Mihaela de Poix, CEO SERVE Ceptura: US appraisers are starting to get acquainted with Romanian wines
#SERVE #PrimiiInRomania #GuyDePoix #FeteascaNeagra #PesteAsteptari #DealuMare # 90PuncteParker
“The beginning of 2021 comes with good news for Romanian wine producers, as well as for enthusiasts. On the one hand, a Fetească neagră (from Dealu Mare) breaks the 90-point barrier in an evaluation signed by specialist Mark Squires for RobertParker .com (Wine Advocate) – one of the most influential profile publications worldwide.”
translation of article:
Feteasca Neagra Guy de Poix, the only local variety with 90 Parker points. Mihaela de Poix, CEO of SERVE Ceptura: US evaluators begin to get acquainted with Romanian wines
The beginning of 2021 comes with good news for Romanian wine producers, as well as for enthusiasts. On the one hand, a Fetească neagră (from Dealu Mare) breaks the 90-point barrier in an evaluation signed by specialist Mark Squires for RobertParker.com (Wine Advocate) – one of the most influential publications in the world.
On the other hand, almost an entire file is dedicated to Romania: “Eastern Europe & beyond. Reflector on Romania with infinite values ”is the title of the article, in our approximate translation (and where“ values ”also contains a reference to the lower price level – the editorial note). In total, 41 wines received evaluations (20 reds, 2 roses, 19 whites), all from 84 points upwards, including three of 90 points (one, even 90+) and three of 89 points. I spoke with Mihaela Tyrel de Poix, CEO of SERVE Winery in Ceptura, the producer of the only local variety with 90 points and who participated with 13 wines out of the 41 evaluated by Mark Squires
90 points, given that the 2016 harvest was extremely problematic
Guy De Poix 2016 is the only Feteasca Neagra in Romania with 90 points (“remarkable wine, with exceptional character and complexity”). Was 2016 a special year or did this harvest just reach Squires? We had from the beginning the ambition to put Feteasca Neagră on the map «grands vins» (great wines – number) in the world; we believed a lot in this variety, and this is a sign that we are starting to get to where we set out to be 25 years ago. It is known that 2016 was one of the most difficult in Dealu Mare – as an anecdote, Mark Squires did not even want to evaluate wines from 2016, he knew it was a year when crops were lost in southeastern Europe from due to the weather conditions that especially favored the hand of the vine. All the more so our wines stood out – as one of the few that managed to pass the trials of the year. It should also be noted that Eastern European wines – and Romanian in general – are very little known to US evaluators, who only a few years ago began to get acquainted with them, which is why we are even more proud of the score.
The results from Wine Enthusiast are also expected
You had 13 wines evaluated for RobertParker.com, all rose above 85 points (in fact, only three of them got 86, the rest being above this score) – which is absolutely honorable. Did you select them, did someone else choose them or how did they end up being tasted?
We have had a collaboration in the USA market since the 2000s, with the company Terra Firma, which over time has gathered in its portfolio several Romanian wines; because we have been working together for a long time and we have proven our seriousness to each other all this time, we decided together that our strategy should evolve towards the promotion of premium Romanian wines and on the very competitive market in the USA. This is the second year in which we present a collection of the best wines from the SERVE portfolio to both Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast (from which we have not yet received the results).
Very important is the evaluation that takes into account the price
How do you think these scores reflect your own internal evaluations or those from the competitions where you participated? It is a correct assessment, especially since it is made in correlation with wine prices. Many of your readers know the increasingly heated debates on the prices of Romanian wines; having the vineyards in Dealu Mare, so generous with the quality of the grapes and so pretentious with the care of the plantations, we are very concerned that our positioning in the market is correct and aligned with any similar wines in Europe.
In fact, lately we have decided to focus exclusively on competitions that take into account the prices of wines, just to confirm our position. And we were not disappointed. And for Feteasca Neagră Guy de Poix we aim to get over 90 Parker points.
The influence of these scores is very high all over the world. There are reactions from European importers
– Do you intend to use the scores on the bottles on the shelf? How much does appearing on such a list help you, concretely, with this score and in such an article dedicated to Romania? Do importers call you more?
As we are not talking about shelf wines, we intend to communicate these scores so as to strengthen our consumers’ trust in the wines we make. As far as exports are concerned, we already have reactions from our importers in Europe; the influence of these assessments is very high worldwide, we must recognize.
Exploring Feteasca Neagra must continue, even if it’s kind of capricious
– And, finally, a question for SERVE as part of the Association for the promotion of a step – and an image – of high quality of the Dealu Mare region: in front of this excellent evaluation for a Feteasca Neagra, how do you see the role of this variety in “identity blend ”Of this region: as a stand-alone variety or in partnership with several other varieties (and if so, in what proportions)?
Wine question: Feteasca Neagră is our soul variety so much that in the early 2000s we created a nursery – especially to produce our Feteasca Neagră plants as we wanted. However, it is not an easy grape to grow: it is «capricious», as we say when no one hears us. For this reason, we believe that at the level of the Dealu Mare Association we should also allow assemblies with 20-25% international varieties or other Romanian varieties grown in the area. As for us, SERVE, we will continue the series of Feteşti that we named Guy de Poix in memory of the one who rediscovered this variety in Dealu Mare and who was one of the founders of SERVE.
Feteasca Alba also enjoys appreciation and can become an identity for Dealu Mare
– Can we also find a pair for Feteasca Neagră, a white wine that can be “identity”, defining for the area? Which?
From our point of view, it is Feteasca Albă – already very appreciated by those who came to know her (the same mention regarding Feteasca albă as the white “equivalent” of Fetștii negre is made by Mark Squires, in his article – no).
In Dealu Mare, the joint promotion will continue
– Speaking of Dealu Mare, what other news are you ready for?
I’m glad you’re asking me: we want to continue in 2021 what we started in 2020 in Dealu Mare: events organized by as many wineries together, and as often as possible (at least once a month). We want to use the advantage of approaching Bucharest to bring, together, our contribution to educating consumers of all ages about Romanian wines.