fbpx

Istar Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Vineyard: Bononia Estate
Region: Daubian Plain
Country:Bulgaria

Awards

Grand Gold-Mundus Vini 2022 Summer Tasting

Tasting Notes 


Fresh and lively on the nose, with invigorating notes of lemon zest, fresh cut grass and apricots. On the palate, there’s a nervous energy and tension in the background that underpins fairly rich stone fruit. There’s minerality to add complexity, but this Savvy needs only a light chill, in order to bring out more of the rich fruit. Enjoy as an aperitif or pair with pasta primavera or grilled white asparagus with lemon and olive oil.

Varieties


Sauvignon Blanc originates from the French regions of Loire Valley and Bordeaux. The grape most likely gets its name from the French words sauvage (“wild”) and blanc (“white”) due to its early origins as an indigenous grape in South West France. Sauvignon Blanc often buds late but ripens early, which allows it to perform well in sunny climates when not exposed to overwhelming heat. Sauvignon Blanc grows in nearly every wine making region on earth and is produced in a variety of methods resulting in a wide spectrum of styles that range from lean to bountiful. It is a popular and unmistakable white that is loved for its “green” herbal flavors and inherently high acidity.

Region


There are only two wine growing regions in Bulgaria: the Thracian Lowlands and the Danubian Plain. The latter lies south of the iconic Danube River, with the Black Sea to the East and Serbia and Macedonia to the West. The region enjoys as many sunlight hours during the growing season as Northern Italy and Portugal, allowing for full ripening of both international and indigenous varieties. The movement of the Danube River, as well as the influence of the Black Sea, moderate heat during the day and keep the evenings cool, ensuring brilliant acid levels in the wines. The yields are remarkably small in Bulgaria, with an average of only 4.3 tons/ha. By comparison, the US averages 18 tons/ha. Jancis Robinson has noted the exceptional potential of this northwestern part of Bulgaria and the wine world is starting to pay attention.

Vineyard


Planted in 2013 utilizing the Guyot training system, these vineyards are strategically placed just south of the Danube, along its banks. The fast flowing water accompanying breezes keep the grapes cool and dry during the growing season. The soil has great drainage and is composed of dark loam created by the ancient forests surrounding the region. These are true cool climate vineyards, so canopy management is key to ensuring the grapes get enough sunlight.

Winemaking


The autumn of 2021 was characterized by high diurnal shifts — large differences between the average daytime high temperature and the average nighttime low temperature. This positively affected the harvest season, preserving the aromas of the white varieties. Fermentation and maceration take place in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature to prevent malolactic fermentation.

Cellar Profile


Nestled along the banks of the Danube River, Bononia Estate is named for the ancient Roman Fortress that occupied the spot now known as the town of Vidin, where Roman armies brought vines for the cultivation of wine grapes. After careful soil analysis, the area was re-planted to grape in 2013 and the first vintage was produced in 2016. The Danube River appellation of Bulgaria is a moderate to cool region, with warm, dry days and cold evenings during the growing season. This large diurnal shift, coupled with breezes from the Danube, allows for ecological viticulture. Utilizing organic practices in tandem with technological advances and a keen eye for sustainability, Bononia Estate crafts nervy, fruit-forward and balanced wines, focusing on Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and the exciting, vibrant, autochthonous local varietal, Gamza. Bulgarian wine has long been eschewed by “serious” wine drinkers as cheap, cheerful and forgettable. However, Bononia Estate is part of the modern landscape of Bulgarian winemaking, with a focus on fine wines as opposed to bulk production. The wine world is beginning to take notice!

Wine Type: White

Variety: Sauvignon Blanc

Classification: PGI

Orientation: North-South

Appellation: N/A

Gradient: 3-4°

Soil: Carbonate Black Soil

Farming Practices: Vine spacing is 2.50 m.; interline spacing is 0.90 m.; density of the plants 444 vines per decare

Residual Sugar: 1.7 g/L

Alcohol: 13.0%

Malolactic: No

Botte Size: 750 ml

Acidity: 6.4 g/L

Other Practices: None