It’s amazing what turns up when people find out you like wine. For example, a friend recently brought this back from a holiday to his native Bulgaria; a lovely gift as I have exactly zero experience with Bulgarian wine, even though the country has a long history of winemaking and is a somewhat prolific contemporary producer. This is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah from a vineyard in the Thracian Valley region, all grown organically.
A spongey, fragile cork was slightly concerning as I opened the bottle, but the wine is clean. The aroma is quite confronting, not because its notes are difficult but because it’s easy; so easy that I’m almost inclined to preserve my modesty (and its dignity) and look away. Yes, this is terribly keen to give it away and makes no secret of its intentions. In wine as in life, this is sometimes appropriate (indeed welcome), so I suggest this is a wine that merely needs to find the right occasion. Soft fruits, a prickle of leaf, spice.
The palate is interesting because the ease of its aroma translates to a buxom mouthfeel and a fruit flavour profile that suggests a hint of residual sugar; I don’t have the technical details of this wine to hand so I can’t confirm if this is the case. Flavours are mostly dark and berry-oriented, with a full burst of red fruits on the middle palate. This is 60% Merlot and it shows. There are also edges of overripeness, which detract a little even as they add savouriness. Structure isn’t a feature, though there’s enough acid to prop up the line. Fruit sweetness hangs over the after palate and finish, the latter of which is more persistent than I expected.
Drinkable and (to me) quite different.