I was really excited to come across a post from Budureasca on social media announcing a series of virtual wine tastings the first week of December. All those who registered would receive a free tasting kit! Yes! FREE! Of course I registered – not just for the free wine but because a year ago I attended the Romanian Wines Festival in Montreal and remembered discovering some great wines.
According to the Premium Wines of Romania website “Budureasca one of the most modern wineries in Romania located in Southern Romania’s Dealu Mare DOC region”. The virtual wine tasting event was organized by Budureasca and Ro. Wine, the winery’s private import agent in Canada. The lovely tasting kit arrived 10 days ahead creating much anticipation for the event.
The live tasting event was also an opportunity to meet Budureasca’s winemaker, Stephen Donnelly, an experienced winemaker, a native Englishman who studied viticulture in Davis (California) and gained experience in California, England, Hungary and India. Although it was past midnight for him, there he was presenting his wines to us live from Budureasca’s cellar.
The first wine we tasted was the Premium Fumé, an incredible white perfectly equally blended with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. The aromas of smoke are quite present which makes this a really special white wine with fun flavours of vanilla and banana.
We then moved to the Clasic Feteasca Neagra. Feteasca Neagra is a Romanian varietal present in the country for 2000 years. With its dark ruby colour it offers aromas and flavours of blackberries and a long aftertaste.
Our final wine was the Noble 5, another superb equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Feteasca Neagra. Stephen Donnelly’s pride in this wine project is obvious. First, the vinification takes place separately for each grape variety. Then, the resulting wines are matured in French and Romanian oak barrels. The final phase involves 3 months for Stephen to find the harmony of the 5 varieties. Is it easy and automatic to have 20% of each varietal? “That is the goal, but no, says Stephen, it depends on each year.” Another great dark ruby red wine but fun hints of cinnamon.
Stephen Donnelly motto is: "In quality there is no compromise! I will get the best of each variety."And that he certainly does! Hear more from Stephen Donnelly and his vision on this video on Premium Wines of Romania’s Facebook page.