. I researched my ass off and had a lot of fun doing it. It covered the Thracians that introduced the vine and wine to the area, the Bulgars and Khan Krum that drank from the Byzantine Emperor's skull, the Ottoman's ban on alcohol and then acceptance of its use in trade, the de jur independence manifesto, wine as a high priority business sector under communism, the collapse of the industry due to the fall of communism, and then help from the European Union to get back on track.

And so after all that... here we are today. Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine is a little shorter but goes over everything you need to know about the country's wine industry NOW. The growing regions that it's divided into, the indigenous and international varieties that make up its vineyards, and how it's doing on the market. A year after these articles came out Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia was released, in which you can learn about the history of rakia and how it's made.

Vineyards are planted everywhere in the country (except for around the capital city of Sofia) and, as you would expect, the best wine comes from the slopes while the massive amount of bulk wine comes from fertile valley floors. But even with three-thousand years of winemaking history, they are just now really getting to test out their own terrior. Because of everything else going on in their history the wine industry has never really had the chance to grasp the concept until recently. What grows best where, what this microclimate does with this grape, what's up with this soil type, what makes the wine from this slope over here so different from that slope over there.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History

July is Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com!

Old Bulgarian vineyardBulgaria isn't a country that makes the news over here very often and it never comes up in conversation, so it's no surprise that Americans generally know nothing about it. The first thing you'll probably think of when Bulgaria is mentioned is Communism, and that'll likely be the only thing you think of.

So it's pointless for me to say that we don't know enough about Bulgaria and its people. Well, check this out: Your computer, your digital watch and the airbags in your car... invented by the Bulgarians. The world's biggest IMAX 3D is there. The head gestures for yes and no (nodding and shaking) that we're used to are reversed. They're obsessed with yogurt and their national instrument is the bagpipes, which they call gaida. They produce most of the world's rose oil by an overwhelming majority. And their official language iiiissss... *drumroll* ... Bulgarian.

But the very most important thing of all: Bulgaria has 3,000 years of winemaking history and makes A LOT of wine.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fully Stocked

When someone is clinking bottles where you just stocked

#RETAILPROBLEMS

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Wine Pick: Mija Sangria

This WINE PICK of the month was written for the Luke's of Cape Cod

Mija Sangria

Sangria was made for summer! The origin of Sangria, a fruit punch spiked with wine and (traditionally but not always) brandy, can be traced to the Spanish winemaking region of Rioja. But it wasn't until 1964 that it was introduced to the United States at the World's Fair in New York. And guess what? This Sangria is made in upstate New York!

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