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Looking for a Sub-£10 Bottle of Pinot Noir? Romania Takes Gold

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Romanian producer wins three Gold medals in Pinot Noir blind tasting competition, beating winemakers from 16 other countries spanning the globe

[London, April 9 2024] – Romanian winery Cramele Recaș has been recognised as producing some of the best affordable Pinot Noir wines in the world at the Global Pinot Noir Masters 2024.

Three wines, all under £10, from Cramele Recaș were awarded Gold medals by three different panels of expert judges, including Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers (widely considered to hold the highest mark of expertise in the wine trade).

Among thousands of entries in the prestigious competition, organised by leading trade publication the drinks business, only 23% won a Gold or Master medal, the top two accolades available, putting Cramele Recaș in the company of the world’s best. According to the rigorous judging criteria, a Gold medallist must be ‘a brilliant wine that is a benchmark for its type’.

During the competition, judges tasted Pinot Noir wines from 17 different countries in a blind-tasting format, with no prior knowledge of the country, wine producer or region. The only information they were had was the price band of each wine and its category (ie. Whether the wine was sparkling, unoaked red, oaked red, etc.).

As expected, Pinot Noir powerhouse France was one of the big winners in the contest, but French producers saw stiff competition this year from Romania, which stood out in the under-£10 category, proving that it excels at making high quality yet affordable Pinot.

Patrick Schmitt MW, chairing judge at the Global Pinot Noir Masters and editor-in-chief of the drinks business, called Cramele Recaș a “star performer in 2024”, commenting: “if you thought it wasn’t possible to make fruity-fresh Pinot at less than £10, this Romanian operator has managed it”.

Cremale Recas Sorcova Pinot Noir 2022 won over the judges with its soft and ripe red berry fruit flavours, alongside notes of creamy milk chocolate. Schmitt added: “the fact that it packs this much punch for not much more than a fiver in the current inflationary environment is nothing short of remarkable”.

Cramele Recaș’ Paparuda Pinot Noir 2022 was described as “simple but elegant” by judge Patricia Stefanowicz MW, whose panel admired the purity of red berry fruit, making the wine juicy yet almost dry, with lively acidity and feather-light tannins.

Cremale Recas’ Zana Pinot Noir 2022 was praised for its “fresh, aromatic charm with floral nuances allied to raspberry fruit elegance”, in the words of judge Neil Sommerfelt MW.

Producing high-quality yet affordable Pinot, Romania benefits from a Mediterranean climate and is positioned on the same latitude as Bordeaux, making it an ideal place to grow a range of grape varieties. Cramele Recaș, with vineyards dating back to the 15th century, is now the leading winery in Romania.

Cramele Recaș’ wines are available in the UK at Waitrose and through merchants including Corney & Barrow, The Whisky Exchange and Adnams.

Read the full results of the Global Pinot Noir Masters 2024 in the drinks business here: https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2024/04/the-medallists-and-top-10-findings-from-the-pinot-noir-masters

The Global Pinot Noir Masters took place in London on the 14th of March, as one of the 28 Global Wine Masters competitions scheduled for 2024.

About The Global Wine Masters Competitions

The Global Wine Masters have rewarded excellence in winemaking since 2013, helping quality brands to stand out and consumers to drink with confidence. Through its unique structure – defining categories by grape variety or style rather than region – the competition series lets the finest wines in the world compete against each other. Every competition is judged by the very best palates in the world: Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers and senior buyers. The Global Wine Masters award wines with Bronze, Silver and Gold medals, and Master medals for the very best entries, with the results of each competition published in the drinks business magazine.

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