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Prince Stirbey Feteasca Regala 2013

The Experience

Drink When...
Feeling exploratory while glued to the sofa
Listen To...
Rhythm Futur by Django Reinhardt
Think About...
Back to the Future
Drink With...
Pan-fried lamb steak

The Oddbins Take

Dear Mum and Dad, Thank you both so much for the InterRail ticket, I'm learning lots. Mainly about wine, I'll admit, but that's done neither of you any harm! I've arrived in Romania and, as I write I'm studying a glass of Prince Stirbey Feteasca Regalia, which is really quite exotic with a jolly dense texture and rather tropical fruit flavours that refuse to disappear. The winery was state-owned for about sixty years, and reverted to its previous aristocratic owners in 2001 (yes, Dad, I am reading this). Well, whatever your politics, you can't deny that the aristocracy loves a decent glass of wine! Must dash, I've got to, er, examine the Prince's lovely red now! Give Captain Barky a cuddle for me. Sybaritically yours, Bunty x

The Vital Statistics

Country
Romania
Classification
IGT
Vintage
2013
Drink
Best Drunk Now & Over the Next 3 Years
Closure
Cork
Bottle Size
Regular - 750ml
Residual Sugar
1.5 g/l
14.5%
Alcohol Units
10.9

Out of stock

£13.75

£13.75

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The Style

Grape
Feteasca Regala (100%)
Body
Light Full bodied
Sweetness
Dry Sweet

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Decanter, June 2015: "An idiosyncratic and engaging wine made from the local grape Feasca Regala by an estate which has own vineyards for more than 300 years. A fine, aromatic nose of apple and lime lead onto a concentrated, deep palate which has just a little bit of tannic grip to it."

The brand Stirbey was born in the early 20th century, when Prince Barbu Alexandru Stirbey converted his inherited estates into profitable and modern agricultural concerns. Around this time he was also the country's greatest proponent of indigenous wine varieties in the wake of the phylloxera epidemic. His vineyards in Dragasani, by then under the stewardship of his daughter, fell into state hands in 1949, and it was down to the Prince's great-granddaughter, Baroness Ileana Kripp, to successfully renovate and modernise the winery when it returned to the family in 2001.

Dragasani, in southern Romania, has a hilly topography reminiscent of that of Tuscany. Its loam and clay soils are underlain with sand, and the region has extremely cold winters with temperatures as low as -20C, and summer temperatures of up to 40C. The estate has 30 hectares, divided between recent plantings of international varieties, and treasured old vines of such indigenous grapes as Cramposie Selectionata, Feteasca Regala and Tamaioasa Romaneasca. The wine cellars were totally renovated in 2003, shortly after de-nationalisation.

Born in Germany to a family of vintners, Oliver Bauer has been head winemaker since 2003. He makes only single varietal wine from strictly selected grapes, avoiding intervention as far as possible to allow the true character of indigenous grape varieties to shine through.

Grapes are hand-picked, pressed without de-stemming or crushing and fermented spontaneously without additional yeasts. The wine is lees-aged for six months in stainless steel, with weekly battonage. It has exotic fruit on the nose, a fresh but thick and intensely fruited palate with a long finish and considerable regional character, and would stand up to barbecued chicken and even lamb.


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