Chef – an exclusive series of wines from Castel Mimi – just for restaurants

Castel Mimi has released a unique series of wines for serving in restaurants – Chef HoReCa Edition. For Moldovan wineries, such point work is not typical because it is expensive. But it speaks about the special attitude of the producer to his business. The presentation of these wines took place on March 5 in the castle built by the last governor of Bessarabia, Constantin Mimi.

Why wines for HoReCa?

Castel Mimi, one of the major Moldovan producers, has chosen to support local companies with established cooperation. 

“The growth of companies with activities related to ours has a favorable impact on ours and all businesses in the region,” says Adrian Trofim, the general director of Castel Mimi. – “We will steadily support our partners – suppliers of raw materials and, of course, HoReCa – with everything we can. Our winemakers, with the chef of the restaurant Bufnita Alba, located in the castle, decided to create a series of wines exclusively for collaboration with their fellow culinary professionals and restaurateurs. We will generate interest in this lineup and recommend these wines to be tasted in restaurants in Chisinau and beyond.”

The perfect choice

The Chef HoReCa Edition includes four wines – two whites (Chardonnay and Cuvée Blanc) and two reds (Cabernet Sauvignon and Cuvée Rouge). This choice was made because, with this composition, the series is so easily accepted by restaurant staff and meets the demands and needs of restaurant guests.

“Having a rich experience in the restaurant business, we analyzed and collected all the most frequent requests and for our customers’s wishes. And the whole series has turned out to be our well-formulated and balanced answer to consumers when choosing a wine for a dish,” said Adrian. 

It is important to emphasize that all the wines in the Chef HoReCa Edition have been created specifically for this project and not just designed with new labels. The emphasis here is on their gastronomic character, i.e., their combination with food.      

Speaking of design

The “modest” classic design of the label draws attention. Castel Mimi believes this series does not need an overly colorful label and decided to limit themselves to the image of the castle itself. It turned out to be minimalistic and beautiful – quite in the aesthetics of Castel Mimi.

Let’s talk about the contents. I tasted these wines twice – on my own (so it took a long time) and at the presentation in the castle in a shorter time.


The grapes for these wines were grown in the Central Zone, near the village of Speya. The harvest was carried out manually into crates. Bunches of white varieties were picked in three stages when the berries reached different degrees of ripeness. In some cases, the phases of the moon were also taken into account. It allowed winemakers to create blends for premium series, even from wines of one grape variety.

All wines in the series were aged (partially in one case) in new oak barrels made from different types and sizes of oak. This careful aging process contributed to enriching the wines with nuanced characteristics.

One more important detail – pay attention to the cork! The wines are sealed with DIAM-5 corks. It prevents cork taint and ensures excellent development in the bottle.

Chef HoReCa Edition Chardonnay, 2021

This Chardonnay 2021 underwent a meticulous aging process, beginning with six months on fine yeast lees with batonnage in stainless steel tanks. Subsequently, it matured for 12 months in 225-liter Moldovan oak barrels and 300-liter French oak barrels. Renowned for its timeless appeal, this Chardonnay exemplifies the harmonious relationship between the Chardonnay grape variety and oak, retaining its refreshing character and drinkability.

The color of the wine is yellow, with a sheen. The bouquet is a symphony of ripe and fresh aromas, a testament to the meticulous three-stage grape harvest. Notes of baked apple with cinnamon, zesty lemon, vanilla bean, cut pineapple, juicy pear, jasmine flowers, liquid honey, toasted bread, and brioche intermingle gracefully. At a tasting event at Castel Mimi, the Chardonnay was presented in a specially designed glass, enhancing the intensity of flavors and unveiling new nuances such as banana and fresh quince.

The wine boasts a luxuriously soft and buttery texture. On the palate, flavors of apple, lemon zest, vanilla, and toast intertwine seamlessly. A lingering finish, characterized by hints of lemon zest, vanilla, and a subtle minerality, further underscores the wine’s elegance and finesse.

With an alcohol content of 13%, this Chardonnay, fortified by its oak barrel aging, promises excellent aging potential and continued refinement over time.

Chef HoReCa Edition Cuvee Blanc, 2022 

A blend of Pinot Gris (93%) and Viorica (7%) grape varieties.  The Pinot Grigio was processed in the style of Pinot Grigio in steel, while the Viorica was aged for eight months in a French barrique.  The wine had a ‘cold’ style, similar to Italian wines from Alto Adige in northern Italy. The wine is straw-coloured, with lustre. The initial aroma is rather subdued, which is expected for a Pinot Gris wine, as it shares similar aromatic characteristics with Sauvignon Blanc.  Some wines contain aromatic substances in an under-synthesized form. They need oxygen to become “full” and open up.  Therefore, it is recommended to allow the wine to breathe before serving. After about 30 minutes, I returned to the Cuvee Blanc and found it to be improved. This suggests that offering pre-aerated wine in restaurants on a side-by-side basis could be beneficial. 

The aroma reveals lemon zest, meadow herbs, rose, a hint of boussouillon (basil), vanilla, salt, hazelnut, ripe nectarine and melon. Delicate wine texture. 

On the palate, pleasant, refreshing acidity, hints of lemon zest, vanilla, melon, and melon aroma on the palate. In the long aftertaste – lemon zest, vanilla, nectarine, and light minerality. Alcohol content – 13%.When well chilled, this drink is perfect for summer due to its high acidity, which provides a refreshing effect.   


What should be served with? 

The 2022 Chef HoReCa Edition Cuvee Blanc is a versatile wine that pairs well with a variety of dishes, including cheeses, seafood, pasta carbonara, dorade, semi-greasy fish dishes, lean poultry, and salads.   

Chef HoReCa Edition Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019 

The Cabernet Sauvignon underwent 12-15 months of ageing in American and French oak barrels, resulting in a classic wine with excellent ageing potential (15% ABV).   

The wine has a very dark colour, appearing ruby at the edge of the glass.  The initial aroma presents notes of overripe blackberries. Decanting Cabernet Sauvignon is recommended.  I observed this wine evolve in the glass for two hours. 

The bouquet presents scents of sour cherry, black rowan, prune, dried cherry, fruit tree resin, cigar box, saffiano, dried blackcurrant berries, black pepper, and eucalyptus. On the second day, light vanilla and blackberry notes emerged.   

The wine exhibits a light and pleasant tartness on the palate, with notes of black forest berries and dark chocolate. The tannins are velvety, and the aftertaste is long and expressive, with a slight astringency and hints of dried cherries, dried plums, tart cherries, tobacco, and chocolate. This is a powerful wine, yet it is not harsh, and it has a delicate texture that delicately showcases the oak influence. Overall, it is an excellent example of Cabernet Sauvignon.   

What should be served with? 

With this wine, it is recommended to pair it with steak. Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019 is an ideal pairing for dishes that require more complex treatment and preparation of meat – dry-aged steaks. It goes well with dishes with wild mushrooms, with dishes that have rich meat or mushroom sauces, with meat with the addition of spicy herbs. An uncorked bottle of wine can be stored in the fridge for several days without any loss in its taste and aroma.   

Chef HoReCa Edition Cuvee Rouge 2020 

The wine blend comprises Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Saperavi (20%), and Merlot (20%). The wine components were aged for 15 months in French and American oak barriques. This wine has great potential for development with an alcohol content of 15%.   

The colour of the wine is a dark ruby. The initial aroma presents notes of overripe berries and fruit, indicating a potentially intriguing wine. My expectations were met. Cuvee Rouge has a beautiful bouquet. It reveals sweet overripe cherries, raspberry jam, blackcurrants grated with sugar, nutmeg, black pepper, tree resin, eucalyptus, tobacco leaf, earthy notes, chocolate-covered prune candy, turf, saffiano, a hint of aged cheese, liquorice, dried black bitter cherries, broken pomegranate, blackberries and violets. All of this emerged in the glass over the course of about two hours. It is therefore advisable to pour the wine into a decanter or at least a jug.   

The texture is silky. The palate reveals notes of dried cherries, black cherries, and dark chocolate. The tannins are ripe and slightly sweet. The long aftertaste is savoury and features hints of cherry, prune, black wild cherry, and chocolate, which alternate with each other. The 2020 vintage produced exceptional red wines, including this serious yet not heavy wine.   

What should be served with? 

Cuvee Rouge pairs perfectly with filet mignon. It also complements spiced roast lamb shank, honey-glazed pork ribs, and grilled vegetables.   

“Red wines were created to complement meat dishes. Because the name of the restaurant “White Owl” famous for its meat dishes, we decided to produce two wines that can be paired with many meat dishes – be it duck breast magret, sous vide or tender aged meat.  Castel Mimi is a meat importer due to the insufficient availability of quality meat products in the market,” Adrian Trofim noted. 

The Chef HoReCa Edition wines are limited to a maximum of 3,500 bottles each. They are exclusively available at the Castel Mimi on-site shop.   

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