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Romanian tasting notes

© 2009 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Romania.

DOMENIUL COROANEI

white

Muscat de Frontignan 2008
This old vines Muscat covers around one and a half hectares, but the Anghels have taken cuttings and created more plants to reach 15 hectares eventually. From 100-year-old vines, the wine has a pink tinge from the skins with a little maceration. 2008 was a very ripe year, so there is 25g/l residual sugar in this wine. Nice strawberry fruit and a little floral fragrance. Quite dry at first, with the sweetness in the background just adding a pleasing, mouth-filling weight whilst the acid is good. 87/100

Domeniul Coroanei Tamaioasa Romaneasca 2008
Lovely aromatics, a bit of passionfruit and something slightly waxy, like Sharon fruit or a even a touch of tangerine. The palate is rich and full of clean, white fruit character. Good concentration and a long, tangy finish showing some minerality. 13.5%. 88/100

red

2008 Merlot barrel sample
Has been in barrel 8 months. Nicely nutty, slightly roasted quality of oak over dense red fruit aromas. The palate has plenty of barrel spice and tannin, but there's a nice dark and juicy edge to the fruit. The finish is mostly about spice and tannin, but this has a certain harmony and concentration for such young vines. 87/100

Domeniul Coroanei Merlot 2007
First crop from a 2005 vineyard. One year in new barrels. Quite a fragrant, Sandalwood and incense nose, with some kirsch-like cherry fruit and a bit of peppery spice. The palate has a cool, very slightly herbal character and lots of creamy, oaky spice. 87/100

Feteasca Neagra 2008 barrel sample
All in French oak barriques, new and second use, this has a deep, fragrant coffee nose, with lots of smoky oak and quite cherry-like, paintboxy notes that are typically Feteasca Neagra. Cold maceration - make it like a Cabernet - Finishes malolactic in stainless steel. The palate has a creaminess, with a lovely bright berry and cherry fruitiness and lots of creamy, coffee quality in the finish. 88/100.

Shiraz 2008 - barrel sample, carbonic maceration
Very bright, lilac-edged purple colour. Herbal nose, with some vegetative notes and a certain nuttiness. The palate is quite nice with a creaminess. 86/100

Shiraz 2008 - barrel sample, traditional fermentation
In barrel since October. Adds a lot of leafy, quite resinous quality. The palate has a nutty oak quality. The palate is quite savoury and has a nice lift of acidity. Falls rather short but a bit of weight and a cherryish lift. 87/100

Marselan 2008 - barrel sample
Again, something a little bit herbal, with a nutty edge to it and a bit of crunch to the berry fruit. The palate has a touch of plasticene resinous quality from lots of oak and young fruit, but it is bright and focused with a red liquorice bite and shows obvious potential. 87/100

Pinot Noir 2008
No barrels for this cuvée. Slightly paintboxy, breezy and light quality. Some nice herbal notes and plenty of sweet fruit turning quite chocolaty and rich in the finish. Stylish. 87/100.

Pinot Noir 2008
The main line, with barrel ageing. There's a slick vanilla overlay to this on the nose, with a touch of cappuccino. The palate has nice balance, and more smoothness and chocolaty, spicy weight than the little brother, but I think this will show better and fruit will step up to the oak as vines age. 88/100.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
First harvest of Cabernet. Nice little herbal quality, and a touch of olive and slightly green Cabernet fruit, but very attractive. The palate has a creaminess of texture and a smooth, juicy black fruit mid-palate. This is showing well, with the oak quite obvious, but needs time to settle a little perhaps. 88/100

Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from tank
This is a selection of lots and barrels, that has a very aromatic nose, with lots of exotic incense and spices and seems just a touch riper. The palate has that creaminess again, with a little bit of espresso and a smooth juiciness. Good acidity and a fine balance and length. 89/100

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