SFChron: Moldavan Wine

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SFChron: Moldavan Wine

Postby TomHill » Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:58 pm

Interesting article in the Chron on Moldavan wine:
SFChron: MoldavanWine

One of the problems of these ancient/emerging wine regions is their fucus on "international" grape varieties, and neglecting their interesting indigenous varieties. That's where the best chance for success lies, IMHO.
I've not seen any of these wines in the USofA yet.
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Re: SFChron: Moldavan Wine

Postby Craig Winchell » Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:26 pm

Last week I was given a couple of kosher Moldavian wines, which I tasted on Friday night, evaluating them for the US market. The finished wine was a 2010 Merlot from Rokach wines, the second was just a barrel sample, unmarked except for the kosher seal. The Merlot really had no discernable winemaking flaws. Its biggest problem was a stylistic peeve of mine-- the wine was sweet (I think they would call it semi-sweet), and that was not indicated on the label. Both wines were light and thin and easy to drink, with low acid and low fruit and low tannin. I was left thinking that these were severely overcropped. As cheap wine to slug down with minimal pleasure in order to sanctify holidays, I thought they succeeded admirably. As interesting wine to elicit pleasure, far less so. The most interesting thing that occured was that I pondered the difference between Moldova and Moldavia, and googled it at my earliest opportunity. No difference.
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Re: SFChron: Moldavan Wine

Postby Andrew Bair » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:22 pm

Only had one Moldovan wine here, if it even counts: a "Sovetskoe Muskatnoe" that my research revealed came from Moldovan grapes, even if it was bottled by a Russian corporation before the Putin ban on Moldovan wine. Nothing to get excited about. Perhaps an end to the Transnistria mess will bring about more opportunities for investment in what is a sleeping nation, at least as far as wine goes.

One mystery with Moldovan wine: why is the hybrid Isabella so common over there? I don't know much about the impact of phylloxera in Eastern Europe - is the large amount of Isabella vines in Moldova a result of phylloxera? Otherwise, why would a mediocre hybrid become so popular for everyday Moldovan wines?

Another question: Is the "Black Doctor" merely a relic of the past, or does if have any future as a high quality wine?
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Well...

Postby TomHill » Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:38 am

Andrew Bair wrote:One mystery with Moldovan wine: why is the hybrid Isabella so common over there? I don't know much about the impact of phylloxera in Eastern Europe - is the large amount of Isabella vines in Moldova a result of phylloxera? Otherwise, why would a mediocre hybrid become so popular for everyday Moldovan wines?

Don't know for sure the impact of phylloxera in Moldava, either. But my guess it is/was minimal. I would suspect that Isabella is so popular because it's
so easy to grow and, perhaps, cold-hardy. I've seen how these things work here in NewMexico..."Joe/Jose (or Igor in Moldava) down the road put in some of that-there
BacoNoir and it sure grows good....maybe I should plant some of that Baco stuff on my back acre". The consideration is what grows easily and the wine quality is irrelevant.

Another question: Is the "Black Doctor" merely a relic of the past, or does if have any future as a high quality wine?

Well, Andrew.....you or I......sniff/sniff...would never deign to drink a semi-sweet red wine....sniff/sniff !!! If there is a demand for it, probably among
Russian emigres, then it will probably continue to be produced. Just because semi-sweet red wines appeal mostly to people whose palates us
wine-geeks have little regard for does not mean it cannot be "high quality". Face it...not many wine-geeks think much of semi-sweet reds. But there
can be some high-quality ones. Think Lambrusco, MoscatoRosa, or Sangue de Guida.
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Re: SFChron: Moldavan Wine

Postby Dan Smothergill » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:58 am

is the large amount of Isabella vines in Moldova a result of phylloxera

That's the reason you hear in south east Austria, where there is lots of Isabella. One winemaker told us it grows nearly wild and that the locals like it more than the wine from grapes he cultivates. There are lots of myths about it too. One is that too much will give you a headache (too much of other wines apparently will not).
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