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The Mavrud Grape


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About Mavrud

(Synonyms: Kachivela, Mavro, Mavroud, Mavroudi, Mavroudi Boulgarias, Tsiganka.)

Background

Map showing Bulgaria

Mavrud is a red-wine grape originating in Bulgaria, probably in the vicinity of Asenovgrad (in the West Thracian Valley of southern Bulgaria); it appears to be quite an ancient grape (and wine-making in that region is well established as quite an ancient art: roughly 50 centuries’ ancient). The wine’s name derives from the Greek word mavro, meaning “black”, which gives a clue as to its appearance. Mavrud remains today a virtually exclusive product of Bulgaria.

Mavrud is considered to be an excellent grape, and is slowly starting to become better known in the West (as is its Bulgarian stablemate, Melnik). Mavrud wines are big, dark, tannic and acidic; they are thoroughly age-worthy, and are usually barrel-aged in oak, though by report unoaked renditions are also quite successful; oak-aged wines reputedly acquire overtones of chocolate and cacao. The aromas and flavors are typically of dark fruit: blackberrries, mulberries, and prunes are often cited. There are often also herb/spice qualities as well. The wine itself is medium- to full-bodied, sometimes said to be almost viscous.

Factoid: Mavrud, like many wines, comes with a legend, too silly and tedious to repeat here, but see Wikipedia.

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Some Descriptions of Mavrud Wines

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Some Mavruds to Try

(About this list.)

Regrettably, many of these wines have only limited availability; for all the Mavruds we could find, the wine search engines usually show only one retailer (of course, there can be many more, especially smaller, local shops, that aren’t getting listed on the search engines). What we have done below is to provide our usual sort of listings for the few Mavruds that have received sufficient reviews to show on Wine Searcher’s “Tasting Notes” page, then, after those, a summary list of all the other Mavruds, all unreviewed.


Villa Yambol Mavrud
(“Thracian Lowlands” appellation, Bulgaria)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” 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



Tsantali “Maronia Vineyards” Mavroudi
(Thrace appellation, Greece)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” 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



Domaine Boyar “Royal Reserve” Mavrud
(“Thracian Lowlands” appellation, Bulgaria)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” 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


The other Mavrud wines that wine search engines find are these (links are to their CellarTracker pages):

Notes on the two Asenovgrad wines:

The following two wines, from the same winery, present problems with searching and listing, because retailers seem either unknowing or uncaring about their own listings, making it very difficult to see who is actually offering (or describing) which.

The Asenovgrad winery apparently produces at least three distinct bottlings of Mavrud: “Asen’s Fortress” (which may be their basic bottling); “Reserve”; and “Special Reserve”—and possibly one or two more. The biggest problem is that the “Asen’s Fortress” is sometimes just listed as “Asenovgrad Mavrud”, but there are plenty of other confusions as well (for instance, spellings of the winery as “Assenovgrad”.)

Label of Asen’s Fortress Label of Special Reserve

We have tried to help by showing the rather distinctive labels (taken direct from the maker’s web site) of the two wines listed above: the “Asen’s Fortress” is on the left and the “Special Reserve” is on the right. But probably any Mavrud from Asenovgrad is worth trying.


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For a Splurge

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

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This page was last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020, at 3:52 pm Pacific Time.