The Hidden Gems of Romanian Wines with MICU – discover indigenous grapes and modern wines

As a wine enthusiast, I’m always on the lookout for new wine experiences. Thanks to MICU wines, I’ve discovered the world of Romanian wines – a surprising and exciting find, nice modern wines with indigenous grapes. Despite initial doubts about Romania’s wine production, It’s clear that the country has a rich wine-making history dating back to 5700 B.C., nearly as long as Georgia’s.

The lack of recognition for Romanian wines may stem from memories of a quantity-driven Eastern European market during the Communist Period of the Cold War. However, these recollections are becoming more of a historical footnote than reality. Property reallocation, foreign investments, and entry into the European Union have all contributed to the unique and thriving profile of the Romanian wine market. With its renewed emphasis on quality and indigenous grapes, Romania is emerging and prepared to enter the international wine market. In fact, Romania’s landscape closely resembles that of renowned wine countries like France and Italy. From mountains that were once beneath the sea, similar to Chablis and Champagne, to hilly areas abundant with trees and truffles, much like Piemonte, Romania is impressively diverse. Their wines reflect this.

Thanks to Sinziana and Tim from MICU wines, I’ve been introduced to the delights of Romanian wines. It’s been an enjoyable journey, and I’m eager to explore more!

Wine Laws of Romania

Romania’s wine laws, being strict, are shaped by its European Union (EU) membership. The regulatory system mirrors that of other European countries. It includes Table Wines, wines with Geographical Indication (IG), and Wines with Controlled Origin (DOC). Each bottle sports a unique QR code which provides further information.

QR code Romanian wines

Tasting Notes of the Romanian Wines

I had the opportunity to taste three different kinds of wines, including two local varieties: a white, an orange, and a red. Each pleasantly surprised me with its aroma, flavor, structure, and energy. While these wines may be comparable to those from France, Italy, or Georgia, they each possess their own unique identity and characteristics. As you familiarize yourself with Romanian wines, you’ll come to appreciate their unique traits and develop a fondness for them!

La Salina’s Sauvignon Blanc

La Salina’s Sauvignon Blanc, from Transylvania, Romania, benefits from its 200-300 meter altitude and dramatic temperature shifts, resulting in gradual ripening, high acidity, and freshness. The name “La Salinas” refers to the area’s salt mines, which also serve as a health retreat and wine storage.

  • Brilliantly bright yellow
  • Aroma of grapefruit, peach, wet stone, salty sea air, mango, passionfruit, lychee, blossom, dried apricot, mushroom, wet wool, lemon, lemon peel, yeasty, bread dough, brioche
  • The taste is pleasantly dry with high acidity. It features notes of grapefruit, peach, wet stone, salty sea air, mango, passionfruit, lychee, blossom, dried apricot, mushroom, and wet wool. The aftertaste is long-lasting and very pleasing.

In conclusion, this is an excellent expression of Sauvignon Blanc that many people will recognize and appreciate. It’s not too dry, has high acidity, but in a very pleasant way.

La Salin's Sauvignon Blanc backlabel
La Sapata Feteasca Regala

La Sapata Feteasca Regala

La Sapata’s Feteasca Regala is from the east, near the Danube delta. Its ground has fossil shell layers and it’s surrounded by protected natural areas. La Sapata is all about local and organic, using wild yeast and sulfites for stability. This fresh orange wine is made from 100% local ‘feteasca regala’ grapes, with a hint of bitterness and notes of orange peel.

  • A lovely medium amber color
  • The aroma is packed with apricots, nectarines, peaches, peach candies, rosemary, sage, acacia, blossoms, wet stone, wet wool, wet leaves, magnolia, lemon, lemon peel, lime juice, doughy bread, yeasty, brioche, and cream. It’s super interesting and appealing.
  • The taste is dry, with medium (+) acidity. It bursts with flavors of apricots, nectarines, peaches, peach candies, rosemary, sage, acacia, blossoms, wet stone, wet wool, wet leaves, magnolia, lemon, lemon peel, lime juice, mango, dried kiwi, dried apricot. It’s got a medium body and a high taste intensity, ending with a medium finish.

In conclusion, this is an exceptional wine that captivates you from the start, beginning with its intriguing color. The moment you take a whiff, you’re struck by its cool and delightful aroma. Despite its complexity, it remains easily drinkable. It’s simply pure and clean with a balanced blend of fruit and acidity. Sounds inviting, doesn’t it?

Crama Avincis Negru de Dragasani

The Negru de Dragasani from Crama Avincis hails from southern Romania’s wine region, comparable to Bordeaux. This rare variety, a Saperavi grape offshoot, is exclusive to the Dragasani region. With just 45 hectares planted globally, it offers black fruit hints, woody undertones, and a black pepper finish. Best enjoyed after an hour of breathing.

  • The color is remarkably clear with intense depth, presenting a striking garnet red.
  • On the nose, it’s robust. with red cherries, black cherries, blackberries, blueberries, plums, tobacco, wet leaves, leather, cocoa, wet stone, clay, rosemary, thyme, sage, violets, roses, rose hip, rose water, dried plums, dried cherries, dried herbs, and dried flowers. The complex aroma continues to evolve.
  • On the palate, it’s dry and mouthwatering. It has medium (+) acidity and high tannins with a wide range of fruit, herbs, and earthy notes. The flavor intensity is quite robust, the balance is perfect with a medium (+) body and long finish.

In summary, it’s a wine with a plethora of flavors, a substantial body, and a strong intensity. A really excellent and very elegant wine that is deliciously juicy with beautiful structures, complex presence without being complicated, does cry out for something to eat with it. Really give it time to breathe and open up, you wont regret it.

Crama Avincis Negru de Dragasani backlabel

What exactly does MICU do?

MICU Wines specializes in importing premium Romanian wines and distributing them throughout the Netherlands, specifically to the hospitality sector and direct customers. Their focus is predominantly on the higher segment. In addition to this, they host wine tasting events. Their goal is to establish a market for Romanian wines in the Netherlands by highlighting their unique qualities and history. This involves collaborations with Romanian wineries and professionals. As supporters, this document provides insights into the Dutch market and feedback for each winery.

Who is behind it?

The team behind MICU includes Tim Meems & Sinziana Ionescu. This young couple resides in Rotterdam, but they also spend part of the year in Romania. Their passion for wine and their love for Romania create the perfect combination needed to promote Romanian wines in the Netherlands. Together with family, friends, and Romanian wine professionals, they continually search for the country’s hidden gems. Their goal is to offer only the best wines in the Netherlands at a fair price.

What is the primary objective of MICU?

MICU recognizes the potential of the Romanian wine industry. Their goal is to bring this overlooked wine region to the attention of the Dutch hospitality and retail sectors, which will allow them to provide these unique wines to customers.

Tim Meems & Sinziana Ionescu

Interested in tasting for yourself?

Every quarter, MICU puts together a tasting box, offering a taste of Romania from the comfort of your home. This box includes six bottles, a physical flyer with details, and a link to a hidden page on their website for technical sheets and more information. There’s no subscription required, and delivery is directly to your doorstep.

For more information, visit www.micu-wines.com/proefpakket and order it yourself.

Are you in the hospitality or retail industry?

Reach out to MICU through their website for an introduction and a free tasting at your location. MICU does more than just introduce you to Romanian wines. They also offer advice on wine styles that compliment your hospitality business or shop. If you’re looking for something specific, MICU is ready to help. Their wide network in Romania enables them to find what best suits you!

Conclusion

I learned a lot and had a lot of fun from tasting these wines. Thanks to Sinziana and Tim for giving me this opportunity. If you’re interested in exploring energetic wines that are both familiar and unique, with excellent quality and affordable prices, try wines from Romania. You can start your journey by ordering a box from MICU.

For more information about MICU, to get in touch, or to order wines, visit: www.micu-wines.com/

MICU trio of wines

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