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April - 2005



Cool wines for hot days

At this year's Prowein fair in Dusseldorf, which I just visited, the world's who's who in the wine industry was present.
And, as the hot season nears, I took a closer look at the white and rose wines.
Of course, New Zealand is conquering every wine lover's heart with its Sauvignon Blanc. Almost without exception the wine variety that comes from this part of the world came full of prizes.
It's hard to imagine how the people from New Zealand manage to keep up such a high standard. Through a revolution of taste and consistency, the connoisseurs admit that for the last three to four years, this region produces the best Sauvignon in the world.
Unfortunately, as in Romania the demand for premium wines is low (especially those of less known brands), this leads to an almost inexistent presence on our market.
Looking into the Romanian vineyards, we can see a more professional approach in the production of white wines. Although Romania is producing more white than reds and the consumption favors the first, the real quality performance was the domain of the red ones. Or, at least until not long ago.
The efforts in creating top wines in the white area resulted in the birth of some wines close to the world's standards. Recas Vineyards has varieties in the New World style and, I am sure, they will gain some good points in the market of white, young and fruity wines.
Let's not forget the Silver medal at the 'Chardonnay du Monde' for Carl Reh Winery. A bold statement is made by Oliver Bauer, an employee of the Kripp-Stirbey family. This wine maker has succeeded in developing one of the most exciting ‘Cramposie’ wines that I have ever tasted.
Do not worry about not knowing this wine, it is a Romanian variety but even some Romanians haven't heard of it. But through this wine and with the help of expat wine maker, Prince Stirbey, this manages to be a classy wine.
In rose wines, things are a bit more complicated. We still have a long road ahead to understand the concept of rose, which means nobility through simplicity and perfect balance.
In this area, the Romanian wines are still far from a Rose Gatao or a Rose D'Anjou. Maybe SERVE succeeds a bit but their rose is much too 'black tie' and that itself is a contradiction in terms. Still, it is the best representative of a dry rose.
A fair and well price balanced offer comes from Val Duna, both in the bottle and bag-in-box (BIB) formats. To those who still have second thoughts about the BIB concept, I would remind them that the rose is especially made to be enjoyed at outdoor parties as a 'cooler' on the hot summer days. And after a long winter, I do hope many of these will shine bright and, if possible, in the company of a glass of good wine.

Catalin Paduraru