We’re returning to the slopes of Planina to one of the most iconic wine cellars overseeing the whole of the upper Vipava Valley. We’re at Guerila, and we’ll have a look at their Vipavec expression, a blend of Pinela, Zelen, Rebula and Malvazija, matured in wooden vessels and named Retro.
Retro stands for something; retro is how wines were made when Zmago Petrič was a kid. It’s the tradition of the people of Vipava and a homage to the old days. Vipavec is the local bland of traditional varieties that were historically produced in the valley. Traditionally, most vineyards were grown mixed in pre-phylloxera times. Usually, grapes were hand-harvested simultaneously, with some overripe and others not. They fermented together and were matured in large vessels. And such is the case of Guerila’s Retro.
Grapes come from a single vineyard named “pri Pili”, a southwest-facing, terraced vineyard that somewhat flattens. The incline here is approximately 20 % compared to other ones, and the average altitude is 275 meters above sea level. Pila is the chapel positioned at the vineyard border and close to it, a plateau of compost ready for vineyard nurturing. As in a due manner at Guerila, all is biodynamically farmed. Grassed vineyards are planted on Flysch (locals call it Soudan), and vines count for up to twelve years.
Bunches of Pinela, Zelen, Rebula and Malvasia were harvested at the same time. They were destemmed, crushed and underwent a week of maceration with spontaneous fermentation. Following gentle pressing, the young wine was racked with lees in a traditional, large oak vessel where it matured for a year, also conducting malolactic conversion and without Batonnage. Finally, it was bottled without filtration, following the moon calendar and with minimum addition of sulfite.
Retro is adorned by a deep golden yellow colour with an amber hue. The texture is dense, with slow tears forming on the glass’ walls.
Intense and pleasing aromas remind us of dried apple and papaya, apricot, forest honey, resin, dried white flowers, sweet spices, white pepper, cinnamon, cloves, incense and tip of the pencil.
The taste is rounded with crisp freshness, tannins and minerality intertwining. A wine of structure, showing a vigorous body with elegance and persistency that shows its archaic character and greatness.
You can easily forget this wine for the next five to seven years as it will only improve, but it’s a great contemplating wine already now. A bottle will cost you approximately 15 Eur, and you can get it at eVino, Koželj, Faladur, Zagriz and Sloveense Wijnen.