Cuvinte despre vinuri incercate, degustari si evenimente, calatorii si retete
Recently, owning a winery and making your own wine appears to be quite a fashion among the famous & important. Actors, singers and artists, along with entrepreneurs, retired businessmen or financiers, have immersed in the challenges of running a vineyard, making wine and selling it.
Among them is Mr. Mugur Isarescu, Governor of the National Bank of Romania, the oldest and the longest running governor of a national bank in the world. He owns a few hectares of vine plantation –Casa Isarescu– on the hills of Dragasani, one of the most famous wine regions in Romania. Already releasing his third vintage, he has been growing international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, along with native Romanian grapes such as Tamaioasa Romaneasca, Feteasca Regala (whites) and the powerful red grape Negru de Dragasani. Not the least, one of the most well known grape varieties from the region is Cramposie.
For the dinner with Mr. Governor’s wine, I have chosen to serve a fish dish which is so simple to cook, I can’t even call a recipe the following indications: take three of four chunks of defrosted white fish fillet (cod, mackerel, herring or halibut will do), and season them with salt, pepper and olive oil. Lay them in a non-stick dish or pan coated with butter, on top of a layer of lemon slices. Throw on top a couple of diced tomatoes, red onion rings and julienned red peppers, season generously and sprinkle olive oil. Bake in preheated oven, covered with aluminum foil for about 30 minutes, and then another 10 uncovered. Serve hot, with parsley sprinkled on the plate, and a dry, mineral white wine, well chilled.
I can assure you, it tastes just as delicious as it looks. And it pairs very well with Casa Isarescu 2010, Cramposie Selectionata. This grape is a survivor, resisting to winter frost as well as the 40 degrees Celsius which can be encountered in the summers of southern Romania. It is not particularly known for rich flavors, texture or delicacy. Rather, it is a straightforwards, acid, mineral and refreshing white grape, with lots of green, grassy and stony flavors.
In the glass, the color is a pale greenish-yellow, looking rather fragile. The first nose reminds of a summer rain on a meadow: airy notes of fresh cut grass, lily and carnations, on top of a deeper note of wet stone. A light texture, and a mouth-watering yet round acidity are the first taste impressions; after the wine warms up a bit, sexier notes emerge: apricots, some Golden Delicious apples and even some coconut. The alcohol is very discreet, in fact almost absent from the taste, leaving the entire room available for the suple notes of lemon rind. The aftertaste is short and astringent, slightly bitter and somehow pungent.
Leaving any complex description aside, it is a refreshing and invigorating wine, clean and straightforward, nothing fancy, good value for money (just like our monetary policy should be 🙂 ) It has gained some complexity and texture compared to the 2009 vintage, which I found to be to green and grassy. A great match for the baked fish and vegetables, I’m sure that Mr. Governor himself would have been pleased with this light meal and wine pairing. Perhaps we’ll do lunch next time?