Visit and Tasting at Crama DAVINO, August, 24 2022 by Julia Scavo

Visit and Tasting at Crama DAVINO, August, 24 2022 by Julia Scavo

Visiting Davino for the second time since the new cellar has opened its doors to tastings in 2018 gave me the feeling of entering another dimension of the Romanian wine landscape. Since my last visit in 2019, the pandemic had put a brake, but here we were thanks to Irinel Macici´s generous invitation to have a tasting with emblematic Bogdan Costachescu, the winemaker of Davino for 20 years now ( also being one of the co- owners).


This new boutique, cutting edge of technology tool, complements the original cellar existing since 2005 on the famous Ceptura cru of Dealu Mare. Davino never wanted to expand its capacity through building this winery, but simply aimed to push the quality to the very pinnacle on the same area under the vines.   Unlike many Romanian estates that grow numerous grape varieties on the same terroir, Davino has preferred to stick to 3 whites and 3 reds.  Bogdan was trained in France, expressing his love for Bordeaux  through the Château- like management of the estate: The state- of- the- art gravitational cellar, as well as its superb barrel chamber (only Romanian oak nowadays, from Vallach and Transylvania Bois) allow him to fully accomplish it.

The vine culture is as close as possible to organic, with a rigorous plot division, including some high-density plantations.  From mass selections for some grapes to the best adapted clones for others, Bogdan has the choice to source the best material using a harvest recipe of his own: later than his neighbors, but without falling into overripening. Manual harvest at 5am, triple sorting (in the vineyard, in the destemmer, on the sorting table), no pumping, peristaltic tiles, a surgeon’s precision that the tasting reveals from the first cuvées to the top wines.

Făurar 2021 (Sauvignon Blanc, Fetească Alba, Riesling Italico) expresses itself fresh and Sauvignon- ish with lovely vibrancy and delicate silkiness, packed up with a dense leesy texture and lingering with blossoms and zests, an excellent entry-level.

Iacob 2021, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Fetească Alba, taking more on the side of the latter by its floral, peary delicacy with fresh and juicy core and harmonious palate lingering with flinty notes and sappy bitter glints. Superb purity of the Fetească Alba from the oldest vines of the estate with the famous Alba Valahica 2021 label, replacing the temporary “Monogram” brand, while Revelatio 2021 (Sauvignon Blanc and Fetească Alba in 500l Taranssaud barrels, only exception to the Romanian wood) offers the reductive Sauvignon Blanc footprint with a ripe, almost exotic feel, great concentration, and depth of flavours, showing perfect harmony between freshness, drinkability, and mouthfeel. A sapid, almost saline wine without any woody pattern, lingering with diff and decadent elderflowers.

The intermezzo, Domaine Ceptura Rosé 2021 is rare true saignée offering ripe Jonathan apple and strawberries with almost autolytic lees impact, a full but elegant table rosé with a pretty phenolic mesh and chewy savouriness.

“Purpura Valahica” (temporarily replaced for a while by “Monogram” Red) is one of the most beautiful expressions of the Fetească Neagră in the Dealu Mare, sourced from the first massal selections of this emblematic grape variety, just like those from SERVE. The 2016, is rich and solar, with slight tertiary development. Concentrated currants, morello cherry, delicate smoke and meaty character, a pulpy and satiny Fetească whose gentle acidity and grainy sapid  are wrapped with layers of generous texture bursting with meridional spiciness.

Domaine Ceptura Rouge 2017 (Fetească Neagră, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) is another kind of animal with vibrant nose  mingling fresh black fruit with mint, toast and blossomy notes of violet flowers. Fresh, with salivating acidity, silky and tasty tannins with a perfect mastery of the oak that complements the pungent Fetească varietal spices with hints of cinnamon and cloves.

The Icing of the cake – Flamboyant 2018 (dominant Cabernet Sauvignon, complemented by al Fetească and Merlot) … with pristine blackcurrants, cherries and floral volatility complemented by fine balsamics and dusty cocoa. Finesse, vibrant acidity, silky mouthfeel that coats up the sophisticated, fine- grained tannins, Mediterranean scrubland for a long and sappy aftertaste.