Why Not Red Misket

Jul 21, 20 Why Not Red Misket

I’m always on the lookout for wines from relatively unknown regions or varieties that have almost been forgotten. Red Misket is one of those grapes. It comes from Bulgaria and is enjoying a bit of a revival from two young Bulgarian winemakers.

The Winemakers

Petar Georgiev and Radostin Milkov have worked around the world; in USA, New Zealand and Austrian wineries, as well as several other wine producing countries. When they decided to start making wine in Bulgaria they opted to grow indigenous varieties of the region rather than the more common international grapes like Chardonnay, Merlot or Sauvignon Blanc. They wanted to highlight the locals, so to speak: Mavrud, Rubin and Red Misket.

The Winemakers Petar Georgiev and Radostin Milkov

The Grape

Georgiev and Milkov don’t currently have their own vineyards but they have travelled the length and breadth of the Thracian Valley. They believe it is one of the best areas for grape growing in Bulgaria and they wanted to find just the right sites for their project. Red Misket is only found in Bulgaria and it has been growing in this region for many years. It is, however, a difficult grape to work with and most winemakers shy away from it. It is a pale reddish-pink colour but is used to make white wines. It often reaches high levels of sugar (18-21%) once it’s mature. Usually it is blended with other varieties (Dimiat, another indigenous variety, and Riesling).

Petar and Radostin decided to vinify this wine dry and have not allowed it to spend any time on the skins. 100% Red Misket, it’s aged for 2 months in tank with battonage twice a week and then aged in the same tank for another 3 months. The vines are 45 years old which gives the wine depth of flavour.

Red Misket on the vine

Tasting Note

I refer to this wine as a blanc de noir because it has that hint of red fruit on the palate and a certain weightiness that I always associate with blanc de noirs. The wine is almost water clear with slight tinges of yellow and green. I found it to be quite aromatic, white flowers and citrus being the most significant.It’s an elegant wine with plenty of volume despite appearances and a refreshing, citrus finish to it. Dry but balanced. You can drink this on its own or have it with mild cheeses. I tried it with a creamy vegan cheese spread and it was very delicious.

The Why Not Red Misket is available at Hootch Wine Cellar in Dalston, retailing for £15.99.

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