Hello wine lovers!
They are currently cultivating approximately 55.000 vines of nine different varieties. All vineyards are oriented on extreme south and mostly of high altitude. The vineyards are planted at an average of 7.000 low growing vines per hectare and on five different micro locations: Stari d’or, Baredi, Raven, Stena and Ronkaldo.
Their philosophy is fully mirrored in their wine and I’m pasting it here as it deserves to be mentioned: “Wine is the child of grapes, which grew up on a certain soil in a certain land, under the influence of a certain climate and culture, cultivated by a caring hand of the person who nourished it.”
I was impressed with the Stari d’or when I first tried it 4 years ago and I knew immediately it had to lay and mature. Named after the micro location Stari d’or it is a blend of Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Refošk. It underwent a 35 day maceration in 2.200 liters wooden, cone barrel and then laid in barriques (Slavonic oak) for 24 months – 12 months without decanting on own yeasts, and 12 months in 2200 l wooden, cone barrel. During this period it made also malolactic fermentation.
The wine is unfiltered and it should be handled gently, in fact I used a decanter to separate wine from its sediments.
It has a ruby red color, with some shades of garnet, it is clear and rather dense.
Its aromas are intense and fine. It shines in jam nuances of black cherry, blackcurrant, chocolate, licorice, dried tobacco, a gentle hint of vanilla, gently roasted almonds and they just keep coming. A very rich bouqet.
In the mouth it is dry, hot and soft and to my surprise it still has a strong freshness, and present tannins which just started to soften and you notice also its distinct mineralty. All these factors make it a rather balanced wine. It is an intense, elegant wine with a long finish and a robust body.
The wine is harmonious and it can be enjoyed now but I recommend you store it for a couple of years more for its freshness and tannins to soften up a bit more making it more balanced. I’m lucky to have one bottle left and it will lay for at least five years more.
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
Hello wine lovers!
Here I am, writing this post while slowly tasting a glass of Čarga‘s Vinovo – their youngest wine. But let’s take spare some words first on Čarga winery and the Erzetič family proudly standing behind its label.
I had the pleasure of meeting Edbin couple of years ago at a dinner at Vinske kleti Slovenije. Miha, a dear friend, was then organizing dinners where winemakers would come and present their winery, philosophy and secrets. I still remember the dinner, but most of all their Čarvino (sweet wine, made out of dried grapes), so dense we were joking you need a spoon to taste it.
Their approach to wine making is with respect. Every white wine is the result of a maceration and growing in contact with lees, giving it fullness, coherence and a more intense and lasting flavor. Whereas red wine is laid to rest in barrique and large (20 hl) oak barrels. They are also renowned for their sparkling wine – Donna Regina, available in white, rose and red versions, recently also with golden leaves …
I was greet by Martin – Edbin’s son, at my last visit. A brief chat and he was already opening a bottle of Vinovo, a young wine made entirely of Merlot grapes coming from two different vineyards (one from higher grounds, the other lower). It undergoes a 5 day carbonic maceration made famous thanks to Beaujolais Noveau wine, followed by a normal one, resulting in a distinct fruity aromas in wine.
Well my visit to them was because of it. Couple of days ago I saw their image on Facebook and to my knowledge they were among the first putting it on the market – which Martin confirmed.
Vinovo is clear, of a scarlet red color and rather dense.
On the nose is intense, fine and fruity as expected. You sense shades of fresh raspberries, blackberries, currant, in the background hiding shy also an aroma of poppy flower. A rather rich wine aroma.
In the mouth it is dry, rather hot and rather soft on the other side it is fresh, rather tannic and tasty, rather balanced. It is intense, gentle and of a rather long finish and full-bodied.
A harmonious, mature wine ready to be enjoyed now with let’s say roasted chestnuts.
Here are some impressions I took at the visit to the winery
Here’s also a nice animation presenting their lovely estate … Did I mention you have to pass a renovated roman bridge to get there?
Hello wine lovers!
We’re continuing our disovery of Slovenian wine at the North-Eastern part of our country. I am writing this time about Renski rizling (White Riesling) wine produced by the Kupljen family from the Podravje region. To point more exactly the microlocation is Jeruzalem hills – famed from ancient times as an excellent location to grow Riesling.
The Kupljen family produces wines from vineyards located in Jeruzalemsko-Svetinjske gorice hills. Their beginnings date as back as 1836 and to mention from recent history Jože Kupljen was among the first Slovenian winemakers that launched Vino Kupljen as a private label in 1976. The Jeruzalem hills area is renowned for emphasizing fruitiness, freshness and minerality in wine and you really sense this in their wine.
I got the pleasure of tasting this Riesling at a beneficial event a dear friend and well known wine expert – Mira Šemić hosted and I knew right away I had to share the impressions with you.
This wine is the result of a late harvest. And you can sense all the benefits of over matured grapes involved in the production when tasting it. It pictures of a golden color, it is rather dense and crystal clear.
What hits you are its intense aromas of ripe fruit like peaches, mango pineapple, a citrusy hint of pomelo and also hints of tarragon and dried pelargonium flower. And of course its distinctive mineral aromas of petroleum with a hint of flint too. A very reach bouquet.
In the mouth it is dry, warm and soft but also fresh and of a pronounced minerality. Both sides are playing nicely in between, making it quite balanced. It is an elegant, intense, full bodied wine with a long finish.
A harmonious, mature wine which is now at its best shape. If you manage give it a try.
You can order it online here.
This post is about one of those wines you don’t just open at any occasion. And such was this case. It was a special celebration among friends and family joining together and having a nice time, celebrate and learn something new about wine. This Pinot blanc was the surprise of the night and judging by the feedback it left a huge impression.
This wine pictures itself in a godlen tone of old gold with intense shades of older gold on borders, it is crystal clear and of a rather density.
It is intense and very fine on the nose, with a very rich bouque of aromas like honey, acacia, over dried fruit like pineapple, citruses, dried camomile, straw, varnish and they keep coming. Well it was sealed for 31 years.
It is dry, rather hot and soft. Rather fresh with a distinct mineral presence making it a rather balanced wine, the harder side is prevailing. It is a noble, intense and persistently robust one for sure. A harmonious, mature Pinot Blanc which still hasn’t said it’s last word and can easily be stored for a couple of years more … A must try!
You can find it in vinska klet Goriška Brda‘s stores, I advise you first check the availability.
Aaaah the Pikolit, a grape that almost fell out of the radar, as its growing is demanding. It tends to develop floral abortion – a malady where the flowering buds don’t develop properly and often fall off resulting in smaller crops. You can see an amazing image of the grape here.
You’re probably familiar with Italy’s DOCG Colli orientali del Friuli Picolit often vinified in sweet or medium sweet versions, but you can find it also in Slovenia. Here it is spelled PiKolit though and you will find also dry versions of it. An interesting thing is that you find Pikolit wine also in the Vipava valley district but usually there it is used to name sweet wine from dried grapes – though some producers planted recently some vineyards with it.
The Pikolit I’m writing about is a 2009 vintage and Ščurek family produces it with pride and loving attention, as they do with all their wine. The grapes passed through a 24 – hour maceration and the wine was laid to rest in new acacia and oak barrels for 18 months.
In the eye it pictures with a golden yellow color with intense borders shading of an amber color, crystal and on the denser side.
On the nose you are hit with intense, very fine aromas of ripe yellow fruit like quince, European pear, dried flowers notes like acacia, with a herbal note of sage, spices – vanilla and I even sensed some scents of hay, definitely a very rich bouquet.
In the mouth it reveals to be a medium dry, warm and soft, just to be followed by its freshness and tastiness. The play of sides is really interesting as it presents a nice balance in its sweetness and freshness though the hard side prevails, but just for a little.
The wine is mature and it will be kept at life for quite some time by both alcohol – measuring 14,5 %, and freshness. A harmonious wine, ideal to be either enjoyed alone, or with aged cheese or why not trying it with a nice dish of gnocchi with truffles …
If you’re in China, you can meet in person Stojan Ščurek and with him you’ll also have the chance to try Steyer and Santomas wines from Slovenia. They are at the Langham Place – Hong Kong today with the World’s Leading Wines Event, tomorrow they’ll be in Shanghai and on the 1st November in Beijing.
You can find this exact Pikolit here (with international shipping).
… 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.
Hello wine lovers! Well here we are again and this time I’ve got an interesting story, a story of passion & love. It all began a few months ago when a gentleman by the name Nicholas Gee contacted me if I could write about his wine. I didn’t think twice so we met in Ljubljana. OK … where’s the passion so far? Well as curious as I am I wanted to know as much as I could about his philosophy, winemaking, his views etc. And quite a chat we had!
Nicholas is from New Zealand, yes you read right, New Zealand! After graduating his thirst for knowledge led him across the World. He worked in 14 wineries in 6 different countries (New Zealand, Australia, Germany, France, USA and Slovenia). Combining his knowledge, experience and what he learned working with different winemakers has helped him to fully shape his own winemaking philosophy. He avidly believes that wine is made in the vineyard than it is the winemaker’s duty to express it as best as possible in the wine.
OK so we covered passion and one part of the love side, but why a guy from NZ is in Slovenia? When I asked him this question he smiled and said that he never would have imagined to end in Slovenia, but then again you never know who you’re gonna fall in love with. On a trip to Paris, France he met Marija and then in the city of love magic happened. They got in love, Nicholas moved to Slovenia and now they’re expecting their first baby. Now ain’t that a fairytale?
I’m telling you this because all of this is perceived in his wines. You can find them under the label Heaps Good Wine. If you find the name strange, well Heaps Good means that something is really good and so far I’m impressed. They produce 3 wines Sivi Pinot (Pinot Gris), Modra Frankinja (Blaufränkisch) and Modri Pinot (Pinot Noir). This time I’ll be writing about his Modra Frankinja, 2010 vintage.
The maceration took 21 days, 10 of it were at a controlled temperature of 8˚C. Then after the pressing it laid in French barrels (one 1 year old and one 2 year old). The wine endured a natural malolactic fermentation and after its completion it was racked off lees to a tank, sulphured and then returned to barrels. It was bottled in September 2011.
The wine is of a crystal garnety red color and has slightly purple borders. Of a quite dense consistency.
On the nose it is quite intense. At first I’m hit by a peppery note mixed with a note of cloves. Then it starts opening into notes of mature red fruit like cherries, blackcurrants jam, a hint of dried flowers, wood and a buttery note. A wine of complex and fine aromas.
A sip to wash the mouth and then another to fully taste it … Dry, warm and quite soft. Fresh, quite tannic and tasty. Quite balanced but its roughness prevails a bit (acids). A wine of a good, fine structure, intense with a quite persistent finish. Of a fine taste.
The wine is mature but this does not mean it has come to its end, quite the opposite I’d like to taste it again in 2 years. Its looks, aromas and taste make it a harmonious wine.
Here’s a list where you can find Heaps Good Wine’s wine. I’m sure it won’t be difficult to spot their distinct label, which really stands out. Try it and share your thoughts with me. I’ll be glad to read them and I’m sure Nicholas will be too.
Until the next post – Cheers my friends!
Spring is in its full bloom, sun is high and it all has the looks of a special day, one of those that you just need to celebrate with a glass worthy of it … It has to be not an ordinary one, it has to be one of those you’ve been keeping away on your special shelf. You know those bottles we all have stored for some special occasions and are usually covered by dust …
So it went … A look on the shelf stopped at it, shiny and resting, a bottle of Burja Noir, 2009 produced by Primož Lavrenčič, the master behind Burja Estate. We’re talking about a Pinot Noir here. Even though Primož is an enthusiast of local varieties he’s growing it as a challenge and an homage to Burgundy. And what of an homage we’re talking here …
Growing in windy Vipavska valley on marly soil the grapes are picked from 12 – 20 years old vines, 12 days of maceration and a controlled fermentation of 20 – 25 °C then laid to rest for 22 months in mostly barrique (10 % new).
The wine is clear of a red ruby color with a pronounced garnet shade. Quick turn in the glass to reveal we are dealing with a consistent Pinot Noir.
The nose is intense, complex and fine. A fruity aroma of ripe fruit like plum jam, Marascha cherry in brandy, chocolate, caffe, vanilla, black pepper, tobacco leaves, licorice, underwood and a note of venison. I also get some mineral – graphite notes.
A first sip to feel it is a dry, warm and soft wine while on the other hand it is a fresh, quite tannic and tasty. A full-bodied, balanced wine of an intense, persistent and fine taste.
The wine is mature and harmonious. I wouldn’t mind leaving it to rest for at least 3 years before trying it again again.
You can buy Burja Noir here and as I hear there are not a lot of bottles left. Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it sipping this wonderful Pinot Noir.
Cheers my friends!
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.