jamie goode's wine blog

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Enira...what's the point?

Bulgarian wines used to be very popular in the UK back in the early 1990s when the Australians weren't quite up to speed. They over-delivered on flavour, were nice and fruity, and didn' t cost much. Since then, for one reason or another, they've become much rarer on supermarket shelves, and have been confined to a bargain basement niche.

But here's an ambitious Bulgarian wine, priced at 8.99. I've tried the previous vintage a couple of times at Waitrose (UK retailer) press tastings, and no less an authority than Jancis Robinson made it her wine of the week. I even recommended it in the Express, although I did comment on the level of ripeness (veering towards jamminess), while commending it for its purity of fruit and concentration. I like Noel Young's take on this wine: he seems to have nailed it. Here's my first look at the 2005, and to be honest I'm going off this wine rapidly: the follow-on vintage seems to be in a similar over-ripe style, but has carried it off less successfully.

Enira 2005 Pazarjik, Bulgaria
14.5% alcohol. Baked, sweet jammy nose already showing some evolution. The palate is ripe, a bit jammy and alcoholic. Sweet and spicy with an earthy edge, but overall it lacks freshness and is a bit hot. I guess they are on the right lines here in that this is much better than anything Bulgarian I've tasted in a long time, but it seems that they've just picked a little too late, losing definition and freshness in the process. Very good 82/100 (8.99 Waitrose)

Much nicer, and also from Waitrose is the wine I'm drinking now:

Frederic Mabileau Les Rouilleres 2005 St Nicolas de Bourgueil, Loire, France
This Cabernet Franc is deep coloured and has a lovely fresh, gravelly nose of dark fruits. It has that distinctive rain on dry pavement sort of 'rocky' aroma I often get in fresh Cabernet Franc, which gives a nice savouriness. On the palate it's brightly fruited and quite grippy, with earthy, spicy tannins and a pleasing herbal edge to the fruit. The dominant theme is bright summer pudding fruits, and it is lovely. Very good+ 89/100 (Waitrose)

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