Happening Now Tasting 25: Līgatne Vīna Brūkleņu pussaldais vīns, Gauja Latvia

I am not quiet sure how to start this post. I better keep it short and let the tasting note speak for itself. Might be the best way to handle something like that! Just a few facts in advance: First – I never ever had something like that before in my life, which makes me a perfect expert to assess this indeed pretty special stuff; Second: I really don't know what to expect from this stuff, haven't encountered too many cowberry wines so far; Third: the berries for this "wine" from Līgatne Vīna were harvested in the area of the National Park of Gauja, mostly woods and swamps, in central Latvia, were fermented for approx. 12 months and the juice haven't been enriched at all; Fourth: What the hell ... let's see how this stuff is rocking ….

5:40 pm (popped and poured)

Colour: visually this stuff looks like a fresh Zin Rosé, perhaps a bit pale and a bit scarlet, obviously quite a lot of carbonic acid left, a bit viscous – by the way the bottle was corked with a natural cork, a rather crude one

Nose: not too appealing so far, hardly any fruitful characteristics, it appears rather austere and stem'y, a bit smoky, a bit tar'y (wet tar), a bit green (assorted and undefineable) and emanating the typical odour of rowanberries in mommy's garden, let's wait a bit

Taste: far different, first of all it is semi-sweet, but not excessively candied; it is fruitful – mostly blood orange, orange jelly, tart cranberries and a few traces of rowanberry marmalade; there is a certain stem'iness and herbal character to this “wine” as well; there is even some mentionable acid as well; surprisingly not too short at all

9:21 pm

Nose: getting a little bit more enjoyable; not as austere and stem'y as it was about four hours ago, now there are distinct features which remind me of cowberries, rose-hip marmalade and coconut water, besides that there are arising herbal fragrances of mild wormwood and aniseed; still so far it isn't a highly appealing nose … but it is heading in a more convincing direction

Taste: overall more intense and punchy; the fruitful flavours are about the same, perhaps there are some additional flavours of coconuts and coconuts oil; from the herbal side the vermouth'y features are gaining plenty of ground, they appear surprisingly aromatic and dense; in the past four hours there was plenty of movement towards pleasure

6:05 pm (the day after)

Nose: Those impertinently displeasing nasal nuances vanished overnight, now those expressive palatal aromas of various fruits have finally entered my nose, these aromas are vital, not too bold and even a bit subtle

Taste: remains on a good level of quality, today there might be some additional nutty flavours (a bit unripe almonds) and a substantial shift to more green’ish earthy robustness (I really don’t know what I am trying to express here – let’s say it got a bit more edgy and perhaps brawny). 

2:02 pm (the day after the day after)

Still pretty much the same like yesterday. Very solid, dense, unusual and not too simple - you never know in case of fruit wine, I expected something more chummy and "slow" - stuff. For adventurers definitely worth a try! I suggest a very fruitful sorbet or some other fruit-driven dessert. It is screaming for it! Well, I enjoyed it very much!

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