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Romanian tasting notes

© 2009 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Romania.

HALEWOOD ROMANIA

Most of these available from Classic Drinks wholesaler.

white

La Fontana Vechia 2008
Slightly oily, pear drop aromas, a touch of pear skin grip. Palate is quite fresh with a green apple bite. 85/100. Direct Wines

La Cittadela Pinot Gris 2008
Nice fresh nose, with a touch of herbal and floral quality to quite bright fruit. Pear droppy again. The palate has good freshness and plenty of peachy and pear-skin fruit. Long and flavourful. 86/100. Direct Wines/Laithwaites

Byzantyum Blanc de Transylvania 2008
Blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Rhine Riesling. Fresh if slightly neutral, leading onto a palate with juicy citrus and a touch of melon. 85/100.

Byzantyum Sauvignon Blanc 2008
From Transylvanian fruit. Little leafy notes to citrus, with lots of lemon beneath. On the palate it has a slightly disappointing neutrality, the Sauvignon character not singing through, but a general lemony character and a bit of phenolic harshness. 84/100

Byzantyum Chardonnay 2008
From Transylvanian fruit. Oak is nicely mealy and rich, with a touch of vanilla and a certain nuttiness. White fruit on the palate, quite full-bodied with a bit of texture and melon and apple fruit, and a straightforward but tangy, juicy finish. 85/100

Prahova Valley Reserve Chardonnay 2008
French oak touches of light toast and nuttiness. A little Cox's pippin nuttiness and apple, with the palate having nice, sweet fruit and slightly more concentration that the young vines Byzantyum. 86/100

Scutra Vineyard Viognier Chardonnay 2008
Fairly dominated by oaky aromas at this stage, with vanilla and gentle toast, and a little bit of apricotty Viognier character coming through (60% Viognier). Tangy, with a touch of orangy zest and good concentration, finishing with a zesty life. 87/100

red

Sainsbury's Romanian Pinot Noir
Not vintage dated, but this is from the 2007 vintage. Slightly herbal quality, touch of earthy Pinot character. The palate has a fairly smooth character, with again some herbal character, some spice and a little residual sweetness just turning the finish a touch jammy. 85/100

Colina Pinot Noir 2008
Nicely warming, ripe berry fruit, with a hint of black cherry and gentle herbal notes. The palate has a nice hint of fleshiness and though a still find this a touch sweet, a bit of spice and tannic grip keep it fresh. Good value for Pinot. 86/100. Direct Wines/Laithwaites £6.11

Prahova Valley Reserve Pinot Noir 2008
A little bit of fudge and some lightly leafy, earthy notes. The palate has nice fruit: lots of black berries and a little juicy cherry, and again it is set against a touch of sweetness here (over sweetness?) but quite fine in the finish. 86/100. Budgens

La Catina Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008
Nice sense of concentration and a sheen of more cedary, quite sophisticated wood and good fruit. The palate has plenty of strawberry fruit and natural, unforced sweetness. 87/100

Ceptura Vineyard Merlot 2008
Slightly medicinal edge to cherry and red plum fruit. The palate has good fruit and quite a full texture, with plenty of spice and quite good fruit, just a touch of sweetness in the finish. 85/100

Adrian Vineyard Shiraz Merlot 2008
60% Shiraz. Merlot added as the Shiraz (first crop) was a little thin, so merlot to add flesh. Good, bright, raspberry and bright black pastille fruit nose, with quite a lively palate too. The Merlot does add some flesh, but it is not a complex or long wine, however it retains good freshness and is very promising. 86/100.

Ceptura Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Nice Cabernet character here, with a touch of olive and pleasant greenness to good blackcurrant fruit. Natural fruit sweetness on the palate too, it is not hugely long, but it has a fine tannins and really nice balance. 87/100

Byzantyum Rosso di Valachia 2007
40% Feteasca Neagra, 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Merlot. Big, ripe, rich nose, with plenty of sweet black fruit on the palate. Mouth-filling spice and plenty of rich berry sweetness. Long and grippy, this is impressive. 87/100

Byzantyum Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Slightly green note, a touch resinous, but a pure, cassis quality comes through showing good varietal character. Nice spicy black-fruited palate of good quality. 86/100.

The Monastery Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Slightly vague nose, with a touch of green character and decent fruit. On the palate fruity and straightforward, but with overdosed residual sugar leaving it spicy, fruity but a touch cloying. 84/100. £5.90 Direct Wines/Laithwaites

Hyperion Feteasca Negra 2007
Black olives and a touch of dried fruit: fig and prune, with a little paintboxy, inky character. On the palate the sweetness of the fruit is good, filling the mouth and just showing a little spicy, vanilla oak that is rather prominent, but adds a mellow quality to quite a long finish. 87/100.

Hyperion Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Lovely chocolate and blackcurrant fruit, with real plushness and richness. Palate seems to be dry though there is 6g/l of sugar here, but the acidity, concentration of fruit and the long, spicy finish is lovely. 88/100

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