BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
Vinarija Citluk Blatina de Broto (13%, £18.07) is a flagship wine of Citluk; the biggest winery in Bosnia-Herzegovina located in the southern Mostar wine region, where they concentrate on perfecting wines using Blatina & Zilavka grapes.
Blatina is native to the Herzegovina region and seen as the area's workhorse red grape. Alongside Zilavka, it is the most popular red grape to cultivate in the region. It is known for producing deeply coloured wines, full of flavour concentration, ripe and dried dark fruit alongside smoke and cocoa.
This full bodied example from Citluk Winery shows lots of ripe plum, blueberries, cassis and fig, with beautiful undertones of tobacco, chocolate, leather, cinnamon spice and vanilla. Its complexity is matched by superb balance and a delicate yet rich texture.
Match with red meats such as lamb, beef and game, as well as fuller flavoured grilled fish and nutty, hard cheeses.
Zagreus Mavrud (13.5% £16.04) brings out the best of this dark-skinned grape which originates from the Thracian Valley of Bulgaria. Mavrud is a low-yielding, small grape resulting in highly concentrated flavours, ample tannins and high acidity. Wines tend to show ripe, jammy fruit, forest herbs, subtle smoke and spice.
Zagreus Winery's vision is to breathe new life into the image of this, the oldest known Bulgarian grape. All yields are picked by hand and cultivated naturally, then cared for using new technological innovation to bring out the most of Mavrud.
This full bodied wine is rich, complex and elegant on the nose with forest berries dominating, complemented by tones of nuts and caramel. Ripe raspberry and blackcurrant follow on to the palate, with herbal notes and soft spice breaking through on the finish.
Try with red meats such as beef, duck and lamb, rich casseroles, pies and barbecues, tomato-based pastas and soft or hard blue cheeses.
Nobile Rubin (14% £15.70) is from one of our favourite wineries, Logodaj. Situated in the very heart of the Struma Valley, the warmest and sunniest area of Bulgaria where fertile terrain alongside a rich winemaking history and unique grapes bring out a wine lovers paradise!
The Rubin grape is a hybrid of Syrah and Nebbiolo, created in the mid-twentieth century. It produces full bodied, deep ruby wines that are perfect for long ageing in oak and the bottle where tannins smooth and flavours and aromas become more complex. Aromas and palate is dominated by dark fruit such as blackberry and plum, with balanced notes chocolate, vanilla and spice intensifying over time.
Nobile uses hand harvested Rubin grapes aged in French oak for 18 months with a further 6 months bottle ageing before release. Aromas and flavours are full of blackberries, dry fig, blue plum, raisins and overripe mulberry, with nuances of chocolate and spices following into a long, velvet finish.