Villa Vinea Transylvania- Cuvée Celest. Romanian sparkling wine


Obsessed by sparkling wines made by traditional method I continuously search for outstanding wines to enchant me with their sophistication, their stories or simply the sensations I get when drinking in the right place with the right people.

By Olimpia Pleșa Brandhuber

Cuvée Celest from Villa Vinea seduced me. First with its elegance and harmony than with the speed the bottle finished.  This is a Romanian sparkling wine made by traditional method in Transylvania, Romania. It has a vibrant acidity combined with subtle lees aromas, discrete hints of ripe fruits and intensely citric notes. Fine effervescence, well integrated sugar, firm structure, nothing is too much, nothing disturbs. It is just pleasurable.

Served at 10°C from a beautiful glass to allow the wine to emphasize the unique dance of the pearls I find it a perfect companion for fried white fish and vegetable tempura.

The wines of Villa Vinea represent so good the friendly spirit of Transylvania- a sunny hilly land in the middle of Romania surrounded by forested hill, covered with vineyards and smelling of flowers.  Nestled in the valley of the Târnava Mică river,Villa Vinea takes the advantages of one of the oldest wine regions of Romania. There the soil and the exposure create optimum conditions for the grapes to ripe healthy while keeping the vital acidity for a successful sparkling.

About 15 years ago, Heiner Oberrauch coming from South Tyrol discovered here, in the middle of Transylvania, a place full of promise. 35 hectares were planted with a unique mix of grape varieties which today extended to 75 hectares : noble local varieties Fetească Neagră and Fetească Regală alongside classic varieties as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay , Pinot Noir and Merlot. The German white variety Kerner, and the Austrian red one Zweigelt were added to the vine plots to give to Heiner its favourite wines from home.   There is a fascinating master- apprentice collaboration  between the Italian winemaker Lucin Celestino- flying almost monthly from South Tyrol where he makes wines for Abbazia di Novacella from 20 years  and Romanian cellar master Mihaly Denes. They work together for more than 10 years now and their complementary relation reflects so good in the harmony of the wines. This proofs again and again that remarkable people make remarkable wines.

Dare to experiment and let Cuvée Celest to bring you to the stars.

As the name suggests it is a blend of 3 complementary grape varieties, each bringing its best qualities to the blend:  a generous percentage of  Romanian variety Fetească Regală ( 50%) gives the wine its dense structure and flavors, 40% Rhine Riesling  contribute with its rich acidity and 10% Pinot Noir for consistent body. The base wine is entirely from the grapes of 2015 fermented in stainless steel tanks than re-fermented in bottle where it spent almost 3 years together with the lees to mature until 2019 when it was disgorged.

If sparkling is not your sympathy Fetească Regală will surely enchant you with its complexity  while the well structured Sauvignon Blanc will show how this grape can reflect its best characteristic each year under the hands of an experienced winemaker. I particularly like the red Fetească Neagră for its purity and elegance, one of the best for my buds and Kerner for  its gastronomic abilities to join modern dishes. If aromatic grapes are your style go for the fresh and dry Gewürztraminer and let sweet dessert wine Contessa (Goldmuskateller x Kerner)  to satisfy your palate at the end of the meal.  Live trought wine the convivial spirit of Transylvania.

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Olimpia Pleșa Brandhuber

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