Hello wine lovers!
It’s the first day of 2014 so let me start it in due manner – with some wishes may 2014 be your year, a year of stars, love and sparkles, cheers!
And I will be cheering on this side with this Refošk, from Slovenian Istria region. Coming from Santomas, owned by the Glavina family from the hills of Šmarje pri Kopru. They own approximately 20 hectares of vineyards, mostly dedicated to Istrska Malvazija and Refošk, but they nurture also Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
On the market you can find Santomas’s two distinct lines of wines. One is dedicated to fresh wines that are put on the market the year after picking. The second is a line dedicated to nurtured red wines from vines that are growing on their best plots, from grapes that endured a rigorous selection and are later refined in oak barrels. Inside this line you’ll find following wines – Refošk Antonius, Cabernet Sauvignon Antonius and Grande cuvée.
Santomas is cooperating also with a renowned French oenologist – Claude Gros, from the year 2000. I had the pleasure of meeting him few years ago when they organized a memorable blind tasting and dinner at their cellar. Scroll down to see images from the tasting and if you’re traveling around make sure to stop there as the estate on its own is something to see.
Back to this Refošk now. This wine was given to me by a dear friend at a celebration for my graduation for 2nd level Sommelier and as the occasion calls time has come to taste is. We can see from the name that this one is from their top line and the name is also telling us the micro location of where Refošk grapes were grown – Sergaši. The fermentation was controlled in between 25 to 28°C, followed by a 30 day maceration. The wine was laid in new french barriques for 24 months where it did also the malolactic fermentation.
This wine has a deep ruby red color, it is clear and dense.
On the nose it is intense and rich, with very fine aromas of black cherry, blueberry and black currant jam, chocolate, dried tobacco leaves, vanilla, licorice, black pepper, roasted almonds …
In the mouth it is dry, warm and soft on the other hand it is fresh, tannic and tasty. Tannins are really present though the wine is still balanced. It is intense, elegant and has a robust body with a long aftertaste.
The wine is harmonic and ready to be enjoyed now, but I advise you keep it somewhere stored as its tannins needs some softening. I’d like to taste it again in 10 years to see how it has developed.
No wonder Santomas was mentioned also in A. Jullien’s book Topographie de tous les vignobles connus already in 1832 – as you can read on the back-label of the bottle.
You can find Santomas wines around the world, here’s a list of their distributors.
Images from the blind tasting that was held in December 2009. Santomas wines were keeping it up really nicely compared to some of the most know appellations.
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.