The ICC group met on Thursday 18th October to taste wines from the Balkan region. It was an interesting tasting with a good range of wines from Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and the Macedonia region of Greece, all made from grapes indigenous to the Balkan peninsula. All wines were sourced from Novel Wines.

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Here are my (very late) tasting notes:

Damjanic Malvasija Istarska 2016 – 13% – £14.95
I really liked this wine. It was quite grapey with some salinity as well as some honeyed and floral notes. It was well balanced with complexity and a long finish.
Quality 17/20              Value 17/20

Budureasca Premium Tamaioasa Romaneasca 2017 – 13% – £11.95
An interesting wine. Some sweetness but not too much and balanced by good acidity. Floral notes similar to Gewurztraminer. Well balanced and enjoyable but not as complex as the previous.
Quality 15/20                          Value 15/20

Terra Tangra Tamianka Muskat 2016 – 14% – £15.95
Like the last wine, this is also made from a local clone of the Muscat grape. Similar sweet character to the last wine. Flavours of grape, peach and honeysuckle. Slight warmth from the alcohol but not unpleasant.
Quality 14/20                          Value 13/20

Chateau Purcari Maluri de Prut 2015 – 13.5% – £17.95
This Moldovan wine is made from local the local grapes Feteasca Neagra (90%) and Rara Neagra (10%). Quite soft and velvety on the palate with some plum and raisin along with vanilla and spice. This wine divided opinion with some enjoying its soft fruit, spice and vanilla notes and others finding it too oaky. Whilst it was probably my least favourite red, I did find it very drinkable though may have gone for something else at that price.
Quality 14/20                          Value 12/20

Franc Arman Teran Barrique 2013 – 13.5% – £19.50
I was slightly nervous about this wine after reading that Teran doesn’t age well and can turn flat and bitter after a year or so. However, this 2013 Croatian Teran was actually pretty good, made better by the knowledge that Novel Wines are now selling it on their website for £25.99! Full bodied with flavours or cherry and vanilla along with some herbal, earthy notes. Smooth tannins and a long finish. An enjoyable wine!
Quality 16/20                          Value 16/20 (in view of its later price increase)

Alpha Estate Hedgehog Single Vineyard Xinomavro 2012 – 14% – £18.50
This was my favourite red. For me it had good flavour complexity with black fruit and plum complemented by black pepper and leather. Well balanced with smooth tannins and a long finish.
Quality 17/20                          Value 16/20

Apologies for the lateness of these notes. See you all soon,

Brigitte. x

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