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)