Bulgaria sold 20.6 million litres of wine abroad in the first half of 2010, up from 16 million litres in the same period of 2009. By the end of the year Russia was expected to have been Bulgaria's largest wine market in 2010, followed by Poland, Germany and the Nordic countries.
One of Bulgaria's most up and coming regions is Bessa Valley. Wines produced here (Enira and Enira Reserva) are now being exported to the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, Romania, the Czech Republic and, soon, the United States. Annual production now totals 650 000 bottles, 300 000 of which are intended for export.
Meanwhile, other imported wines made their entry into the Bulgarian market, including wines out of the famous Georges Duboeuf stable.
Here are some excellent wines, including some suggestions from importers and distributors Winebox, for you to enjoy over the festive season.
1. Meursault Les Clous, Cote d'Or (from Bouchard Pere et Fils, Burgundy, France)
With an intense bouquet of fruit and flowers, this wine is subtle and very lively and an ideal accompaniment to fish dishes in sauce, such as pike in white butter sauce and salmon with sorrel sauce. Ideally served at between 12C and 14C.
2. Fleurie Georges Duboeuf 2009
With a deep, intense crimson red colour and a sumptuous array of floral and fruit fragrances that flatter the senses: irises, violets, roses, black currant, strawberry, peach and raspberry, this wine has an elegant and velvety texture.
A good accompaniment to grilled sausages, lamb chops, savoury rice dishes and pasta with red sauce. Ideally served at about 15C.
3. Trapiche Malbec Single Vineyard 2007
This Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina, has a red-purple coloir and a strong mineral character, punctuated by graphite and ink notes. The nose is intense and perfumed with violet and black pepper. Concentrated and juicy in the mouth, with tastes of bright fruit such as blackberries, currants and morello cherries. The finish is intense, long and lingering with ripe tannins.
A good accompaniment to dishes prepared with red meats and game cooked in a plow disc, hard cheeses and smoked cold cuts.
4. Errazuriz Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve 2006
From Aconcagua Valley, Chile, this wine is intense in colour and boasts an interesting nose with aromas of cassis, truffles, black fruits, such as blueberry, along with balsamic notes, black pepper, green olives, and a light touch of chocolate that lend great complexity.
Blackcurrant and blackberry come through on the palate along with a touch of toast. Firm tannins integrate well with the oak, and pleasing acidity lends freshness and elegance. This is a well-structured wine with a long finish that will continue to soften and gain complexity in the bottle, with an ageing potential of eight to 10 years. Serve at 17-19С.
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