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by Fred McMillin
for April 7, 1998
A Bargain from Bulgaria
In Bulgaria, Merlot exceeds beyond all expectations.
...British wine authority Hugh Johnson
The Vini Winery's '95 Merlot from the district of Sliven is full bodied, appealing and full of plum-blueberry flavors. Great value. FIVE STARS.
...Restaurant Wine Magazine
The Vini '95 Merlot of Sliven has good varietal character, firm, flavorful, yummy, with chocolaty notes on a lingering finish.
...The Wine Spectator
Sounds like a good $15 Merlot to me...but NO! Would you believe...SIX BUCKS!
If you can't locate a bottle, phone Vance Petrunoff in Sonoma at (707) 939-8719. He imported 20,000 cases.
1995 Merlot, Sliven District, Bulgaria
Man's first wine may have fermented in the Bularian area. Archaeological evidence indicates wine was made there 8,000 years ago.
Sliven is the name of a town and a wine district lying between Sophia and the Black Sea. It produces an astonishing 10 million gallons of wine a year.
The Romans established a fortified trading post at Sliven. So, with his imports, Vance Petrunoff is simply continuing an old Sliven trading tradition.
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