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An intense and opulent Southern Balkan red made with indigenous grape varieties.
While Macedonia is a good place to look for excellent and good value glugging wines some of their more upscale wines have a harder time finding shelf space which is a bit of a shame as this beautifully textured red amply demonstrates. It's a blend of the indigenous varieties, Vranec and Kratoshiya, which may not be well known but given that the latter is genetically related to Primitivo that will give some idea where this one is coming from. After fermentation 80% of the wines was aged in French oak barrels followed by a minimum of six months bottle ageing. It has complex and elegant aromas of blackberries, plums and cherries that combine with subtle hints of vanilla and rich toasty notes. The mouth-filling palate of ripe berried fruits shines against a mineral backdrop before leading to the long lasting finish.
The 2016 deservedly won a gold at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards. It's one to match with grilled, or roasted red meats.
Suitable for Vegans
The Tikves Winery is based in the town of Kavadartsi in the the Balkan country of Northern Macedonia. First established back in 1885 they've been producing wines ever since despite being in a part of the world that has seen many political upheavals during that time.
After 1945, when in Tito's Yugoslavia the winery was nationalised and targets were based on quantity rather quality. However since the 1990s things have changed somewhat. While it remains one of the largest wineries in the Balkan region the current owners, the M6 investment group who took over in 2003, have changed things around completely. In 2010 a French wine consultant, Philippe Cambie, from the Rhône Valley, was brought in and alongside Marko Stojakovic, head winemaker, who grew up and studied in France before returing to the Balkans they head up the team who craft their range of quite impressive wines.
Their focus is very much on indigenous varieties which, while often being tough for western european tongues to pronounce, are easy on the tongue when it comes to the drinking and have certainly begun to make an impact. For example their Barovo 2015 single vineyard red picked up a platinum medal at the Decanter World Wines Awards 2018. Northern Macedonia is somewhat off the beaten track, but at Tikves the wines being made easily stand comparison with many of the better known wine producing nations.