Sunday, August 26, 2018

Wine Review: Minkov Brothers Tradition Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Syrah 2014, Cuvee 2013

Wine Review: Minkov Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Syrah 2014, Cuvee 2013

It's the Fourth Annual Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com! You can read all of the reviews from the first year (2015)the second year (2016)the third year (2017), and this year (2018) by following those links.

To read about the fascinating history of Bulgarian wine, check out Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History. To learn about the grapes, wine regions and Bulgarian wine's place in the market, read Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine. And if you'd like to see what Bulgaria's national drink is all about, find out in Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia.

After this I've got some rakia to review on Thursday, so this is the last of the wine reviews this month! Thank you, Vance, for another great Bulgarian wine month. It's always the highlight of my summer getting to dig in to a bunch of Bulgarian wine.

I've got three wines by Minkov Brothers, which was founded in 1875 by Ivan, Vasil and Nikifor Minkov. Soon after getting off the ground (or in it?) they started winning awards at wine fairs. In the mid-1890's alone they won Brussels Wine Fair, the London Wine Competition, and the Plovdiv International Fair. They're still raking in those medals today. The winery property itself also features two museums: one about the family history and their wine, and the other about the winemaking history of the Thracian Valley.

MINKOV BROTHERS TRADITION CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2016

This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from their vineyards near Karnobat in Thracian Valley. It saw 12 months in new American and French oak and has an ABV of 14%. Unfortunately it doesn't look like it's available on BulgarianWine.com right now.

The wine is cherry red in color. There's aromas of prunes, red currant, bay leaf, brush fire, and a little bit of good ol' stank. On the palate it's medium bodied with a lush mouthfeel, a lively and jumping acidity, and soft and sweet tannin. There's flavors of tart cherry, strawberry syrup, vanilla, and nickel. Then it finishes with a silky coating of strawberry syrup and nickel.

I like it! It's a very bright and perky Cabernet and not one that is of poor quality either. For $17 I'm giving it a recommendation, and  it was just what I needed to start my reviews on this very humid August day!

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $17
Rating: 4/5 = Recommended (what does that mean?)

MINKOV BROTHERS TRADITION SYRAH 2014

This is 100% Syrah from their vineyards near Karnobat in Thracian Valley. Like the Cabernet it also saw 12 months in new American and French Oak and has an ABV of 14%. Unlike said Cabernet you can buy it on BulgarianWine.com.

There's just one problem with this... IT'S CORKED! Sorry, friends, but it's bound to happen. The pain can be unbearable but we all know that it's a part of the game we play as wine enthusiasts.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $17
Rating: ??? = FAULTY

MINKOV BROTHERS TRADITION CUVEE 2013

This blend is 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Syrah, 20% Merlto, and has an ABV of 14%. It was hand harvested, was cold maceration, saw controlled fermentation at 25-26°C, went through malolatic fermentation in the barrel, and spent 14 months aging in new American and French oak.

The wet end of the cork is pure black and the color of the wine is an inky, deep purplish red. Let this bad boy open up because, even though it's five years old, it's still young and holding on to everything tightly until it's given time to breathe. Peppermint candy comes alive on the nose once the wine has awoken, followed by aromas of jammy blackberries, toffee, leather, fine black table pepper, and ethanol fumes. On the palate it's rich and robust with bright acidity and finely grained tannin. There's flavors of blackberries, black cherries, mocha, and... almost like I just licked a freshly cut board of oak. I'm kinda afraid I'm going to get splinters. It finishes strong and tannic with flavors of blackberries, cola, and oak.

Wooooooooord. This is how you end the month right. This blend is a badass motha that is just calling for a porterhouse. I think I know what I'm having for dinner tomorrow.... BUY IT HERE: https://bulgarianwine.com/wines/2013-minkov-brothers-cuvee/

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $17
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended(what does that mean?)

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.


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