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: 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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Oscars of the Wine World

Last week the International version of the Oscars for wine took place.  The 26th International Wine Challenge 2009 saw entries from a record 41 countries, with 304 Gold medals awarded, up 13% on last year.  Retaining the top gold medal nation status was France with 49 medals, closely followed by Australia and the Portugal.  English wine obtained a record 24 medals.  However, there were also good prizes for some of the more renowned wine-producing countries in Eastern Europe.   Here are the top of the favourites from Eastern Europe:

Chardonnay Sauvignon Private Reserve 2005


From: Cahul, Moldova

Grape/Made with: Chardonnay

The judges said: Soft, buttery baked fruits with herbaceous notes; rounded and creamy.

Available at: Acorex Wine Holding Sa |

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