Signature Fetească Neagră 2016 - Aurelia Vișinescu


Fetească Neagră is the local grape variety that began to represent Romania beyond the country's borders. Originally from Moldova (both the region of Moldova on the territory of Romania and the Republic of Moldova), this type of grape is cultivated in over 3000 hectares on the territory of our country.

Aurelia Vişinescu is one of the oenologists in love with this grape variety, she has been vinifying  it for 18 years and she knows it best. It is very possible that he heard about her because he has been called "Black Fetească Lady" ("Doamna Fetească Neagră") for many years due to the fact that he was the first oenologist in Romania who managed to vinify Fetească Neagră as a dry wine. Today, Aurelia Vișinescu signs the wines from Domeniile Săhăteni (winery located in the Dealu Mare region) and out of the 82 hectares of vines owned by the winery, Feteasca Neagră occupies 19.4 hectares, being the largest plantation.

Over time, I tried almost all the wines launched by Domeniile Săhăteni, knowing all the winery's ranges, from Nomad - the range dedicated to entry level wines, to Artisan - the range dedicated to Romanian varieties, to Karakter - the range dedicated to international varieties and to Anima - the top range that bears Aurelia's signature. And, because I have always appreciated the wines here, be they entry level or top of the range, I was very happy to participate in the launch of the newest wine, Signature Fetească Neagră 2016.

The event took place in a small setting in Bucharest, and during it I had the opportunity to discover several wines (Karakter Sauvignon Blanc 2021, Rose 2021 - Pinot Noir, Syrah & Pinot Grigio, Signature Fetească Neagră 2016 - bottled both in standard bottle of 750 ml as well as in 1500ml magnum bottle, Artisan Tămâioasă Românească 2021). The star of the evening was, of course, Signature Fetească Neagră, a wine made from the 2016 harvest, exactly 10 years since the first harvest was harvested from the plantation located in Dealu Mare.

After 18 years of working with Fetească Neagră, Aurelia Vișinescu said during the launch that Signature Fetească Neagră 2016 is the best Fetească Neagră she has ever made. And, rightly, the wine is an extraordinary one: the aromas of plums, cherries and spices feel distinctive both in smell and taste, in the end distinguishing aromas of dark chocolate, vanilla and a little wood. The wine has been aged in French oak barrels for 19 months, has 14.5% alcohol and is a wine that can be aged over 20 years.

Regarding 2016, Aurelia says that it was an extraordinarily good one for Fetească Neagră in the Dealu Mare region.

"The year was characterized by a low production, only 5.2 tons / hectar, which led to a high quality wine, extractive, intensely colored, with firm tannins and potential for aging.

Fetească Neagră grapes come from a plot of vines belonging to the village Fințești,  Năeni commune, located in the lower third of the hill, at an altitude of 180m, with southern and south-eastern exposure, where the soils are poorer in nutrients, limestone, with deposits of fine sands and gravel. This type of soil ensures good drainage of water and is conducive to obtaining quality grapes.

The grapes were hand-picked on September 7, peeled and fermented in stainless steel tanks. The alcoholic fermentation was carried out at a temperature of 25 - 28⁰C for 14 days. The ravac wine was transferred in 225 liter French oak barrels from the Allier forests, 70% new and 30% for the second use, where the malolactic fermentation was finalized. The maturation period in the barrels was 19 months, after which the wine was selected from the barrels that evolved the best and 4003 bottles were bottled (from which only 1000 bottles have been released). The wine has been aged in bottle for 3 and a half years. "

That being said, I wish you to try this wine as soon as possible, and on the other hand to buy at least one bottle to keep for several years (at a constant temperature of 12-16 degrees Celsius, away from direct sunlight, the correct position of the bottle being horizontal), then enjoy it. You can find Signature Fetească Neagră 2016 in specialized wine stores (as far as I know, physical stores, not online ones), as well as at the winery.

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