I was very impressed with Budureasca for a few reasons: 1. It is one of the most modern wineries I know of in Romania. 2. Their winemaker – Stephen Donnelly, from England – is extremely knowledgeable and he is able to bring the varietal character of the grapes and the “terroir” of the Dealu Mare region into the wines he makes. 3. The wines themselves, which I will cover next.
The wines: To begin with, Budureasca has a very good range of raw materials (grapes, that is). Red grapes include the indigenous Feteasca Neagră, and international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. White grapes include Feteasca Regală, Feteasca Albă, Tămâioasa Românească, Muscat Ottonel, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Riesling.
It is also worth mentioning that the wines have very fair retail prices. What I like to call an excellent price/quality ratio.
• Premium Tămâioasă Românească 2017. It has a beautiful golden color and is very perfumed, with notes of leeches. Finishes dry. Price: 35,50 Lei
• Premium Chardonnay 2017. High intensity of tropical flavors with notes of new oak. A pleasant, dry and smooth, long lasting finish. Price: 35,50 Lei
• Premium Sauvignon Blanc 2017. Dry and crisp. Fermented at low temperature (14C) to keep the intense tropical flavors and a short batonnage (about a month) added complexity. Some herbaceous notes makes of it a very good example of a wine of the Loire in a warm year. Price: 35,50 Lei
• Premium Fume 2017 – A blend of three white grape varieties: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Gris. Very ripe fruit flavors that are well integrated with the oak notes. Creamy and complex. Price: 35,50 Lei
• “Noble White” 2017 – Another blend of three white grape varieties: Muscat Ottonel, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Intense floral aromas. Fresh, light, and very friendly on the palate.
• Premium Pinot Noir 2015. Ruby red color. Black cherries dominate the nose and the palate, with a touch of strawberry. Light and fruity, with notes of spices from the oak. Very smooth tannins. Price: 36,50 Lei
• Premium Merlot 2015. Dark red color. Ripe aromas and flavors with a slight touch of greenness. Velvety texture with gentle tannins. I heard someone saying in the room: “This is a nice Merlot!” And it is, indeed. Price: 36,50 Lei
• Premium Fetească Neagră 2015. Dark ruby red color. The natural complexity of this indigenous Romanian variety is taken to a different level here. Black fruits (mostly black cherries and plums), with lots of spices from the well-integrated oak. Full body and round tannins. Price: 36,50 Lei
• Premium Zenovius 2016. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) and Shiraz (30%). Dark red color. And dark red aromas and flavors! Plenty of blackberry on the nose and palate, with interesting notes of spices from the oak (Romanian and American). The ripe tannins give a firm structure to the wine. Price: 36,50 Lei
• “Noble 5” 2015. A blend of five red grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Fetească Neagră. This “beauty” spent one year in oak barrels (French and Romanian) and it displays all the complexity that you can expect from a blend of these varieties. Round and full-bodied, with a fine (but firm) structure. A very long and pleasant finish. Price: 62,00 Lei
In summary, the wines range from good to outstanding.
Luiz Alberto, founder of the #winelover community.