Visiting Domeniul Bogdan, Romania’s first biodynamic winery
Bogdan is began a decade ago in 2011, and is based in the Murtafala region of Romania. The winery, which is still a work in progress, although finished inside, is about 10 km from the vineyards. So although this is Romania’s first biodynamic winery, I didn’t get to see any vineyards.
Murtafala isn’t on the tourist wine map – the wineries are split apart, and there isn’t much suitable accommodation in the area. But Bogdan is planning to build a hotel facility, in addition to its newly expanded and rebuilt winery. Romania is currently the main market for these wines.
It’s named after Michalcea Bogdan, who made his money in alternative energy and agriculture. He now has 154 hectares of vines. The soils in the area are rich loams, which lie over either limestone, clay or sandstone, depending on the location.
The biodynamic farming is certified by a small Italian accreditor, since 2017. The remainder of the vineyards are certified organic by an Austrian organization.
We met with Gabriel Dulachi, winemaker, and Vlad Buruga – sommelier.
They have four ranges. First, the monocepage range: the idea is to see how each grape grows in this climate. Then cuvée experience: each year different blends. Then there is the
Primordial range, signed by Philip Cambie, the late winemaking consultant who died this year.
Then there is the biodynamic range.
Bogdan Tamiăoasa Romanesca 2020 Murtafala, Romania
This Muscat. Fresh, linear and bright with a strong grape and lemon character, with some pithy notes and a spicy orange peel finish. Very pure and fresh with lovely acidity and weight. This is so fresh and enticing. Crystal clean. 89/100
Bogdan Cuvée Experience White 2020 Murtafala, Romania
Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling Italica (Welchsriesling). Very fresh and linear with nice bright citrus fruit and some green apple, with a touch of sweetness and a nice rounded texture. There’s a nice spicy citrus finish. Very modern and well made with nice depth and purity. Nice purity here. 88/100
Bogdan Primordial Rosé 2020 Murtafala, Romania
Cabernet Sauvignon. This is pure and focused with taut citrus fruit with some subtle spicy framing and hints of mandarin and cherry. Fresh and nicely weighted with good texture and some lovely white peach and pure fruit. Impressive. 90/100
Bogdan Cuvee Experience Red 2018 Murtafala, Romania
15.5% alcohol. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Feteasca Negara. A classic Romanian blend. Medium coloured with red and some development around the fringes (this is from the Feteasca). It’s aromatic and fresh with sweet cherries and strawberries and some liqueur-like red fruits. The palate is supple and fruity with some warmth from the alcohol and lovely fresh cherries and strawberries, with a touch of redcurrant and smooth fruit, finishing warm and spicy with soft tannins. It is really nice despite the alcohol. 91/100
Bogdan Primordial Feteasca Negara 2019 Murtafala, Romania
16% alcohol. Quite deep in colour. Rich and intense with plenty of extraction considering it is Feteasca. Sweet and berryish with ripe, slightly liqueur-like jammy cherry and berry fruits, with some table grape richness. There’s a lushness and depth to the palate, and also a touch of saltiness on the finish. Lovely fruit purity, but it’s quite alcoholic. 91/100
Bogdan Patrar Merlot 2017 Murtafala, Romania
This is biodynamic, and it’s the first year they made biodynamic wines. Vinified in Nico Velo concrete tanks, no added yeast or bacteria. The only addition is a bit of SO2. Matured in French oak for 6 months, then a year in concrete. This is aromatic, fresh and bright with good acidity supporting some sweet cherries, blackcurrants and plums, as well as a bit of tar and leather. There’s a nice structure here with some fine spicy notes on the finish. This is grippy and firm with nice intensity and structure, and lovely acidity. 92/100
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