May 2014 2
Hello wine lovers!
If you happen to visit Ljubljana you’ll definitely enjoy in its beauty and what it can offer to visitors from all parts of the world. While walking around old Ljubljana town be on the lookout for a tiny little store named Balthazar. It is a recent addition to the wine scene in Ljubljana and is located just on the mid-way towards Ljubljana castle at Gornji trg 22.
In this little store you can find a lovely selection of wines from renowned Slovenian wine makers (Edi Simčič, Movia, Kabaj, Marjan Simčič, Batič, Rodica, Guerila, Joaness – Protner), but also selected wines from other countries, various liquors and tasty ecological delicacies from Dolenjska region. The selection is already broad and they keep on expanding it.
They are organizing various tastings and I’m helping there with different courses all related to wine. Couple of days ago we prepared an introduction course on how wine is made and how to taste it. The audience was thrilled and as it looks it will become a regular thing there …
You can drop by their Facebook page and give them a like to stay in touch. Or even better, drop by the store and enjoy a sip of some lovely wine … And if you’re interested in having a tasting or wine course just let them know (or leave me a note).
In below gallery you can get a look at how lovely Balthazar looks like and how we enjoyed in our wine trip … Photo credit goes to Polona Novak and her smartphone, images are unfiltered and unprocessed 😉
Hope to see you there and cheers!
Hello wine lovers!
What a treat I have this time for you. Finally we are touching ground also at our Posavje region. It’s surface consists of 2.700 hectares of vineyards and is divided into 3 wine districts:
- Bizeljsko – Sremič (862 ha)
- Dolenjska and (1.475 ha) and
- Bela krajina (366 ha).
Today we are stopping in Bela krajina and since we are here we must mention – Otmar Šturm. Oti, as friends call him, is not only known for his multiple times awarded wines, but also as being one of the most innovative wine makers from the region. In times when Posavje was not know as warranty for high quality wines he chose to walk the path of quality. Focused on low yield, he’s making wines that are reach with aromas, full bodied and persistent.
This example says best; eager and full of enthusiasm he went buying a vineyard in 1993 without looking what variety was planted. Later he found out it was Gewürztraminer which at the time was not on the list of suggested or allowed wine varieties there. According to Slovenian legislation you cannot put on the label a vintage that is not on these lists so he managed to obtain all documentation as white blend, allowing him to put the wine on market. This wine is now found under the name of “Prepovedani sadež – Forbidden fruit” and its 2007 vintage was awarded with Silver medal at Decanter’s Wine World Awards in 2012. And this is just one of the cases.
You can sense Otis decision in this Pinot noir. After the picking grapes went through a 14 days maceration. Oti jokies that it lasted for couple of days more, until at the end only seeds were floating on top – and these seeds are then used to make a delicious bread. After that wine was laid into a mix of new and used barrels for 2 years and left to ferment on lees, where it also went through malolactic fermentation. At end the wine was bottled without filtration.
This Pinot noir is of a ruby red color with garnet shades, it is quite consistent and crystal clear.
On the nose it is intense and fine, with aromas of preserved fruit like plum and sour cherry jam, dried flowers, spices like cloves, liquorice and vanilla, dried tobacco, chocolate, ethereal and a gentle hint of roasted almonds and graphite. It is packed with an ample bag of aromas.
Its taste is dry, warm and soft, on the other side fresh, tannic (tannins are starting to round) and tasty. A balanced, intense, elegant, full bodied and persistent Pinot noir that is harmonious and ready to be enjoyed now. You can easily forget it in your cellar for tannins to round more and it has a good aging potential.
I was lucky to attend sommelier course with Oti this year, getting to know him and taste his wines. I still have some, so you can expect some related posts. Oti is also taking care of Metliška črnina website which is a nice source for wine news from the region. If you find yourself in Metlika I advise you to visit its castle. You’ll be able to taste Šturm wines in the restaurant and enjoy in local delicacies – Oti is owning the place there, so chances are you’ll even meet him in person.
Until the next time, cheers!