Wine of the Week 51 – reasons to be cheerful 1,2,3 (4,5)

There are not many reasons to be cheerful in the UK right now, so it is good that I am really excited by this week’s Wine of the Week, for 3 very good reasons.

Firstly there are 2 of them, 2 Wines of the Week, a red and a white,  so something for everyone.

Secondly they come from Romania and I was very, very excited by my recent trip to Romania as the wines were so good.

Thirdly they are marketed in a really interesting way that might, just might, start making consumers more adventurous about wine.

Fourthly (darn, there were four reasons) they are really nice wines.

Fifthly (don’t you hate it when that happens, quite puts you off your stride) they are great value for money.

Both the wines come from Cramele Recaș, which is an excellent, modern and forward looking winery in western Romania, almost Transylvania in fact. Englishman Philip Cox is the driving force here, although he has an Australian and a Spanish winemaker too, and the focus is to make superb vale wines that over deliver at Low price points – although they make some very good premium wines too.

Sketch wine map of Romania – click for a larger view – non watermarked PDF versions are available by agreement.

Sketch wine map of Romania – click for a larger view – non watermarked PDF versions are available by agreement.

Also they both come from Asda’s new Wine Atlas range which is potentially a very exciting way of marketing wine. Asda are convinced that the consumer is ready for new things and new flavours, wines made from unusual grape varieties in out of the way places and that is what the Wine Atlas wines offer. The range is very interesting and as well as my two Wines of the Week it includes a Sicilian Grillo and Cattaratto, a French Marsanne and a Hungarian Furmint among the whites. As for the reds there is an attractive Marzemino from northern Italy, a smooth and fruity Frappato from Sicily and a very nice Saint-Chinian from the Languedoc region of France.

Philip Cox, Commercial Director, Cramele Recaș.

Philip Cox, Commercial Director, Cramele Recaș.

The labels are quite funky, flamboyant and colourful and are based on those lovely old travel posters from the 1920s and the sorts of labels we used to see stuck on suitcases and steamer trunks. I hope the idea works and helps Asda’s customers to drink things other than boring old Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc.

My Wines of the Week

2014 Wine Atlas Fetească RFRegală
Cramele Recaș  
DOC Recaș , Romania
Fetească Regală (it means Royal Maiden) is an indigenous Romanian grape and was created by a natural crossing of Fetească Alba and Grasa de Cotnari. I have only tried two examples, but it seems to be a very attractive grape, lightly aromatic, fruity and fresh. This particular Fetească Regală is made to be light, bright and lively, without any oak.

The nose is gently aromatic with floral, lemon and light peach notes. The palate is very fresh with soft acidity, so it is not tart, but it is lively, with peachy and apricot fruit and a touch of creamy roundness too. A nice, straightforward and very drinkable dry white wine – 86/100 points.

Available in the UK from Asda and Asda Wine Shop for £5.97 a bottle.


FNWine Atlas Fetească Neagră
Cramele Recaș
DOC Recaș , Romania
Fetească Neagră (means Black Maiden) is another indigenous Romanian grape and is the country’s main black grape. Again I do not suppose that I have tasted enough to really know what the grape is like, but I like what I have tried. In style the wines are something like Grenache, but with a bit more tannin and some of the silky quality of Pinot Noir.

The nose is bright and lively with plum, strawberry and cranberry n toes together with a little smoke and savoury herbs. The palate is relatively light, juicy, soft and ripe, with succulent red fruit, especially plum and strawberry, light chalky tannins and freshness giving some structure and elegance. There is also a dusting of pepper and savoury, herbal characters- 87/100 points.

Available in the UK from Asda and Asda Wine Shop for £5.97 a bottle.


These are both well made and interesting everyday drinking wines. If you never tried Romanian wines before then these might well be a good place to start. Let me know what you think.


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