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The Fetească Neagră Grape

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About Fetească Neagră

(Synonyms: Coada Rândunicii, Fetyaska Chernaya, Păsarească Neagră, Poamă Fetei Neagră, Schwarze Mädchentraube.)


Map showing modern Moldova

Fetească Neagră is an old red-wine grape originating in Moldavia (a region that comprises today’s Republic of Moldova plus the Moldova region of Romania). Its plantings have now spread into the surrounding areas of Transilvania and Hungary, though most today comes from Romania.

Fetească Neagră is another of those delightful Eastern European wines that was almost wholly destroyed by the Soviet regime when those nations were “satellites” of Russia, where quantity was the sole criterion, quality apparently having been an unknown concept to the Soviets.

Fetească Neagră wines can cover a broad spectrum of styles, but are probably at their best when made as light, fresh, and fruit-driven, intended for early consumption. Heavier styles, with oaking used to moderate the “heat” from the variety’s inherently high alcohol content, are not reported as great successes. But when well-made as a young-drinking wine, it is considered a success indeed. To quote the eminent wine reviewer Jancis Robinson, “They are typically dry and full-bodied with intense, complex aromas of spice, both red and black fruit, especially ripe plums, and tannins that can become velvety as they age. The variety…can easily be over-oaked.

Factoid: Fetească Neagră is one member of a trio of Fetească wines, the other two being the white-wine grapes Fetească Regală and Fetească Albă, both also rather good.

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Some Descriptions of Fetească Neagră Wines

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Some Fetească Neagrăs to Try

(About this list.)

Their are scant offerings of Fetească Neagră available in the U.S., which is a shame. Fortunately, one big nationwide retailer carries a couple of bottlings (both from the same maker).

Image of Recas blue-label bottling. Recaş “plain” Fetească Neagră

These folks bottle many, many different versions of Fetească Neagră, often hard to distinguish. This bottling, with the blue label (as shown at the right) is—so far as we can determine—sold only at Total Wine outlets, and is not listed by Wine Searcher, CellarTracker, or 1000 Corks. We think it equal or superior to their “La Putere”, shown below.

Recaş “La Putere” Fetească Neagră
(This is but one of several bottlings from this maker.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks.

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For a Splurge

We could find no reasonably available Fetească Neagră wines better enough than those listed above as to justify a “splurge” price.

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This page was last modified on Saturday, 30 October 2021, at 11:26 pm Pacific Time.