On The Road 12
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!
Finally December is here, Advent time has come and all the lovely festivities and celebration times are ahead. This is one of the dearest times of the year for me. We started with celebrations past Friday with my mom’s birthday and we will be cheering up until mid February in between Xmas and birthdays …
There was a fair in honor of St. Andrews in Gorizia (IT) near the border with Slovenia past week-end. Whole Gorizia becomes a place of numerous stands where you can enjoy the famous Piadina, Fritella and buy as much Nougat as your teeth can handle. To top it all there’s also a Luna Park to boost some adrenaline in your veins.
This year though the must-stop-by was because of the Mostra Assaggio Vini event which was held in the immediate center of the city. The organizers re-dressed and abandoned store – Larise – for the occasion. Until Monday eve visitors were able to taste wine of numerous producers coming from nearby borders and enjoy in delicacies like Fonda’s Sea-bass, Rosa di Gorizia radicchio, ham baked in pastry and wild boars goulash with polenta.
There was Kabaj Jean M from Šlovrenc – Goriška Brda with all of his wines, to mention also a new wine – Corpus, made out of grapes from 80 year old vines.
Mavrič prom Plešivo – Goriška Brda with his high extract, dense and varietal wines also quite high in alcohol (see image gallery below).
JNK from Šempas – Vipava Valley and their macerated versions of Rebula, Malvasia, Chardonnay – I managed to taste the Rebula 2007 vintage a well balanced mature wine.
Pipo from Ajdovščina – Vipava Valley with some interesting Sur-Lie matured Zelen wines.
Overall the event was a nice occasion to meet with producers and friends, taste their wine and exchange impressions. Visitors also agreed such events are missing in Gorizia and that organizers should repeat it at least once per month. Well, I agree so if any of the organizers is reading this post I hope we will be seeing again soon.
Hello wine lovers!
This post is coming still from under a huge impression of yesterday’s dinner featuring some of Movia’s best wines. It was organized by Mira Šemić and held at restaurant Strelec at Ljubljana’s castle.
And what a dinner it was …
Mira is one of the biggest names of wine in Slovenia, she’s a 3rd level sommelier, WSET degree 3 and currently en route towards Master of Wine certification. She’s hosting a series of wine lectures known as Mira’s little wine school, where she shares her knowledge with the audience, but also organizes a series of exquisite wine events and trips. She is also very active as speaker on various wine events. This time we had the pleasure of tasting some of the best vintages of Movia, carefully stored and matured in her private cellar.
… wines that were complemented to perfection by some of the best dishes I’ve tasted so far. It was for a long time I was waiting to taste some of Igor Jagodic’s food. I’ve been following his work already from times when he was cooking at Vila Bled. Some months ago the news came he was moving to Ljubljana and that he would be hosting at Strelec restaurant, the newest addition to Kaval Group‘s venues, so the anticipation was really big, I’d say comparable to a child’s impatience on Christmas morning …
We greet with the group on the castle’s wall and soon we got the first taste of the symphony to come … Movia’s Puro Rose – 2002, made entirely out of Pinot Noir. A special sparkling wine that doesn’t need presentation for those who know it, but allow me to share it’s story for the rest.
Puro’s life starts with the base, made out of Pinot Noir wine. Late harvested grapes and fermented on own yeasts which Aleš makes out of 5 % of same pre-harvested and fermented grapes – a practice he does for all of his wines. It undergoes a one day maceration process in large tanks, followed by a gentle pressing and then it is laid to develop for four years in barrique barrels on lees, without racking. Then they only add must to the wine and it is left to re-ferment in bottles.
What is special about Puro is that it doesn’t go through the dégorgement process in fact the sediment is left in bottles on purpose as yeasts preserve it giving it a very long life. You find it sold in bottles turned upside down, laid in special cones and the opening process is a bit special, giving it even more charm. I’ll let Aleš himself explain you how it’s done in the video below …
The Puro 2002 shines of an amber color with copper shades in its brilliance. It’s bubbles are fine, abundant and persistent and it is dense. Its nose is intense and very fine. With a very rich bouquet of aromas of rye bread crust, buttery, brioche notes, dried fruit, toasted coffee … It is dry, rather hot and soft on the other side it is fresh and tasty. A well balanced sparkling wine of an intense taste, elegant quality, a long lasting taste and of a full body. Harmonious and mature and with a whole life ahead …
Along with Puro we were greet by the chef with Duck and pistachio confit, duck liver with red cabbage pure drops and egg royale with red wine reduction. An intricate play of flavors and taste with wine and also the sweet wine reduction in the egg royale was spot on.
Entrée time with baked and marinated beetroot, beetroot reduction, honey, matured balsamic vinegar, goat cheese foam and herbs were chef’s choice to complement Rebula 2000.
The Rebula 2000 has a bright, dark amber color and is dense. The nose confirmed that the dark shades are because of the sherrifycation which has started. It has an intense, rather fine and rich nose of over dried fruit like mango and pineapple, hints of honey and varnish, green tea and straw … The taste is dry, rather hot on the other side it is rather fresh and tasty. It is balanced and of an intense taste. It still is elegant and long lasting and has a full body. It is a harmonious wine, but if you have a bottle drink it now as it is already coming to its finish.
The cheese foams softness, sweetness of honey and freshness from the beetroot were making an amazing play of flavors and senses with the Rebula.
For the second course we were served with pan seared pigs tail, pigs cheek ragù, potato purée, pumpkin gnocchi, red wine reduction sauce and grated truffle. An earthy addition to the wine Aleš likes to present as “Flying rocks” – Lunar – 2007.
This Lunar is made of Rebula. Aleš developed specially shaped iron toppings for barrique barrels. Whole grapes are stored in and left to ferment. The wine is unfiltered and bottled straight from the barrel under a full moon. As a result it should be handled with delicacy due to its sediment.
But let’s hear the presentation from Aleš himself and if you want you can also watch here a video about Lunar decantation.
The wine is of a crystal clear golden yellow color and is dense. The aromas are intense and very fine of dried fruit, various jams, spices, licorice, but also a distinct marl mineral note (hence the flying rocks). It is dry, hot and soft. But also fresh and tasty and if you’d serve it in black glasses you’d probably say it could easily be a red wine – you notice also tannins. It is a balanced wine of an intense, long-lasting taste. It is elegant and full bodied. A harmonious mature wine that had no problems coping with the dish. In fact they were elevating each other …
A brief pause and here it was on the plate poached Zlatovščica trout fillet and caviar, potato and garlic purée and chips, with herbs and cucumber foam and herbs oil. A perfect match for the Veliko belo – 2002.
Veliko belo is a blend of Rebula (70 %), Sauvignon (20 %) and Pinot blanc (10 %). At first it fermented in large tanks and then it was laid to mature for 3,5 years in French oak barrels and then laid to rest in bottles. It shines of a golden yellow, crystal clear color and is dense. On the nose it is intense and very fine, with aromas of dried fruit, green tea, thyme, spices and also has a note of baked almonds, a very rich bouquet. It is dry, rather hot and soft on the other side it surprises with freshness and its mineralty. A balanced wine of an intense and elegant taste. Full bodied and wit a long-lasting taste. A harmonious and mature wine which still has a long life ahead.
Ah time for the main dish and this time topped by 2 excellent wines. Owen baked deer loin rolled in bread, with chervil purée, deep-fried chervil root and black walnut – the last a genius topping to Merlot.
The Pinot Noir is shining in a bright, ruby red color and is dense. It has an intense, fine and rich nose of roasted plums, dried fruit, flowery pelargonium note, humus and forest undergrowth notes. It is dry, rather hot and soft, on the other hand fresh, tannic and tasty. A well balanced, elegant, intense, full-bodied wine of a long-lasting aftertaste. Harmonious and mature wine with still life in it.
The Merlot on the other hand is showing a bright, garnet red color and is dense. Intense, fine and rich aromas of black cherry jam, dried raisins, walnut liquor, chocolate, leather … and they just keep coming. A dry, hot and soft wine, still fresh with rounded up tannins and tasty. A balanced, elegant wine of an intense, long-lasting taste and of a full body. A harmonious, mature wine probably at its best shape now. However you should notice that this wine was appearing still playful and younger in another bottle, this is to be attributed to micro oxidation of the cork.
Igor played with flavors and textures on the desert too, literally spoiling us with quince ice cream topped on buckwheat breadcrumbs, panna cotta, dark chocolate and chestnut ganache and chestnut foam.
And, as for the night given, we ended in big with a selection of matured cheeses and Veliko rdeče – 1995.
Veliko rdešč is made with Cabernet sauvignon (70 %), Merlot (20 %) and Pinot Noir (10 %). It matured for 6 years in French oak barrels and then waited in the bottle until coming of age to be opened at this special occasion. It has a deep, ruby red, bright color and is dense. The nose is intense, very fine and very rich with aromas of black cherries jam and other over ripe fruit, chocolate, dried tobacco, leather and it is just developing and opening … Dry, hot and soft, fresh, tannic and tasty. Tannins barely starting to round up, probably to be attributed to Cabernet sauvignon … A balanced, noble wine of an intense, long lasting taste and a robust body. A harmonic wine which still has to reach its maturity.
This was a dinner I surely won’t forget and hope that I was able to share with you at least a bit of the symphony of aromas, flavors and senses we had the pleasure to enjoy. Mira’s presentations were excellent and going in details. I’m thankful that I was able to be a part of this event, tasted some wines that are really rare to find and finally be able to enjoy in culinary delicacies of chef Igor Jagodic … Thank you!
Hello wine lovers!
Now this time I’m writing about an event that deserves the attention of every single one of you out there …
Mark your calendars Saturday 16th at 19:00 for an unforgettable dinner at Strelec restaurant, located at Ljubljana’s castle. You’ll be able to taste some of the best, carefully matured wines from Movia – a wine cellar that doesn’t need introduction.
Starring that night in all their maturity, softness and fully developed tertiary aromas are:
- Puro – Rose 2002,
- Rebula 2000,
- Lunar 2007,
- Veliko belo 2002,
- Pinot Noir 1997,
- Merlot 1994 and
- Veliko rdeče 1995.
One of the best chefs from Slovenia – Igor Jagodic, will be indulging us with the following menu:
- Roasted and marinated beetroot, beetroot reduction, honey, aged balsamic vinegar, young goat cheese, young goat’s cheese foam and herbs.
- Pig tail, pumpkin gnocchi and truffles.
- Poached trout fillet, crispy fried trout tartare, potatoes and garlic puree, potato chips and garlic, trout roe and chive oil.
- Deer with chervil root and black walnut.
- Panna Cota, chestnut and dark chocolate ganache, chestnut, quince ice cream.
- Selection of cheese.
The event is hosted by a dear lady of wine – Mira Šemić, who will share extensive details on wine and combination of food with us. Definitely an event you cannot miss.
The dinner with wine included costs 90,00 Eur and the interest is big. You can book your place at this phone number, hurry up: +386 41 672 773
… or the ”Brike” of Slovenian wine to be correct :). If you’ll be in Ljubljana next Tuesday the 28th then you have to stop at the castle from 7:30 PM. This time it will be the women from Goršika Brda or, as we locally call them, ”Brike” who will be presenting the wine.
Not only will you taste Goriška Brda’s finest wines, but you’ll also have the chance to meet the women that are tied to winemaking & business.
For all of you visiting Vinitaly this year I have some nice news. Goriška Brda’s winemakers will be at PAD6, stand C4 united under the yellow colour of Rebula / Brda.
Besides Rebula you’ll be able to taste different wines produced by 11 winemakers present. If you’re interested in knowing more about Slovenian wine this is a chance you cannot miss. You’ll be able to meet the following winemakers:
With them also Andreja Lajh of Carpediem club will be there, and will be glad to introduce you to them. She’ll be there Monday, 26th March from 14:00 – 20:00 and Tuesday 27th of March from 10:00 – 14:00. You can also confirm your presence at the Facebook event page.
As promised here’s some news from the Malvazija tour. I hear all stops of the tour have been a total success so far and if you still haven’t attended any, here’s a post that will surely make you change your mind… (more…)
Hello wine lovers!
It’s been a while but I’ve been busy lately, hence the luck of updates. OK, let me start this years posting with an invitation to the Malvazija festival or as the official name goes ”Malvazija the Mediterranean noble taste”. It is already the 12th edition and is organized by the Association of winemakers from Slovene Istra. The festival is a 2 day event and is held March the 28th and 29th at the Manzioli palace, Izola. (more…)
Hello wine lovers!
I left you with the first part of the Slovenian Wine Festival impressions, where I presented winemakers and wines from wine region Podravje and Posavje. I left a wine region out of the report for a reason… (more…)
Hello wine lovers!
It’s been a while after the festival and here I am, with a brief report and the first part of mine impressions…
As you noticed in my previous post, the festival was divided into 2 venues. The venue at hotel Union was mainly reserved for the promotion of winemakers that are part of the Family estate association, there was also some room for wines of foreign countries and other major resellers presenting their catalog range. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the venue at hotel Slon, so I can’t say much about that. (more…)