Albastrele Sauvignon Blanc 2009 from Laithwaites

Albastrele Sauvignon BlancWhen my Laithwaites wine package turned up I was excited to see yet another East European find – this time, Albastrele Sauvignon Blanc 2009 from Moldova. As expected this is a really zingy wine, full of citrus aroma and flavours but more subtle than New World Sauvignon Blancs which tend to be overly grapefruity.

Should the sunshine make a reappearance this summer, you’ll want to be sipping on this as an aperitif, or alternatively, with bold flavoured food, particularly spicy dishes.

A Pinot Grigio is also available from the same winery for those who prefer a lighter, crisper wine. You can check out my review of that wine, here.

12 bottles Albastrele Sauvignon Blanc 2009, £89.88, from Laithwaites.

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Wine of the Week: Hungarian Campanula Pinot Grigio 2009

Hungarian Campanula Pinot Grigio 2009

I recently delved into my latest box of wine from Laithwaites to find a wonderful surprise in form of a Hungarian Campanula Pinot Grigio 2009.  Pinot Grigio, always crisp and delicate, is one of my favourite grapes.  However, Campanula offers something a little more.  This wine has a superb, golden body, with a hint of sliced apples and citrus fruit.  It’s no surprise then that this wine regularly features in Laithwaites’ annual bestseller lists, as well as winning several awards at the International Wine and Spirits Competition.  I can’t recommend this bottle highly enough.  It’s great for spring.  Enjoy a glass with some anti-pasti or a main course of white fish, poultry or veal.

Hungarian Campanula Pinot Grigio 2009

Hungarian Campanula Pinot Grigio 2009, £5.99 a bottle, available at Laithwaites

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Wine of the Week: Albastrele Pinot Grigio 2006

albastrele-smallI had a friend round one evening to celebrate some good news.  I asked her to pour the wine and handed her a bottle of Pinot Grigio I had acquired in a delivery from wine merchants Laithwaites.  She diligently poured the wine while I cut up some spring onions, red pepper, fresh bread, and opened some alioli and pate.

“This is Moldovan,” she said.

“No, it’s Italian, it’s a pinot grigio, I had it the other day, it’s quite nice,” I replied.

“No, it says, Wine of the Tsars on it. It’s Moldovan,” she persisted.

She was naturally correct.  I had not even noticed.  I had even missed the cyrillic writing on the label!  I can be pretty blind sometimes!

It is not often I get to talk about wine which is actually available to purchase in the UK but Laithwaites are certainly doing their bit to promote East European wine.  Albastrele Pinot Grigio 2006 differs slightly from what one normally considers to be a stereotypical pinot grigio.  While most pinot grigio wine is very light and crisp, this is slightly more grapefruity and is a little deeper in colour.  However, although I normally go for very crisp, very dry white wine, I thoroughly enjoyed the Albasterle’s take on this classic.

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Domaine Danubiane Sauvignon Blanc 2007

domaine-danubianeAlthough not a country to usually pop to the forefront of one’s mind when considering notorious wine producing countries, Romania has in fact been producing wine since the 7 BC.  It would shock you to put, what most would consider one of the European Union’s poorest and most backward countries, on a par with Portugal for sheer quantity of square metres of vines, but this is indeed the case.

This particular bottle hails from the town of Turnu Severin, formerly known as the ancient city of Drobeta which took its name from the tower built to commemorate the death of the Roman emperor, Septimus Sever.  The cellar is run by Italian winemaker, Fiorenzo Rista, who after gaining vital experience in northern Italy, came to Romania, fell in love with a Romanian woman (now his wife) and never returned home.

The Domaine Danubiane is a crisp aromatic white produced purely from Sauvignon Blanc. The cool climate of Vanju Mare has ensured it is packed full of grassy herbal aromas, a characteristic of many East European tipples, in addition to boasting vibrant gooseberry tones and lively passion fruit flavours.

While, the Domaine Danubian Sauvignon Blanc would not suit the palette of those who prefer to drink a very dry Pinot Grigio or Chablis unaccompanied, it will prove a particularly pleasing purchase for those who desire to indulge in seafood, particularly oysters, moules marinierès or grilled white fish.

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