Mark Squires, a wine critic and member of the worldwide known Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate team responsible for, in particular, East European wines, has published the tasting notes on two Fanagoria wines, for the first time presented in the rating list. The wines A Hundred Shades of White Chardonnay 2016 and A Hundred Shades of Red Saperavi 2016 received 89 and 87 points, respectively.
For forty years, Robert Parker’s rating system has been determining the destiny of most wines worldwide, and the fact that two Fanagoria wines from the same line extension entered the category of wines “displaying various degrees of finesse and flavour as well as character,” is quite telling.
“Wines rated above 85 are good to excellent;” “many of the wines that fall into this range are often great values as well. I have many of these wines in my personal cellar,” Parker’s Wine Buyer’s Guide.
Mark Squires has highly assessed the life potential of A Hundred Shades wines. Not all wines are destined to develop for a long time: some of them can ‘live’ for several months to several years. Mark Squires, puts the drink dates for the 2016 Saperavi 2016 as 2020 –2028, and for the 2016 Chardonnay – as 2020–2026.
Let us now turn to the tasting notes:
The 2016 Chardonnay 100 Shades of White “shows good concentration and fills the mouth nicely. The wood shows up fairly often, giving it a moderate caramel-and vanilla overlay, but it does not destroy the wine. The mid-palate is solid enough to counter at least some of the wood. The structure here is good and the fruit easily survives. The finish is admirable, showing some length and grip. Overall, I rather came to like this as it aired out and warmed up. To its credit, it improved as it did. This is a wine that calls out for a good pairing, of course.”
The 2016 Saperavi 100 Shades of Red “is too affected by the new wood, but it does have some virtues. For one thing, it has some elegance in the mid-palate. There’s a tasty conclusion, plus velvety texture. The tannins are not hard, but there is support for the fruit. This still has a chance to get a little better, but it doesn’t have a lot of upside potential.” Mark Squires, The Wine Advocate #247.
In different years, the both wines were recognised the best white and the best red Russian wines, correspondingly. Besides, the 2015 Saperavi 100 Shades of Red was for the first time in the history of Russian winemaking awarded a platinum medal of the 2017 Decanter tasting competition in London, receiving 95/100 points.
The 100 Shades wines are aged for at least 12 months in oak barriques, and thereupon for at least 6 months in bottle. The idea of the style of these wines was put forward by the international winemaking consultant John Worontschak, who has been cooperating with Fanagoria Estate Winery since 2004.
Chief Oenologist Yuri Uzunov and Red Winemaker Roman Tcaciuc were quoted as commenting on the news that the awards are not the most important thing: “Of course, we do hope that all wines we craft deserve highest possible awards. But we would like to emphasise that we do not make wines for the contests; all wines given there come from our regular assortment. It means that the wines that were scored so highly are by no means some singular specimens made for the competition. These wines are available in shops. Altogether, we made 10,000 bottles of the 2016 Chardonnay 100 Shades of White and 19,000 bottles of Saperavi 100 Shades of Red. As for the awards, they serve as an additional proof of the fact that all we do with the wine, all production technologies starting from the vineyard are done correctly.”