Hello wine lovers!
Well it is time to bring some really exciting news from the US. 2 of our wineries have been selected as top 100 wineries of the year according to the Wine & Spirits magazine! As it reads they have tasted more than 14.600 wines at Wine & Spirits offices in NY and SF and these wineries came on top in delivering quality and consistency across a range of wines. This year the honor is on Kabaj and Movia, both from Slovenia’s Goriška Brda wine district. The announcement can be found here.
A French touch at Kabaj estate in Šlovrenc
Kabaj winery is not new to the list, in fact they were on it already in 2013. Kabaj Jean M., the mastermind behind the winery is native to Paris. His life took him first to Italy. Having met there his future wife Katja he moved soon to Goriška Brda and is living there since 1989. They have 2 daughters and the older is already helping him promoting their wines, but has also an important role in the wine cellar – but let’s leave this for another post.
At Kabaj they are focused on producing full bodied, oak matured wines. A typical varietal selection from this districed focused on white wines from Rebula, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignonasse (or as they call it Ravan), Pinot Gris, Sauvignon and since recent Corpus – a blend of Rebula and Sauvignon both in equal parts. And to the reds including Merlot and Cuvée Morel – a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. They are also producing an amfora wine, according to the Georgian tradition. A white blend of Rebula, Malvasia and Sauvignon Vert (Sauvignonasse).
Their yearly production is around 60.000 – 70.000 bottles and their focus markets are USA, Japan, recently China and are also well noted in Italy. In USA they are distributed by Blue Danube wine.
Movia, a wine institudion in Medana
It’s been more than 200 years since Kristančič, the family behind Movia have been making wine in Medana. After WWII their estate remained in private hands. It is due to their constant delivery of quality that they became the exclusive suppliers of wine for protocol occasions of the then Yugoslavian government in 1958.
Aleš, the mastermind of Movia has been one of the first winemakers to organize from the remnants of cooperatives and launched the winery that soon became a true institution in Goriška Brda. Having probably the biggest estate in Medana, with vineyards extending over 22 hectares, it’s own line of wine glasses, it’s been also nominated as a wine innovator and a guy which charisma is probably unprecedented in the wine world. No wonder he’s was lecturing about wine marketing at our Sommelier course.
Producing a whole range of wines, from varietal to blends, not to forget the sparkling Puro and Lunar wines. Among the withes you can find Rebula, Sauvignon, Pinot Gris and Veliko belo – a blend of Rebula, Sauvignon and Pinot Gris. While among reds Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Veliko rdeče – a blend of the three mentioned beforehand. And you will find also special lines of wines like Vandima Turno and Vila Marija, as well as a dessert wine Essenca.
Movia wines are currently being sold in a large number of markets around the world.
An event not to miss
If in San Francisco 20th of October than save the date and book your ticket. The 12th annual top 100 tasting is happening at the Metreon. You’ll be able to taste wines from all of the 100 best wineries and have the chance to meet in person both Aleš and Jean.
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!
Let me start this with a toast, a toast to Jean Kabaj, as the occasion calls with his Luisa, vintage 2010. I’ve presented briefly Jean and his Amfora in one of my previous posts and the toast this time is well deserved. Jean made it to the top 100 wineries of the year according to Wine & Spirits magazine! And lucky as I am, I managed to catch him at home right after his return from the tour around US, having the pleasure of exchanging few words with him and his wife Katja.
Chatting with Jean, a French oenologist who years ago moved to Goriška Brda, is always a pleasant experience, decisive, focused, deep and straight forward those are the adjectives that would best describe him … And so are his wines.
I’m toasting with Luisa, 2010 vintage – a blend of Pinot Blanc, Chardonay and Rebula. It is named after his grandmother – Luisa. Earlier this wine was called Luisa Prestige and it was the first wine that introduced me to Jean’s wines. Luckily I still hold one bottle of the 2001 vintage carefully stored as it has great aging potential.
Luisa fermented in large (2.400 liters) oak vats, then it was laid in French oak barriques for 12 months and 4 months in bottles before entering the market. Its color is of a deep golden yellow notes, is dense and crystal clear, literally shining in the glass.
The nose is intense and very fine, with aromas of mature fruit like peaches, apricots, pears, you also sense a citrusy aroma of lemon. A lovely aroma of thyme in the background, but also aromas of vanilla and acacia flower. A very reach bouquet.
On the taste it is dry, hot and soft and on the other side fresh and tasty – confirming its brilliance. A balanced wine of with an intense and elegant taste that has a long finish and a full body.
A harmonious wine that can be easily enjoyed now or left for a couple of years to mature even more.
Jeans wines are available in the US at Blue Danube Wine for ordering on-line but it should also be easy to find them in some of the best wine bars over there. If you find yourself cruising through Goriška Brda make sure to stop at Šlovrenc where you’ll be able to also enjoy in some of their exquisite cuisine – in this period you’ll probably stumble across Jean in front of the oven making some delicious pot-roasts.
And if you’re near Gorizia – It this week-end come to Corso Verdi 65, you’ll be able to taste Kabaj wine.
It has been archeologically proven that Georgia is the cradle of winemaking. The tradition dates to around 9.000 BC when people discovered that grape juice was turning into wine when left buried in shallow pits through the winter. Georgians nourished this discovery and started making wine in large clay vessels named “kvevri”.
In Slovenia a dear friend of mine – Jean is reviving this tradition and producing wine like the antique Georgians did. Yesterday I spent a wonderful day at Kabaj estate and today I found this video about the making of Amfora. I’m still under a strong impression after yesterdays tasting and can assure you that wine done in this way is special. If you close your eyes and taste it, it will feel as tasting a full bodied red wine. A detailed description of Amfora is on the way, but for now enjoy this truly educational video.
You can find more about winemaking using this method on Xeloba Kartuli’s website.