2019 Zagreus Vinica
For years one of the best rated wines in Bulgaria, made by the beautiful, modern and biologically working winery Zagreus Winery. We should actually call this the Bulgarian Amarone because the technique of drying the grapes is also used in this great Bulgarian wine. The autochthonous Mavrud grapes are grown organically and dry for 2 months in the open air, after which the wine is aged for 12 months in new Bulgarian oak. The wine has a dark color with purple hues in the glass. We smell beautiful but also tasty fresh, fresh aromas of red and dark fruit (raspberry, currant, cherry) but also hints of raisins, chocolate, vanilla and marmalade. The wine is full bodied with nice acidity, well-fused tannins with a spicy underlayer in which the oak wood is well absorbed.
In terms of style, this wine certainly has similarities with an Amarone or Ripasso, but is fresher with slightly less residual sugar and not as alcoholic (14.5%) as an Amarone wine that sometimes contains 16.5% alcohol.
- BEST LOCAL GRAPE WINE 2019 /current vintage 2017/ – DiVino, Bulgaria;
- 3rd PLACE of the TOP 50 Bulgarian wines for 2019 / current vintage 2017 / DiVino, Bulgaria;
- PRESS WINE REVIEW: VERY GOOD
- BULGARIA'S BEST WINE FOR 2016 – DiVino, Bulgaria;
- GOLD MEDAL – Internationaler Bioweinpreis 2017, Germany;
- GOLD MEDAL – Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2017;
- SPECIAL PRIZE BIO WINE – Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2017;
- GOLD MEDAL – Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2016;
- REVIEW The Wine and Food Association: 8+
- IN THE TOP 5 NOMINATIONS for Wine of the Year – 28th Thesis Wine Competition, Amsterdam 2016;
- 6th PLACE of the TOP 50 Bulgarian wines for 2015;
- SILVER MEDAL – The Balkans International Wine Competition 2014.
ABOUT ZAGREUS WINERY
Zagreus Winery is located in the Thracian Valley (Thracian Lowlands) in South Bulgaria and was built in 2004. The winery is an ultra modern building with a fully integrated cycle of production. Zagreus Winery today has about 130 ha. to vineyards. All vineyards are within a radius of 2 km from the winery. In order to carry out maximum quality control, Zagreus only uses grapes from its own vineyards for wine production. Since 2010, the vineyards of Zagreus Winery have been grown entirely according to European standards for organic farming and from the 2013 harvest, all wines are certified organic.
Bulgaria has a rich history and has been known for no less than three thousand years with the tradition of viticulture. It was the Thracians who from the 9th century BC. brought viticulture to Bulgaria. It is evident from the numerous excavations that show that wine played an important role in the life of the Thracians. In those days people even paid with coins that depicted bunches of grapes. The Thracians built vineyards in Bulgaria en masse, introduced new agricultural techniques and even developed special tools for working in the vineyard and vinification. Thrace, the region that would later become the core of present-day Bulgaria, was the scene of the first festivals in honor of Dionysos (the Thracian Bacchus) and in honor of wine.
Today, Bulgaria is gaining international recognition for its quality wines. This country, also nicknamed “sleeping beauty”, has all the qualities to become a major player on the global wine market and has now surpassed all Eastern European wine countries with its superior wines. Wine production is done in a sustainable and innovative way, which guarantees the quality of the grapes and the wine. As a result, Bulgaria is increasingly being put on the map as a wine-producing country and the country is receiving more and more international appreciation and awards for the wines that have been produced there since ancient times.
Just as the Thracian god of wine Zagreus was reborn to a new life, the Kostadinov family restored and revived their inherited farmlands, establishing Zagreus Winery in 2004. The Kostadinov family roots come from the village of Vinitsa, near the winery. In 1999, Yordan Kostadinov, together with his father Dimitar Kostadinov, started refurbishing and expanding the family vineyards in the “The Old Vineyards” area. Then the idea of Zagreus Winery was born. To date, their son and grandson Dimitar Kostadinov Jr is the one who runs the company.
Zagreus Winery is an ultra modern building with a fully integrated cycle of production from the grape in the vineyard to the wine in the bottle. It is equipped with the most modern production facilities with the ability to control and optimize all processes of fermentation, vinification, stabilization, bottling and maturation of the wine.
The new vineyards were planted in 1998 and today Zagreus has about 130 hectares of its own vineyards. The grape varieties grown are Mavrud — Bulgaria's oldest and most prized native grape, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. All vineyards are within a 2 km radius of the winery in the Thracian Lowlands (Thracian Lowlands) near Plovdiv, which is one of the most favorable wine regions in Bulgaria, both in terms of climate and soils. The bottoms are usually dark maroon-red. In terms of climate, the area belongs to the continental transition zone. The temperature regime is characterized by an open winter and hot summer. The average annual air temperature is 12.3°C. The duration of the frost-free period is on average 210 days. The average annual rainfall is 565 mm. The region belongs to the zone with the longest sunshine, with an annual average of 2293 hours. In July, the grapes here enjoy an average of 10 hours of sunshine a day. And here Zagreus finds the best conditions to be able to pick the grapes at their full technological maturity and thus obtain the perfect material for making high quality wine.
Since 2010, Zagreus Winery's vineyards are fully grown according to European standards for organic farming and from harvest 2013 all wines are certified organic. No synthetic pesticides and fertilizers or genetically modified organisms are used in the cultivation of the grapes. Only sulfur preparations (blue vitriol, green vitriol), extracts of plants and strains of microorganisms with insecticidal action are used. “Maintaining a vineyard with such preparations is much more labor intensive as it requires much more work for preventive measures,” says Dimitar, owner and manager of Zagreus Winery.
No synthetic chemicals are used in the vinification. The yeast for fermentation is guaranteed GMO-free. Only additives of natural origin are allowed, extracted from natural products — vegetable, mineral, micro-organisms without GMOs. Sulfur dioxide added before bottling to prevent oxidation is only half of the maximum allowable standard for organic winemaking.
Zagreus' most distinctive and successful wine is the VINICA Mavrud, made from dried grapes. Since the first vintage in 2011, VINICA has been awarded the best Bulgarian wine several times and is in the Top 5 wines of Bulgaria almost every year.
|Type of Wine||Red|
|Drinking as of||2022|
|Tasting Profiles||Earthy, Dark fruit, Dry, Aged on wood, Powerful, Spicy, Tannines, Full|
|Drink moments||Barbecue, Cadeau!, Lekker luxe, Met vrienden, Open haard|