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Five wines from Bulgaria as supplied by Churchill Wines a new company concentrating on the importation of quality wines.

Unfortunately, as happens occasionally, the strawberry coloured rose had a little cork taint so I have not reviewed that specific bottle. The other five wines were fine and demonstrated just how individual and distinctive wines from Bulgaria can be.

There is a excellent site dedicated to the wines of Bulgaria that gives details of the fascinating history of the country and a few of the other producers.
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Damianitza Chardonnay Label
Damianitza Chardonnay
Wine Tasting Note: Damianitza Chardonnay, 2003, Bulgaria.
Churchill Wines £5.99.
Deep golden yellow colour with a greengage, pear and honey nose with touches of orange and sherbet lemons. Dry, medium-bodied, pure oak-tinged fruit. Golden Delicious apples, hints of pear and melon. Also coming through on the finish were hints of rhubarb and custard, a creamy edge and a gravelly, lime-acid finish. Alcohol 12.5%. Very nice.
Scribblings Rating - 88/100

Melnik Uniqato Label
Uniqato Melnik Label
Wine Tasting Note: Damianitza Uniqato Melnik, 2003, Bulgaria.
Churchill Wines £13.99.
Full red-blooded colour and an aroma to match - all stalky cherries, blackcurrants and smoke. A full-bodied and distinctive wine with juicy un-ripened blackberries. A green edge to the inky finish. Hefty tannins needs some chunky rustic food to match. Alcohol 13%. Very individualistic and expensive; but very small 'hands-on' production.
Scribblings Rating - 88/100

Redark Merlot Label
Redark Merlot
Wine Tasting Note: Damianitza Redark Merlot, 2000, Bulgaria.
Churchill Wines £14.99.
Small production - just 6,000 cases and, again, dedicated attention to wine-making hence the high price. Full and ripe with a really classy (refined) blackfruit aroma. Supporting an abundance of rustic tannins are some super blackfruit flavours. Quite complex with raspberry and intriguiing hints of spices peeking through. It is a big wine requiring similar foods - thinking barbecued meats here or warming autumnal stews.
Scribblings Rating - 88/100

"The territory, which separated Bulgaria from its southern neighbours - Greece and Turkey was divided into two parts. The first zone of restriction from Bulgaria was a 12 kilometre wide strip for which a special pass from the authorities was required. Beyond this was an electric fence, which signalled every time it was touched by a living creature. This marked the start of the next 5 kilometre wide strip of land, which reaches the real border. This band is called No Man's Land and was previously used as a buffer zone between the world of socialism and that of capitalism. It was a place of horror for those who dared to escape in pursuit of a better life outside the socialist countries.

The complete absence of human habitation and industrial activity has resulted in this area becoming an environmental paradise with no pollution and a preserved wildlife. Nowadays the area is home to excellent quality vines, which bask in the sun of south western Bulgaria. It is hard to believe that a better wine could be produced than that from the vineyards in this No Man's Land - a wine with a sad story, but with a future full of spirit and adventure."

No Mans Land Label
No Mans Land Label
Wine Tasting Note: Damianitza No Mans Land Silver Label, 2002, Bulgaria.
Churchill Wines £6.99.
Trendy packaging, but no obvious mention of Bulgaria on the front or rear labels. Medium to full bodied with gravelly tannins wrapped up in plenty of blackfruit flavours. Certainly highly drinakable with food - some juicy beef sausages with creamy cauliflower cheese went very nicely. Alcohol 13%. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot.
Scribblings Rating - 88/100

Wine Tasting Note: Damianitza No Mans Land Gold Label, 2002, Bulgaria.
Churchill Wines £7.99.
Red currants all the way - on the aroma and on the palate, with touches of oak adding complexity there is also blackberry and a licorice edged finish. This was superb with a few chunks of Cheddar cheese.
Scribblings Rating - 90/100
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