Edoardo Miroglio Pinot Nero 2008
Outside its country of production, Bulgarian wine doesn’t enjoy the best reputation with many wine lovers. They are still haunted by the memories of the cheap exported gut rot from the days when the Bulgarian wine industry was state owned.
Today, many of the exported wines are still comparatively cheap. But, boy, has the quality changed and I can think of no better example than this Edoardo Miroglio Pinot Nero 2008.
Now, some might argue that the wine is good because it is made by an Italian. Others might claim that Pinot Nero – or Noir – is an international grape and is not indicative of a specific region outside its famous home, Burgundy. I guess it depends how much you believe in the importance of soil and climate in making a distinctive wine. Or indeed if you believe that sometimes, an international grape can help change the image of a country’s wine industry.
This Pinot Noir comes from Thracian region of Bulgaria, considered the premium wine producing area in the country – and one with an ancient history of wine making.
On opening, the 2008 has a thrilling savoury fungal and meaty nose. Then some dark, brooding fruits appear. It smells a lot bigger than it looks.
The fruit is a lot more evident on the palate, with some classic raspberry flavours. There’s also dried roses, juicy black cherries and a vegetal seam lying underneath. A good level of acidity balances out these rich flavours, which linger in the mouth – albeit lightly – for a while.
Is it the best Pinot Noir I’ve had? No. Is it the best I’ve had for the price I paid? Undoubtedly – and better than a good few I’ve had at twice the price.
Searching for it also led me to try some other Bulgarian wines, one made from indigenous Mavrud grapes that have been dried on straw mats. The Zagreus Vinica 2008 [also on Corkbin] is deep, lush and big, and makes a more cost-conscious alternative to Amarone.
I’m sure there are still some poor Bulgarian wines out there (just as there are from many other countries). But it’s good to see examples that can hold their heads high, and comfortably compete with wines from better-known regions in the world.
Paola is a London-based wine blogger who also runs a communications consultancy. She trained as a journalist, working for Sky News, GMTV and BBC radio amongst others before jumping ship into PR and internal communications for major global companies. Starting her own business has given her the flexibility to indulge in her passion for wine and how it’s made.