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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Wine Review: Villa Yambol Mavrud 2016 & Domaine Boyar Royal Reserve Mavrud 2015

Villa Yambol Mavrud 2016 & Domaine Boyar Royal Reserve Mavrud 2015

It's the Fourth Annual Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to! 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.

Mavrud is a native Bulgarian varietal named after a (probably mythological) drunk man who killed one of Krum the Fearsome's tigers when it got loose and started slaughtering peasants in town. During Mavrud's trial, his mother begged for her son's freedom/life by swearing that the illegal wine is what gave him the ability to kill a tiger. Not only did Mavrud's mother's claims set him free but it ended the prohibition. Krum liked his citizens as strong and as fearsome as himself. The Mavrud grape is small, low yielding and late ripening but it makes the #1 top selling local wine within the country of Bulgaria. It's inky in color, tannic, spicy and normally sees a lot of oak aging.


These vines were planting in the heart of Mavrud-land back in 2006. Some of them see machine harvest but most are handpicked. The soil is maroon-forest and leached humus. Cold macerated with its skins for three days, stainless steel fermented, and around 15% is aged in French oak for three months. It has a 13.5% ABV.

The color of the wine is an inky purple. There's a lot of violets and cranberry sauce on the nose and enough fine black table pepper to make you sneeze, but there's side notes of black olive and vanilla as well. It's medium bodied with a rather flat mouthfeel due to the wine's ultra-soft tannin and complete lack of acidity. There's flavors of cranberries, plums, mocha, and vanilla. Then it finishes with plums, vanilla, and black table pepper.

It's a good $11 bottle of wine that I think would be elevated to being damn good when it's washing down some barbecue ribs with mac n' cheese. That pairing for this wine would be excellent.

Price: $11
Rating: 3/5 = Satisfying/Rec (what does that mean?)


I don't know much about this wine other than I'm familiar with Domiane Boyar. I did have the 2011 vintage, along with the 2013 vintage of  the Villa Yambol above, back in 2015. I didn't like it at all so let's see if things have changed with the 2015 vintage.

Ruby red in color with aromas of black cherries, vanilla, dried herbs and, like the 2013 vintage, lobster shell. On the palate it's medium bodied with a chunky-dust mouthfeel, low acidity, and moderate tannin. It's still got a little bit of the sweet stickiness in its fruit but not as much as the 2013. There's flavors black cherries, cranberries, cola, and tar. Then it finishes with black cherries, tar, and mint.

So it's better but not enough to win me over, so I've brought it up a spot to Satisfying.

Price: $11
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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