Republic of Macedonia, $9.99
Macedonia? Really? Really. You don't have to be able to say it to love it. This wine was on the shelf about 4 years ago. We were crazy about then and we are still crazy for it now. Blackberry bramble, notes of fruit leather and silky black fruits followed up on the palate with chocolate and blueberry notes. Reminiscent of Lagrein-delicious! As if all this was not enough, the price to experience ratio is fabulous.
Pronounced ʋrǎːnats. The word Vranac means strong, black and powerful horse (black stallion), and wine made from this variety of grape is associated with strength, potency, and success. Vranac is considered the most important variety of grape in Montenegro and one of the most important in the Republic of Macedonia. The first time through we had no real knowledge of the wine, we just liked it and wanted to know more. We soon found out it is made by our hero from the Rhone Valley, Philippe Cambie. Philippe is considered "The Man" when discussing Rhone Valley. He currently consults for 59 wineries in and around the Rhone Valley, France as well as 3 others-one in Morocco, one in Priorat and this one in Macedonia.
Not surprisingly this wine has caught the attention of the press.
"90 Points" The Wine Advocate #215 Oct 2014
"The inky-colored 2013 Vranac Special Selection (100% Vranac, which is the local grape of Macedonia) offers upfront, voluptuous levels of black raspberry, plum, violets and spring flowers. Full-bodied, decadent and a borderline big fruit bomb, it nevertheless has fabulous purity of fruit and good freshness. It’s a smoking value to drink over the coming 2-4 years (although I have no experience with how this grape ages)."