Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wines of Macedonia #SIPMACEDONIA 2015

21 Club, West 52nd Street NYC

The iconic New York landmark-21 CLUB- was a stately setting for a tasting of wines from Macedonia...a landlocked country that is above and next to-Greece and the Baltic countries (former Yugoslavia) Kosovo, Serbia, Albania and Bulgaria. The locale and terroir, accordingly...benefit from the Mediterranean and continental European climate...while flowing rivers and lakes...mountains and valleys...geographically speaking, 'service' the burgeoning wine industry.

At the tasting---there were several wines made from international varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay, and also from indigenous grapes including full bodied,  crisp whites from Smederevka, Temjanika, Belan, Zupljanka, Zilavka, and fruity to bolder reds from Kratosija, Prokupec, and Vranec.

Some Highlights:

BOVIN Winery first privately owned winery in the Republic of Macedonia! In the Tikves Wine district-large production of 1.2 million bottles...our fav here was the Imperator 2012-a full bodied red with tastes characteristic of Vranec grapes-late harvested with beautiful deep dark red-black color and intoxicating wild berries-sour cherries hints.Terrific. From Bovin's own vineyards. Suggested to pair with meats and fatty fish---but we think also strong cheeses...the kinds full body robust reds can handle.Bovin also make brandies and have gift packaging available on select bottles. ALSO Chardonnay was super tasty too---we had no idea Macedonia had this grape- -aged in Macedonian oak barrels for 12 months-pale yellow hue with hints of buttery vanilla, and subtle rounded hint of oak. NICE.

Dalvina Winery is located in southeastern part of Macedonia and thus has a Mediterranean climate of sunny days, low humidity, light wind...ahhh.Traditional and new technology delivers a full complement of wines that are affordable! We loved the Synthesis Cuvee Barrique 2009 blend (pictured) -with Vranec, Merlot, and Cab. Sauvignon grapes. 

Kamnik Winery's steady mountain breezes lowers the heat of summer and warms the soils winter- setting up for an ideal climate to produce several top notch wines. We tried everything and for the reds-wowed by  the Ten Barrels Syrah Reserva 2012 and Ten Barrels Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2011-both international competition award winners and Merlot Single Vineyard Reserva 2011...another gold medal winner (Premium Selection Germany)...clearly showing this Macedonian winery really holds it own against the bog guys in terms of complex qualities, sophisticated wine structures, and well balanced tannins.
The Chardonnay Barrel Fermented 2014  -was delicious...crisp, balanced acidity-mineral-y...happy to serve this with the kinds of food we eat including Asian fare...and imo a selection that can be super popular with Americans.

Popov Winery  family owned winery located in the heart of the Tikvesh wine region. beautifully balanced wines with a smallish production of 150,000-200,000 bottles-certainly garnered interest from importers we chatted with.

Popov Winery Grand Cuvee Reserve has intense purple red color with aromas of  plums, blackberries, and heady aromas of spicy cinnamon+cloves and tobacco.  Not filtered and aged 30 months in barrels...wonderful! Also we loved the Pinot Gris 2014-not pictured which -as one sipper commented-could happily replace her go-to after work- Pinot Grigio. We thought a tad more full bodied and earthy mineral-y- and we loved it

Stobi Winery

Stobi Winery hand harvested-no doubt- with a great smile! Located in the heart if Tikes wine region-has the same latitude as Bordeaux and the Napa Valley...with the Mediterranean climate in the south fuses with continental cooler weather from the north-great grape growing as a result. Part of the agro-industrial complex Permindeks-which sounds scary but really means the latest in technologies from prominent producers from Italy and Germany are readily sourced to make these wines. Large winery with its own huge barrique department -using its own grapes for all selections. Pictured the Vranec Veritas 2011 -a concentrated burst of flavorful wine -dark ruby color priced at $22 retail-lovely selection for a meat, fatty fish/cheese meal. A multiple award winner.
Tikves Winery had plenty of fans for its reds and whites....especially the Bela Voda  Red 2012 a Wine Advocate 95 points-a blend of 50%Vranec and 50%Plavec-rich dark red.

Nice medium bodied white-Barovo White 2013 70% Grenache Blanc and 30% Chardonnay-
got a lot of interest-the Grand Cuvee by Domaine Lepovo 2013 has a limited production of 20,000 bottles---40% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cab. As and 50% Merlot (we think notes are sloppy on this one)...which was delicious -full body red...age worthy potential...from a boutique winery
dark ruby color---

The 21 Club---quintessential NYC-interesting artwork on the walls...

getting a refresh-the iconic jockeys of the 21 Club. NO WORRIES.

full house!