TOP 10 most interesting brands of wine produced in Bulgaria, according to a professional sommelier
What Bulgarian wine to bring home as a gift? How much it costs? Where to buy it? Is it possible to order it online?
We publish this rating with the permission of seewines.eu - a resource for wine connoisseurs and an online store that offers the best wines in Bulgaria and around the world with free delivery throughout the country.
“TOP-10 from sommelier” - a wine rating compiled by our professional sommelier Blagoy Kuzmanski. Every month in this section he presents a dozen excellent wines that cannot be missed among the wide variety of brands in our portfolio.
So, in October - 10 of the most interesting Bulgarian wines.
As I begin to write this article, I would like to warn you that any assessment, description, characteristics of wine, like everything else, is based on personal experience, educated taste and technical knowledge of the person who made this rating.
My choice in this case reflects the main criteria for me when tasting wine, which are:
- First of all, “yes or no.” That is, did the wine manage to intrigue me, or is it just “one of many”; do I want to raise my glass again and take another sip (in the end, wine is a drink that is primarily made for pleasure).
- Is there a “balance” in wine - aroma, taste, astringency/sweetness, acids, alcohol, tannins and aftertaste - does it all turn into a whole beautiful picture, or are there such shades that stand out and disturb my “vision” and those which turn pale and disappear like missing pieces.
- Is there a varietal characteristic - when trying Syrah, I should feel the aromas and taste characteristic of this variety, namely raspberry, mulberry, violet and black pepper. All these tastes can vary depending on the place of origin of the wine, climatic conditions and other factors, but the main nuance should always be perceived. If in some wine the aromas of vanilla and sweet spices are the main ones, then this means that the oak (oak barrel) dominates in the taste, and the varietal characteristic is “strangled and killed”.
- Global trends are currently moving towards more fresh and elegant wines with lower alcohol levels and truly “terroir” wines (terroir is a combination of all local winemaking factors that determine the bouquet of wine, as well as its potential for aging). The latter is more dependent on my own feelings, but for me this term really exists, and “terroir” wines always arouse my interest.
Here are ten Bulgarian wines that meet the above criteria, which I often enjoy myself and which I recommend to my friends:
1. 2018 Pet-Nat Riesling, Tsarev Brod - BGN 17.90
For the second time in a row, this wine is in my TOP-10 rating. And trust me – that means something! With this wine I managed to surprise even those of my friends who drink only beer and do not want to hear about wine! And the rest order it in huge boxes. Ordering one bottle of this wine already seems strange to me.
2. 2018 Vrachanski Misket, White Story, Staro Oryakhovo - BGN 16.90
One of the professionals in local production whom I admire is Simo Simov (owner and manager of the winery). His style and his wines are simply magnificent, and the white ones from Bulgarian grape varieties are simply a true paradise pleasure! They refresh, inspire and give hope that something beautiful is still happening in Bulgaria!
3. 2017 Muscat / Viognier, Sepage, Glushnik - BGN 18.90
If you have not heard about the project "Glushnik" before, then this is a good moment! The creators of the project are the famous winemakers Niki Krastev (Tsarev Brod), Peter Georgiev and Radostin Milkov (Georgiev / Milkov)! I think that these names speak enough about wine with the label “Glushnik”.
4.2016 Tamyanka, Single Vinyard, Bratanov - BGN 24.90
Bratanov Vinyard handles this variety well. And is rightly considered the manufacturer of reference when it comes to wine made from Tamyanka! This wine of 2016 is one of the best local production I have ever tasted, and I am especially glad that the last bottles of this harvest were left only at Seewines.
5. 2018 Rose Syrah, Rose Story, Staro Oryahovo - BGN 16.90
I remember the day when I tasted this wine from Staro Oryahovo for the first time! And this rose has become a real summer favorite for most of our team! Already the second wine from Simo Simov in this rating, and this really says something!
6. 2018 Melnik 55, Libera - BGN 12.90
Libera continues to pleasantly surprise us! Last month, their wine Syrah 2018 was present in the TOP, and now Melnik 55. Both in price and quality - an absolute gem!
7. 2016 Nebiolo & Sangiovese, Spancha, Rupel - BGN 11.50
I think that the Spancha series from the Rupel winery is among the most underrated wines in the local market, and at the same time it is one of the most beautiful discoveries! It's a bold decision to work with such varieties as Nebiolo and Sangiovese, which are one of my favorites. Believe me, Tuscany and Piedmont have excellent examples of wines from these varieties and despite everything they did great job! A must try!
8. 2018 Melnik 55, Ayano, Seewines - BGN 29.00
This is a small "brainchild" of Mariana Galabova, MAG - our young oenologist in Seewines, in whom I personally really believe and think that her Melnik 55 is able to surprise everyone! Unfortunately, only 332 bottles, but since we grow our vines in a biodynamic way - quality is priority over quantity!
9. 2017 Rubin Handpressed, Georgiev / Milkov - BGN 34.00
My favorite! Pepi (Georgiev) and Radi (Milkov) are just out of the borders of the Bulgarian galaxy! Their wines are indescribable! I recommend everything - Rubin, Mavrud, Rose, and sparkling Mavrud - this is generally the height of perfection!
10. 2014 Syrah, Single Barrel, Brothers - BGN 29.90
This is one single barrel from that beautiful Syrah, for which we thank the Bratanov winery, because they gave it all to us! Such a crop as it was in 2014 is of exceptional interest to me. Why so? Almost everyone can produce good wine in a “good” year, but making fine wine in such difficult times as 2014 is really a skill! Available only at Seewines.
All 10 are treasures not to be missed!