Solevari Reserve, Fetească Neagră, DOC, Viile Timisului, Romania, 2021
Back in 1988, three families decided to invest in a winery in Romania, starting with 650 hectares of slightly unloved vineyards and a rusty, once state-owned winery.
Yet Englishman Philip Cox and his Romanian wife Elvira, have turned the Cramele Recas Estate into the most successful winery in Romania. Recas are now recognised globally for their impressive scale and breadth of fascinating wines, including natural and orange wine from organic grapes. Despite the scale the emphasis is on making good wines that over-deliver, and as a result they’ve struck on a magic formula that has seen sales and demand boom. Vineyards are a combination of evolved plantings from 1447 and more recent planting, whilst the winery has seen significant investment and boasts state of the art facilities where innovation thrives. Recas are in every way a modern, dynamic winery, whose open minded approach and quality sets them apart … a winery you really can’t ignore.
The grapes come from yield reduced vines which average 10 to 15 years. Early in the season, workers go through the vineyards and individually cut a percentage of the grapes from the vine and throw them on the vineyard floor. This process is more painful for the viticulturist than the grape vine, which benefits by being able to put more of its resources into the remaining grapes, to give riper and more flavoursome grapes.
Grapes are destemmed and lightly crushed and pressed at 11 days. Fermentation in stainless steel at a controlled temperature of 28 C on the skins. Natural malolactic fermentation with medium toasted French oak.
What a massive revelation. A brilliant spicy nose of black pepper, black berry, black currant and red cherry. A bit pinot noiry! Medium bodied with rich, grippy, very dry tannins but beautifully balanced acidity. A hint of coffee on the finish.
Pasta alla Norma, bolognaise, game and black fruit desserts.
Feteasca Neagra 100%
6 x 75cl