What a wonderful day I’ve spent today. Vipava valley, the village of Podraga. A manor, which records can be traced back as far as 1683. This is where Matej and Carolin are building the story of Cultus. A story which we’ll discover sipping their red blend assembled of 43 % Merlot, 43 % Cabernet Sauvignon and 14 % Pinot Noir.
Just stepping onto this manors’ courtyard, you sense the history. But what strikes you is the amount of work, or as Matej says, “our life project”, that the young couple has put on themselves as they set on renovating the entire property, primarily by themselves. And while doing so, taking care of vine-growing and winemaking.
We’re sitting below a 300-year old yew tree, listening to the flow of the nearby stream and the story of how it all started, the ancient history, where we learn that general Rudolf Maister visited the property two times to see the extensive library it once hosted and to buy some books and a coffin. And then we jump to the nearby vineyard to see where it all happens, learn about the specifics, the philosophy of vineyard work and the view of the nearby mountains. We speak of the organic conversion, which is an ongoing process and stop to admire the lovely scenery of upper Vipava valley.
Back at the property, we first take a look at the renovated wine cellar which waits impatiently for its first inhabitants – I’m speaking about wine. Then we go to the current one to taste some barrel samples that are patiently maturing in large and barrique barrels. Some cloudy, as they have been freshly stirred, others marked by the ongoing malolactic conversion.
Finally, we return to the table and start the tasting. But let’s focus on the Cultus red today. A wine that strikes and enchants. If you manage, pour it in a decanter before serving, swirl it a few times and pour it only then, to enjoy it fully.
Grapes are picked separately when optimum or a little overripe. Each of them vinified individually and only then assembled to form the final blend. The process is similar for each variety. After destemming, they perform an approximate 14-day maceration at uncontrolled temperatures with spontaneous fermentation. Following gentle pressing, the wines are racked in barrique barrels. They are composed of French and Slavonian wood, used different times and one new even heavily toasted. The wine matures here for two years, also conducting malolactic conversion and is finally bottled without filtration.
Cultus red displays a hazy, ruby red colour and dense texture.
An intense, authentic wine, at first reminiscent of coffee, roasted nuts, we notice black cherry, roasted plum, mulberry, then black pepper, smoke, chocolate, also sweet spices, cloves, cinnamon, liquorice, hummus and leather.
The mouthfeel is soft. It refreshes us and intricates with velvety tannins, which are starting to round up slowly. It is a wine of intensity, virtuosity and structure. Flavours of chocolate, coffee, berries and forest undergrowth are perceived with tasting.
Cultus red is undoubtedly an elegant wine with a lasting finish. A wine that still has to evolve but shows already a developing character that will only pronounce in elegance. A bottle will cost you 14 Eur, and you can order it by contacting Matej and Carolin at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or Vinoo.co.