East European wines: Bulgaria’s Cheap and Cheerful Best, The Guardian

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Bulgaria: East European wines: Bulgaria’s Cheap and Cheerful Best, The Guardian pixabay.com

Domaine Boyar Deer Point Chardonnay, Bulgaria 2016 (£7.55, Oxford Wine) The word from wine retailers is that Brexit is good news for eastern and central European wine producers. Majestic, for example, recently put out a press release trumpeting a 400% increase in sales of wines from Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovenia in the past year, which they say is down to people trying to find value for money now that the pound’s inexorable plunge is having its unpleasant way with the price of French, Italian and Spanish staples. Lower production costs mean lower prices, but does that cheapness lead to cheeriness? Emphatically so, for both palate and wallet, in this soft, stone-fruited, creamily textured chardonnay from one of Bulgaria’s largest producers, Domaine Boyar.

Zagreus St Dimitar Shiraz, Thracian Lowlands, Bulgaria 2016 (£6.99, Waitrosе)Majestic’s central and eastern range is not short on bargains, with a snappy, crisp Hungarian-sourced example of the Austrian grape grüner veltliner (Majestic Loves Grüner Veltliner 2016; from £5.99) and a Romanian pinot noir (Incanta Pinot Noir 2016; from £6.49). Other wines at independent merchants include a Romanian pair by Cramele Recas: the pear-scented Paparuda Pinot Grigio 2016 and the easygoing, tartly refreshing Paparuda Pinot Noir 2016 (both £5.99, from Adnams). Waitrose has two credible Bulgarian substitutes for drinkers of 

Bordeaux and Rhône reds: the blackcurranty Sant Ilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (£8.79) and the smoky, peppery Zagreus St Dimitar Shiraz.

Edoardo Miroglio Bio Viognier Traminer, Thracian Valley, Bulgaria 2016 (from £10.50, Vinovero) It would be a shame if interest in eastern and central European wines was confined to ‘entry point’ bottles. The wine industries of all these countries have improved significantly, with some enterprising small producers on the scene. I’m thinking of Meinklang, which operates on both sides the Austria-Hungary border and produces the rich but dry Meinklang J12 Juhfark 2012 (£25, Vintage Roots) in Hungary’s tiny Somló region. And the adventurous Italian Edoardo Miroglio, who has added a charmingly fragrant white blend of viognier and traminer to his superb range of burgundian Bulgarian pinot noir.

 

 

Source: The Guardian

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