Posted by: Andy Kelly
I've tried an eclectic mix of wines this year as my palate has evolved to cope with the challenges of the WSET Level 3 but recently I've been craving a familiar tasting profile. A profile that feels like a punch in the mouth...
Step up Domaine Barovo Red 2017.
The superlatives are just going to keep flowing for this one. first of all there's the price point. £23 is a steal for this monster. I payed virtually double for the Dreadnought which sits pride of place in our fine wines section and there is very little between the two powerhouses.
Secondly, it was rated highly on Vivino and it met everything that I was looking for in a tasting profile. I wanted a full bodied, tannic wine that would blow me away and this fit the bill perfectly.
A notable Instagram follower of ours noticed the bottle amongst others in a post and was quick to comment. His advice still resonates: "...Make sure you save the Barovo for a cold evening...Beast".
I didn't save it for a cold evening. I drank it in the middle of August and I'm not even remotely sorry!
Ever since the Classical Greek period, Macedonia has been renowned for producing powerful, blockbuster wines. Tivkes itself is a wine region in modern day Northern Macedonia that shares the same longitude as Bordeaux, Tuscany and Napa Valley meaning that conditions are perfect for producing a wide variety of wines. Long, hot summers dominate in the south with the cooler, wetter winters prevailing in the north of the region.
Barovo itself is a subregion within Tivkes where Domaine Barovo produces a red and white version of its wine.
Local grape varieties Kratosija (65%) and Vranec (35%) make up the red blend with the wine being aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. They're then carefully nurtured into the bottle by famed oenologist Philippe Cambie who is helping Northern Macedonian wines realise their true potential.
The wine itself looks similar to a Carmenere in the glass with a dark red hew and just a hint of purple giving away its youthful character. There's plenty of angels tears too as you swirl it around the glass but at 15% abv that is to be expected!
Upon first putting my nose to the glass I clicked my head back with a sudden jolt as the aromas were clambering to get out. Aromas of blackberry, blueberry and plums dominated with a hint of forest floor and a lick of cinnamon spice.
Our Instagram friend was right, this was a beast. The tannins were gripping and immediately dried my gums out. It was very full bodied and the finish was never ending. Again, black fruits dominated, especially blueberry, but notes of forest floor were more prevalent with a good hint of chocolate and leather thrown into the mix. the cinnamon spice was hiding, only revealing itself as the liquid slid down my throat on that never-ending finish.
All of these aromas and flavours marry up perfectly to create an absolute behemoth of a wine that represents a complete bargain at the price.
Bravo Philippe Cambie, you have created a wine that has piqued my interest in a brand new region. Now don't mind me, I'm just off to buy another few bottles of this monster!