From the Oltina DOC appellation in Dobrogea in Romania, this is a 50-50 blend of the native Fetească Neagră with the better-known Merlot.
Alira is an 80-acre boutique winery on the hills overlooking the banks of the Old Danube. The name Alira is a merging of the names of the localities of Aliman and Rasova where teh vineyards are located and where the wine is born on the banks of the Danube. The wine tradition in the area reaches back millennia, with pieces of evidence dating back to Geto-Dacians times. New life was breated into it in a modern way by the French oenologist Mark Dworkin, who had an intuition regarding the potential of the place.
50% of the wine was matured in new French oak barrels while the other half was kept in used barrels for 11 months.
This is a wonderful, complex wine with and abundance of cherry and blackberry notes, also spices, mint, vanilla and balsamic vinegar. It's rich and powerful with dark chocolate and spices, yet subtle with fine, well-integrated tannins and long finish.