Hlade – Chardonnay, 2019

Hlade, Chardonna, 2019
Hlade, Chardonnay, 2019
Photo: Mihaela Majerhold – Ostrovršnik

Today’s choice is another one of those that makes you feel lucky and full of optimism. It is a wine offered to me by a young winemaker, Urban Hlade. We’ll have a look at his full-bodied, oak marked Chardonnay.

Three generations of the Hlade family are cultivating vineyards spreading over the slopes of Slovenske gorice and Kozjak. They follow low-intervention methods and are known mostly for classically produced wines with a pronounced varietal, fruity, primary bouquet. From this point of view, today’s selection is a minor detour from the stylistic orientation, which can undoubtedly be attributed to Urban’s youthful enthusiasm.

I first met Urban at the beginning of last year, when he and Adam Valdhuber attended our first-degree sommelier course in Perla, Nova Gorica. Otherwise, they are colleagues, both students of agronomy in Vipava. We quickly connected on social networks, and the response to one of Urban’s posts generated the proposal for tasting some of his wines … “Come on!” I say to myself. The bottle waited for a while until finally, the time has come to open it.

This Chardonnay glows with a crystal, golden yellow colour. It has a dense texture, the swirl calms down quickly, and tears slowly slide down the walls.

The bouquet is intense, smooth—notes of boiled yellow apple, quince, lemon peel, yellow figs. Yellow rose petals stand out, followed by straw and wild mint behind it. Aromas of vanilla, caramel, marzipan, and roasted hazelnuts indicate the wine’s maturation in oak barrels, and the note of baked butter dough indicates malolactic fermentation with maturation on fine lees.

The taste is intense, soft, with well-incorporated alcohol, at the same time fresh and mineral tasty, which balances it pleasantly. A full-bodied wine with an extraordinary, lasting taste and expressed elegance.

It is a harmonious wine, which indicates the determination and understanding with which the winemaker undertook this Chardonnay’s production. A wine that clearly and thoughtfully flirts with the world’s renowned Chardonnays and reveals the youth and playfulness of an aspiring winemaker, which I am sure we’ll be hearing more in the future.

After tasting it, I quickly wrote to Urban, asking him for details. He confirmed it underwent full malolactic fermentation and aged for one year in oak barrels. Urban and I exchange some impressions, opinions, and we both agree that it would benefit from further ageing in the bottle. It has a youthful character, and the potential to incorporate the wood imprint even better will only enrich it.

Regardless, it is already a great demonstration of the elegance this variety can show. A bottle will cost you 10 Eur, and you can order it by sending an email to info@hlade.si or by calling +386 462 866. Drink it now, or leave it stored for 3 to 5 years as the oak will incorporate further.

This description was originally published in “O vinu“, the content platform for everything you need to know about Slovenian wine.

Hlade, Chardonna, 2019
Photo: Mihaela Majerhold – Ostrovršnik

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