Sole, Chardonnay Barrique, 2014, de Recas, white wine from Romania

2,5 points

According to the back label, there are only 25,000 bottles of this wine, which is produced from Recas’s best vineyards – “Dealul Tiganulul” or “Gispey Hill”. It was given to me by a brave Romanian who told me about the surprising quality of this Romanian chardonnay. I have always been surprised by interesting and good wines from Romania. But I believe I was always tasting only the top wines  – since the people who offered me some of these wines knew that I like wine and pretend to understand something about it.

Until then I had only tried red wines – this was the first white.

I understand the euphoria of my colleague and friend – as it is certainly an ambitious wine – but unfortunately I cannot share in it. The wine is pretty intense but, in my opinion, not really balanced. For me it is too aggressive somehow. What is the intention of this barrique? Is it to cover or overlap the intense citrus, lemon and rather sour fruit which dominated the after-taste of every sip? If you have some rustic – perhaps even Romanian – food (perhaps fried fish with some ham and garlic) –this could be an interesting contrast but it is somewhat brutal because it is has a very dominating flavor.

The colour is different from a typical chardonnay. Not golden or yellow but really white and lemon chrome.

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Actually, maybe the most fitting description would be a comparison with apples. You need quite sour apples for cooking and baking, but you wouldn’t eat them. Anyhow you need to know that these sour apples are very good, otherwise your dish, strudel or cake won’t turn out well. Undoubtedly, this wine has its quality but it isn’t something you can serve easily. You would need to serve this wine really cold; then I believe it could be a very delicate and welcome drink, say for a summer garden party, as it is really quite refreshing. The whole taste experience occurs within the first few seconds but then you are certainly awake and attentive for what might follow.

It is very possible that the wine will calm down and get better after it ages a year or two. Probably it will.

Since it is always interesting to discover something new, this is still worth trying and I even believe not only Mihai will like it. It is, of course, a matter of taste.

It seems you can order wine directly at the winery’s website: