Last weekend, my friends David and Sylvie brought us a red wine from Bulgaria with an interesting name and label. They found it at a small Palo Alto food store specialized in world products, including some delicious French frozen desserts and various wines from Eastern Europe.
The wine was called No Man's Land. According to the label, No Man's Land is a 5 mile strip of land in Southwest Bulgaria that used to separate the worlds of Socialism and Capitalism. During the cold war, it was a horrific place for those who dared to escape the Socialist Countries, hoping for a better life in the West. Nowadays, it is an environmental paradise — pollution free and a preserved wildlife — where the vines have grown free.
The wine is produced by Damianitza, a winery established in 1940 and located in the Struma river valley in Southwest Bulgaria. The Struma river valley is a warm and dry region with hilly terrains of volcanic origin, maybe one of the best wine regions in the country. The 2003 No Man's Land Silver Label is a blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. It had a dark color and a mix of herbal and dark fruit scents on the nose. On the palate, it was medium-bodied and bone dry (we were afraid it would be sweet). The wine worked nicely with our grilled lamb chops and tasted better served slightly chilled.
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