4 Aug 2006

Moldovan Migraine

Midgal Cabernet Sauvignon '03

RUSSIA HAS a drink problem.
Moldova, along with Georgia, was banned from exporting wines to Russia in March, officially because of "health concerns", although Georgians cite "waging economic warfare" and Moldovans see it as punishment to ex-Soviet states for severing their ties. Already Europe's poorest economy, Moldova is now rather keen to tap new markets for all those unsold bottles (Georgia is already forging ahead with Pernod Ricard's backing - previous post).
Our island is not difficult to sell alcohol to, thus nurturing a bad economic hangover, Chateau Cojusna from Moldova showcased its wares yesterday.
Hemingway describes wine as "the most civilized thing in the world", thus less wine consumption + inevitably increased vodka intake = less enlightenment and higher alcoholism.
The wine that struck me as having potential was the Cabernet Sauvignon which had a relatively rich, redcurrant nose. Tightly structured, tannic, it was unbalanced however, almost completely drained of sweetness in fact, a sensation at first thrilling, then deeply unpleasant. The various non vintage still wines were in contrast flabby. The labels, four featuring simulated burnt edging, need to modernise (Firebird, sold in Waitrose has managed to). Such styles as I tasted may suit the domestic market, which enjoys hearty fatty pork dishes, alhough sadly I feel it will be a long time (perhaps too long) before Moldova reaps any real economic benefit from UK consumers who already have the globe on a shelf.