2016 Budureasca “Premium” Feteasca Neagra, Dealu Mare DOC, Romania (Alcohol 13.5%, Residual Sugar 4/gL) LCBO Vintages $15.95 (750ml bottle)

In these trying times, sometimes one just needs a little something vinous and affordable to take the edge off, and in that department this bottling from the Dealu Mare region located in the south of Romania certainly delivers.

You may be unfamiliar with the Black Maiden AKA the Feteasca Neagra varietal, but is is an ancient pre-phylloxera Romanian-Moldavian varietal thought of as being of considerable quality.

In this particular Romanian incarnation it comes from 30 year old vines, and produces a remarkably easy-drinking and velvety soft wine that should ably assist with any pains that need a little easing during your lockdown, and well before you go anywhere near considering hitting the hard stuff, or alternatively finally cracking open those dusty Icewines that have been sitting around at the back of your closet/cellar since the 90s. 

Aromatically we are talking about a shedload of super-ripe blackberries alongside touches of tobacco and vanilla (about six months in oak will do that to a wine). The palate is medium-full bodied, with bags and bags of ripe black fruit, incredibly soft and plump tannins making it incredibly mouthfulling.

It’s undeniably crafted to appeal to a mass audience, but it does a pretty damn good job in that department; in a perfect world I’d prefer a tad more acidity for my personal taste.

I find little of the rusticity that I have encountered with many other examples of this grape, but seeing as Budureasca are one of the most modern wineries in the country that doesn’t really surprise me. 

As we are ever-so-painfully-slowly getting into some real barbecue weather, I’d recommend that you stock up on this release and enjoy alongside some good fatty butcher’s sausages on the grill.

3.5 apples out of 5
(Three and a half out of a possible five apples)

Budureasca are represented in Ontario by Noble Estates. 

Noble Estates are a Good Food Fighter.

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Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he really enjoyed that… Mmmmmnnn… fatty butcher’s sausages… must pick some of those up soon!