Some of the best Moldovan blends are featured in the ILLUSTRO series. Since the whole world works with international grape varieties, it is especially difficult to produce interesting wines from them. Also in them, Fautor showed how interesting winemakers can work with oak barrels to enrich the wine with new shades. In these wines one can feel how much labor and love was given to the vine, and then to wine, which is confirmed by numerous awards (ILLUSTRO white – nine medals, ILLUSTRO red – 36!).
ILLUSTRO – IGP Valul lui Traian wines with protected geographical indications. This means that the grapes are grown in vineyards, which have higher requirements than ordinary ones. The cost of grown grapes from such sites is higher, therefore, the wine is more expensive.
For the entire range of limited edition wines, special areas have been allocated where we limit yield, and we do all agricultural work on time,” says Tatiana Croitoru, Director of Production at Fautor. – Lack of labor should not affect the quality of grapes, so it is high. And at the winery we are working on the technology together with our consultants.”
ILLUSTRO Chardonnay-Sauvignon Blanc-Rhein Riesling, 2016
The ratio of wine blend: Chardonnay – 60%, Sauvignon Blanc – 25%, Rhein Riesling – 15%. The grapes are not overripe, therefore, the strength of the wine is moderate – 13.2%. All three grape varieties were processed separately. Chardonnay fermented in an oak barrel, and there was also malolactic fermentation. Then the wine was poured into new French oak barriques, where it was aged for six months. Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling fermented in steel tanks and also passed aging, but for three months. The French barriques in which they were poured were also used for three months for white wines from another project. It is very important for winemakers that the influence of oak on Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc is not very strong. As a result, in the finished blend, the work of winemakers with oak looks neat. The wine was bottled in June 2018, it means a year and a half was in a bottle, having passed and development in glass.
In order for ILLUSTRO white (I will call it that for the sake of brevity) to open better, we need to let it breathe. The wine is light golden colour. To say that it is brilliant is to say almost nothing. It is shining. This already speaks of its high quality.
The first nose is floral-fruity. A very rich bouquet, which reveals the aromas of melliferous flowers, vanilla, ripe yellow apples, autumn juicy yellow pears, white cherries. Later aromas of liquid honey, pineapple, mango, sugar cookies appear, but a fresh lemon note is preserved. In an empty glass – resinous currant buds and toffee sweets.
ILLUSTRO white has a silky texture. It envelops the mouth cavity, making the taste voluminous. Dense body. The taste is oily, with refreshing acidity, it contains citrus notes. A little later, citrus fruits were replaced by an apple. In a long finish – a shade of vanilla with a light minerality. Winemakers managed to achieve a very good balance between alcohol, acidity and oak. Very beautiful, noble wine. The longer it is saturated with oxygen, the brighter it becomes in aromatics and taste.
From the 2016 harvest, 6300 bottles of ILLUSTRO Chardonnay-Sauvignon Blanc-Rhein Riesling were produced. This wine has been produced since 2011.
The producer left the ILLUSTRO white 2011 harvest in the collection to watch the development of this wine in a bottle. And I got such a bottle. The wine showed itself very beautifully. The colour is already more saturated – golden. The first nose is overripe autumn fruits. The bouquet contains walnuts, vanilla, tropical fruits (mango, pineapple), cheese, lemon, honey honeycombs. Full body, acidity of the wine is well preserved. Oily, full-bodied fruity taste with a hint of vanilla. In a long finish – not quite ripe apricot and almonds. Now it’s clear what to expect from ILLUSTRO Chardonnay-Sauvignon Blanc-Rhein Riesling, 2016.
Golden medals – at competitions IWCB` 2018 (Romania), International Wine Competition Bucharest` 2019 (Romania), Oenoforum` 2019 (Czech Republic), Asia Wine Trophy` 2019 (South Korea).
Silver – Lyon International Competition` 2019 (France), Galicja Vitis` 2019 (Poland).
Commended – International Wine Challenge IWC` 2019 Tranch 2 (United Kingdome), Decanter` 2019 (United Kingdome).
Seal of Approval – Austrian Wine Challenge` 2019 (Austria).
ILLUSTRO Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot, 2015
A classic Bordeaux blend from Moldavian terroirs (vineyards are located in the Leova and Cantemir districts). Earlier, I was fortunate enough to write about wine ILLUSTRO Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot, 2013. The producer did not put wine on the market in 2014 (the first wine was in 2009). As Tatiana Croitoru explained, the 2014 crop could have been bottled, but 2015 seemed more interesting. I add that in general 2015 was an exceptional year for winemaking not only in Moldova, but also in Europe.
It is interesting to compare the harvest of 2015 with the harvest of 2013. It would seem that the same grape varieties from the same vineyards, but the wine turned out to be different, but no less interesting. The ratio of varieties in the blend: Cabernet Sauvignon – 65% Merlot – 35%. The alcohol content is 14%.
In the production of ILLUSTRO red, we used very high-quality barriques from French and American oak of the selection, tradition, rezerva and grand rezerva quality categories, as well as various degrees of roasting. Merlot was kept in barrels with medium frying, and Cabernet Sauvignon was kept with medium plus roasting. That is, for ILLUSTRO red, a total of eight options for the first fill barriques were used within 12 months. The ratio of wines aged in different barrels is not repeated in each subsequent harvest.
It should be noted that wines from the Limited Edition series are only maintained in new barriques. Then we transfer them to the *310 Altitudine series. According to information from the manufacturer, these barrels can be used for a total of 24 months. In addition to saturating the wine with new organoleptic shades, natural microoxidation takes place in them, which has a very beneficial effect on red wine.”
ILLUSTRO red was bottled in June 2018, and remained on the bottle for 12 months before entering the market. By this time, it has been developing in bottles for more than a year and a half.
The wine is a beautiful ruby colour, without colour changes along the edge of the glass, it means it is still young. The first nose is overripe black berries. The black currant, black rowan, blackthorn, black wild dried cherry, wild plum is revealed in the bouquet. A little later, there are confectionary notes, noble leather (expensive purse), light earthy shades, vanilla and a mixture of peppers. Luxurious bouquet.
Silky texture and full body. Good acidity and mature tannins create a perfect balance with alcohol. In a soft, velvety, full taste, a slight astringency is felt, which with the saturation of the wine leaves oxygen. Also on the palate is dried plum, turn. Over time, the taste changes, it already has red cherry, then plum. In a long finish – a pleasant coffee shade. On the second day, the taste became more berry and voluminous, black currant opened in it.
From the 2015 harvest, 12,500 bottles were produced.
Golden medals – Black Sea Region 2017` 2017 (Republic of Moldova), Portugal Wine Trophy` 2017 (Portugal), Galicja Vitis Cracow International Wine Contest`2017 (Poland), Oenoforum` 2017 (Czech Republic), Concours Mondial de Bruxelles` 2018 (Belgium), Galicja Vitis Cracow International Wine Contest` 2018 (Poland), Oenoforum` 2018 (Czech Republic), Asia Wine Trophy` 2018 (South Korea), IWCB` 2018 (Romania), Mundus Vini` 2019 (Germany), Berlin Wine Trophy` 2019, winter (Germany), Challenge Internationale du Vin` 2019 (France), Concours Mondiale du Bruxelles` 2019 (Belgium), Portugal Wine Trophy` 2019 (Portugal), Galicja Vitis` 2019 (Poland), International Wine Competition Bucharest` 2019 (Romania), Oenoforum` 2019 (Czech Republic), AWC Vienna` 2019 (Austria), Emozioni dal Mondo, Merlot e Cabernet` 2019 (Italy).
Silver – Pistonul de aur` 2018 (Romania), Black Sea Region Wine & Spirits Contest` 2018 (Republic of Moldova), Decanter Asia Wine Awards` 2018 (Hong Kong), Austrian Wine Challenge` 2018 (Austria), EurAsia Wine & Spirits Competition` 2019 (Republic of Moldova), Lyon International Competition` 2019 (France), WineUp` 2019 (Romania), Frankfurt International Trophy` 2019 (Germany), Decanter` 2019 (United Kingdome), Asia Wine Trophy` 2019 (South Korea), Decanter Asia Wine Awards` 2019 (Hong Kong)
Bronze – International Wine & Spirits Contest` 2017 (United Kingdome), London Wine Competition` 2018 (United Kingdome), International Wine Challenge` 2018 Tranche 2 (United Kingdome), International Wine Challenge IWC` 2019 Tranch 2 (United Kingdome), International Wine and Spirits Competition IWSC` 2019 (United Kingdome).
Commended – Decanter World Wine Awards` 2017 (United Kingdome).
About wine ILLUSTRO Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot, 2013 can be read here.
Where are these wines sold?
In Moldova, they are widely represented in wine-shops, supermarkets and restaurants. And also sent for export to China, Canada, France, Portugal, Romania, Lithuania.
These wines can also be bought “online” in the store vinhosdamoldavia.com with delivery to all countries of Europe. The site is available in seven languages.