I truly respect all wine producers in Bulgaria, after getting to know how much it takes until the moment when the bottle is on my table at home or at the wine bar. Each meeting with the wine producers in Bulgaria teaches you something about the Bulgarian wines and is to remember.
The Bulgarian wines got us together again on March 1 in Sofia to find out the three best Bulgarian wines for 2017. They are the leaders of DiVino TOP 50 rating. In the Central Military club in Sofia all visitors were armed with the best weapon for wine tasting – a Riedel glass. The 300 year old Austrian company is the first to realize that the shape of the glass defines the taste. They produce glasses for each single grape variety and offer to the market for first time the Champaign glass. Gut gemacht!
DiVino Tasting team (Yassen Zahariev, Vili Galabova, Yassen Borislavov, Efrosia Blagoeva, Emil Kolarov, Julia Kostadinova and Jana Petkova) makes for 7th year ranking of the Top 20 most interesting Bulgarian wines. Each member points only 1 Bulgarian wine from one winery. So after that the first 20 wines are then re-tasted four times. Three of the four tasting sessions are blind, one is non-blind. All four scores are calculated for the final rating. And the final Top 20 Bulgarian wines for 2017 were presented this evening. The wines from 50th to 4th places were already published. DiVino was giving this information on their website each day from February and kept us addicted to find out the last 3 at the ceremony on March 1 and they are:
#1 Domaine Bessa Valley Grande Cuvee 2013 – Best Bulgarian red wine
#2 Edoardo Miroglio Pinot Noir Reserva 2013
#3 Salla Estate Chardonnay Barrel Aged 2013
DiVino Top 50 surprised us with two Chardonnay wines at the top of the rating: #4 Yamantiev’s Marble Land Chardonnay 2014. For first time two white wines managed to reach so much further ahead than the so traditional for Bulgaria red wines.
Since I visited the wine tasting course of Dr Neda Prodanova this winter, I became a fan of the Riesling, which is not traditional for Bulgaria. This evening I was lucky the Riesling welcomed me on the first table right after entering the hall. I started the wine tasting with Vinex Preslav Novi Pazar Rhine Riesling 2016, ranked as #19 and one of the best buy Bulgarian wines for 2017. I will buy a bottle for my next meeting with friends for sure. The other Bulgarian wines in the category Best buy (correlation quality/price) for 2017 are:
Villa Melnik Bergule Mavrud 2014
Via Vinera Karabunar Estate Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah 2013
Varna Winery Riesling 2016
Tohun From Black Sea Coast Red 2013
The last 3 wine categories for 2017 are:
Best Bulgarian special wine: Better Half Late Harvest Rkatsiteli 2008
Best Bulgarian limited bottles wine 2017 (up to 1500 liters): Midalidare Rock’n Rolla 2013, 1344 bottles produced.
Best Bulgarian Rosé: Tsarev Brod Rose de Pinot 2016. Every wine lover who attended the last DivinoTaste wine forum in January in Sofia remembers the wines of Tsarev Brod winery and especially their rosé.
It is an interesting fact that the first two places for 2017 went to wineries, whose owners are foreigners (from Germany and Italy). Thank you Count Stephan von Neipperg and Mr Edoardo Miroglio that you invested your time and money in Bulgaria and the Bulgarian wine. I hope I will visit your wineries with tourists in 2018.
As a tour guide for wine tours in Bulgaria, I’ll keep the DiVino guide 2018 as inspiration for my next wine adventures. It includes not only the list of the best Bulgarian wines for 2017 but also information for more than 90 Bulgarian wineries. My love to wine makes me attend my second wine course, which begins next week. Because learning about wine tasting and wine production takes a lifetime and one is not enough. Scientia potential est (Knowledge is power).
Here are the best Bulgarian wines for 2017 from 90 wineries in 8 wine regions in Bulgaria:
DiVino TOP 50 – 2017
- Domaine Bessa Valley Grande Cuvee 2013 – Best Red Wine
- Edoardo Miroglio Pinot Noir Reserva 2013
- Salla Estate Chardonnay Barrel Aged 2013 – Best White Wine
- Yamantiev‘s Marble Land Chardonnay 2014
- Ivo Varbanov The Firebird Syrah 2013
- Santa Sarah BIN 40 Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
- Minkov Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2013
- Rossidi Rubin 2015 – Local Grape Wine Award
- Angel’s Estate Deneb Syrah 2013
- Domaine Boyar Supreme Grand Cuvee 2015
- Rumelia Mavrud Reserve 2014
- Four Friends Zitara Cabernet Franc 2015
- Midalidare Cabernet Franc Grand Vintage 2015
- Dragomir Pitos Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon & Rubin 2012
- Alexandra Estate Reserve 2015
- Maryan Ivan Alexander Grand Cuvee 2015
- Tsarev Brod Rose de Pinot 2016 – Best Rose
- Seven Generations Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot & Cabernet Franc 2012
- Vinex Preslav Novi Pazar Rhine Riesling 2016
- Neragora Organic Mavrud 2015
- Logodaj Hypnose Merlot Single Vineyard Reserve 2013
- Abdyika First Selection Reserve 2016
- Stratsin Soulmate Sauvignon Blanc Rose 2016
- Castra Rubra Dominant Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah 2012
- Sintica Explosion Cabernet Franc 2015
- Staro Oryahovo White Story Sauvignon Blanc 2016
- Orbelia Melnik 55 2016
- Medi Valley Excentric Platinum 2015
- Yustina Special Reserve 2013
- Damianitza Ormano Red Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
- MH Wine Selection Silver 2015
- Korten Grand Vintage 2016
- Zlaten Rozhen Premium Melnik 55 & Melnishki Rubin 2016
- Levent Grand Selection Chardonnay 2016
- Katarzyna Mavrud 2016
- Rupel Spancha Sangiovese & Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
- Opreff Via Seletika Mavrud Evmolpia 2015
- Manastira Middle Forest Syrah Reserve 2016
- Bratanov Tamianka Single Vineyard 2016
- Tohun Savignon Blanc 2016
- Kapatovo Shiraz & Petit Verdot & Marselan & Primitivo 2016
- Orbelus Prima Special Selection 2013
- Zagreus Mavrud Reserva 2013
- Zelanos Misket 2016
- Todoroff Teres Mavrud 2016
- Bononia Estate Istar Chardonnay 2016
- Domaine Marash Lenea Riesling 2014
- Villa Yambol Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014
- Malkata Zvezda Rubin 2015
- Domain Menada Artistique Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc 2016
After the wine tasting the stairs of the Central Military club in Sofia seemed to me pretty steep, but slowing down I had the chance to look at the old black and white photos on the wall and to feel the atmosphere and the history of the culture building.
Greetings to all wine producers in Bulgaria and see you soon again. The good news from the evening is that more and more people drink Bulgarian wine at the wine bars in Sofia. A mission that unites all wine lovers in Bulgaria.
Cheers = Наздраве! Have you ever tasted a Bulgarian wine? #SharingIsCaring #tasteBulgaria #Bulgarianwine
Photo credit: Albena Tsankova