4 Oct 2006

On The Map?

TWO HANDFULS (plus two toes) of stalls operated by various Bulgarians took root in the gallery at Vinopolis yesterday, the producers aim - slightly lethargically presented - to 'Put Bulgaria Back on the Map'. Since the "People's Republic of Bulgaria" cessated in '89, wine exports fell almost totally off this metaphorical map.
All green bottles did accidentally fall.
I know there are some decent enough wines out there, such as those made by Todoroff Teres (alas not present). However of yesterday's meagre selection, the banal slobbering embrace towards inspid-internationalism at the expense of great local grapes like Mavrud and Gamza, was all too evident.
The market seems to be cornered by Domaine Boyar, with its distinctively packaged Blueridge range made from international varieties [£3.99-£4.99] caged within bottles seemingly fashioned along the lines of loo brush holders (see above). Ironically the oak and citrus-soaked contents would fulfill the purpose of latrine cleansing sparklingly well. Their Domain Boyar Cluster Mavrud/Roubin '03 is at the top end of their proferrings, with a whiff of stone-fired pizza oven, but very little on the palate. [£8.99] It was however good to see some evidence of indigenous varieties.
Edoardo Miroglio was brandishing wines made from two year old vines. Why? Precocious, drinking these wines felt almost paedophilic. Priced around the €10 mark, before tax translation, his Pinot Noir '04 felt green, bitter, slightly like underripe Primitivo. His Blanc de Noir '04, also Pinot Noir, evoked an oily wheatsheaf with a hint of minerality not dissimilar to Fallanghina. [€4.30]


I spent Monday evening enjoying live jazz at Wine Wharf, Stoney Street, a venue modelled on the set of Friends with an uncompassionately highly marked-up wine list. A Mexian Nebbiolo from La Cetto ('04) had a slightly smoky, oxo stock nose with a fairly plain palate. Naturally the company made up for any shortcomings in the wine, however.