Don’t you know I’m human too?
Why you gotta be so Mavrud?
I’m gonna marry her anyway-
k sorry I’ll stop.
Weird Bulgarian grapes. Let’s do it.
According to Wine Grapes, Mavrud is one of Bulgaria’s two best quality indigenous red grape varieties (the other being Shiroka Melnishka or Melnik), with several variants that differ in terms of size and colour. The late-ripening small berries often produce tannic and acidic wines that apparently take well to oak, and this example has indeed seen new French oak for 12 months – and it’s not obvious. This wine in particular sees Mavrud grapes that have been dried for 2 months before fermentation, creating somewhat of an Eastern European answer to Amarone. Very cool stuff.
The grapes here come from Asenovgrad, which is in the southern PGI region of the Thracian Valley (the northern being the Danube Plain). Though there are five general regions of wine production, the EU only recognizes the aforementioned two as geographical indications.
Zagreus 2011 “Vinica” Mavrud (Asenovgrad, Bulgaria) Dec 2015. $25.
Not super deep in colour, but a nice solid medium ruby. The scents are so snug that they almost seem like they’re emitting warmth, with scents of dried blackberries, black peppercorn, a bit of vanilla, and a hint of something simultaneously minty and balsamic. On the heavier side of a medium body, with lively black fruit and pepper and powerfully fine tannin. Forgivably hot with its 14.5% ABV, but quite expressive and beefy.
Really good value. Seek this out. Pair with “Undisclosed Desires” by Muse: