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Lovico Gamza 2011Lovico Gamza 2011

I’ve tasted and sipped this fruity, savoury, and very inexpensive red wine twice now: First at Christmas over a family dinner, and more recently at my Sniff and Sip wine workshop as one of the wines I poured. The agent who imports this Bulgarian red described it as Pinot Noir-like. And it is, in that it’s lighter in body and colour, and goes well with turkey dinner with cranberry sauce as I discovered at that Christmas dinner. But that’s where the comparison ends. Its aromas are nothing like Pinot Noir – especially for Pinot Noir lovers, myself included. Once you don’t compare it in this way, you’ll find it’s got quite a lot to offer for $13. More simple than complex with red berry fruit, a savoury character, sweet spices, and enough acid to sip with food. Earlier reviewers and those who’ve drunk it younger have told me it was overly tannic then. It’s no longer. Drinking beautifully now. And for $13. Wow. One of a very small number of red wines I’d recommend under $15.

Story Behind the Sip

Lovico is the name of this line of wines and the name of the winery itself. Established in 1909, Lovico Lozari Winery is the oldest in Bulgaria after starting out as a cooperative. Winemaking has been practiced for more than three millennia in this part of the world, but despite its long vinous heritage, this tiny country’s current wine industry is only about a hundred years old, marked by trials and tribulations with the rise and fall of communism. Gamza is the name of the indigenous black-skinned grape. It’s known as Kadarka in Hungary.

Where to find it: Distributed by Radev Trade in western Canada. Here in BC, you’ll find it at BCLiquor Stores and many private stores as well.


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