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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Wine Review: VINI Rosé 2013 & VINI Merlot 2013

July is Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to!

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.


This rosé is made from 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Syrah. It has a 13.4% ABV, was fermented in stainless steel and saw no oak. The color is a vibrant salmon pink. It looks lovely! I've been wanting to open this bottle since it came in just by the color alone!

It's got a beautiful nose of Fruit Loops... but I guess if you want to get all nit-picky that would be berries and citrus, right? On the palate there's flavors of strawberry and red apple. It has a big body but still manages to be crisp with bright acidity. Then it finishes with that watermelon candy that I love so much and a little bit of spicy heat.

Holy crap! This is an outstanding rosé! If you told me it was double the price I'd respond with "shut up and take my money!" Seriously,  I need to find some way to afford a case. And I'm not sugar-coating this at all for politics. I just gave their Sauvignon Blanc a terrible rating.

$9 is all this bottle costs and it's an incredible deal for rosé, so I give it a 5 out of 5 on my price vs. quality scale. It's also recieved a Best Buy and 87 points from Wine Enthusiast, and won the Silver Medal at the World Value Wine Challenge.

Price: $9
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended. (what does that mean?)


Merlot is a variety that I feel I can appreciate on all levels. There's just something about how smooth and lush it can be, and then there's that blackberry-blueberry knock-out combo. So hopefully I can review this one without any bias.

This Merlot has a 13.5% ABV, was fermented in stainless steel, and then aged in stainless steel with oak staves for five months. The color is purple.

At first the nose is smokey and earthy, but let it open up and it gets jammy and sticky. Grape jelly, blueberry, blackberry and cinnamon. Those same aromas continue onto the palate, with some raspberry on the finish. The tannin is moderate and the acidity is high.

I really liked this wine! It's exactly what you want out of a super-affordable Merlot! But see... that's the problem. Merlot right now is hella good for the $8-12 price point. There's no better red varietal for your money in that price range. It pwns that category in quality. For those that don't know, pwns is not a typo.

So, as much as I enjoyed this wine, because of the way I do things it loses points for being exactly what you should get out of Merlot for $9. Just a few years ago it may have been a 5 out of 5 but I have to give it a 3 out of 5 for "Satisfying". Gotta stay true to your system. But 3 out of 5 ain't bad, it just means that if you buy it you won't be offended by what it cost your wallet. It's what you should expect for your dollar.

Price: $9
Rating: 3/5 = Satisfying. (what does that mean?)


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

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