Thursday, August 9, 2018

Wine Review: VINI Sauvignon Blanc 2016 & VINI Merlot 2016

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.

VINI was created by Vance Petrunoff, president of Bulgarian Master Vintners, as an affordable introduction of Bulgarian wine to the American mainstream market. Today I've got the 2nd installment out of 3½ for VINI and it's for their new vintages of Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot, both are out of Thracian Valley.


This wine has a 12.5% ABV and a pale light yellow color with a greenish hue. And unfortunately the review might as well be a copy-and-paste from when I reviewed the 2013 vintage.

Because, again, it smells great! Lots of minerality with aromas of pears and chives. It even has almost like a bready-yeastiness to it that you find in traditional method sparkling wine, and I love that smell! On the palate it's light bodied with tart acidity and then there's really nothing going on but straight-up lemon-lime. There's no character there. Then on the finish it has a bit of an oxidized flavor, just like the 2013 vintage.

You can chill the crap out of it and it would be good for knocking back as a summer quencher, but you can do much better for the price. Get their 2016 Pinot Grigio instead because that stuff is KIIIIILLLLLERRRR.

Price: $10
Rating: 2/5 = Not Impressive (what does that mean?)


This wine has a 13% ABV and is ruby red in color. There's a nice heart-warming toastiness on the nose above aromas of blue raspberry, blackberry sauce, grape jelly, and vodka-like ethanol scent. On the palate it's medium bodied with low acidity and sweet but dusty tannin. There's a flavors of raspberries, blackberries, vanilla, and again vodka-like ethanol. You could tell me it was spiked with vodka and I'd believe you. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, it's just a characteristic of this wine.

It's a good Merlot for $10. It won't make you stop the presses but it's varietally correct, serviceable, and worth the money you spent to buy it.

Price: $10
Rating: 3/5 = Satisfying (what does that mean?)

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

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