In the glass: Gašper – Cabernet Franc Selekcija, 2017

Gašper wines, Cabernet Franc Selekcija 2017Let’s start this with a question … What happens when one of the most prominent wine connoisseurs in Slovenia decides to launch its line of wines?

Gašper wines stand for Gašper Čarman’s brand of wines. He’s one of Slovenia’s leading names in the wine business; he’s been awarded Best sommelier of Slovenia for two consecutive times (2013 and 2015), has finished WEST 4 level diploma, and is currently studying for Master of Wine.
He’s been in the catering industry his whole life, as his family owns a well known oenotheque and inn Danilo. He developed his affinity towards wine at a young age, and started his own business as one of the first online wine stores in 2004 – Soon he expanded his activity to distributing wines to B2C and B2B segments.

Gašper wines were created in 2013 and are the result of cooperation between Gašper Čarman and Klet Brda, one of Slovenia’s biggest co-op cellars. Grapes are harvested by 25 winegrowers of Goriška Brda, which cultivate an approximate of 80 hectares. Gašper and Darinko Rioblica, Klet Brda’s oenologist, then craft wines of a modern style that showcase Brda’s unique terroir.

Gašper wines are now divided into three lines, the “On-trade” – designated for the retail segment, White label that defines wines with fermentation in stainless steel tanks, and the “Selekcija” or Selection line that is marked by refinement in oak barrels. Labels feature different fish characters as they have been the trademark of Čarman’s family wine and restaurant business, and are illustrated by Miha Štrukelj, a known Slovenian artist.

To answer the question of the intro … The results are astonishing! Not only are these wines a genuine bargain, but they also deliver quality yearly. Which is also reflected in numerous awards from over the World.

This Cabernet Franc has been the culmination as in 2019, at the Decanter World Wine Award, it scored an alluring Platinum medal with 97 points. When the results were announced, almost all the bottles sold-out, and it was impossible to find one for sampling. Luckily, I have some excellent friends in Croatia, and they found some at Enozoik. Thanks, Charine!

Gašper believes that Cabernet Francs is one of the most suitable red varieties for Goriška Brda, and I agree with him. It’s always a pleasure tasting some remarkable samples of this variety that, unfortunately, is a little bit underrated and merits all some more attention.

Gašper wines, Cabernet Franc Selekcija 2017Grapes are harvested manually from a 50 years old vineyard at an altitude spanning from 80 to 200 meters, on a south-west to south-east exposure. The terrain is mainly composed of marlstone, and as we’re in Brda, the climate is a mixture of a warm Mediterranean climate and cold afflux from the Alps. It undergoes an 18-month fermentation and maturation in new French oak barrels of 350 liters.

The wine has a translucent ruby red color with a slight purple edge, quite dense, and shows some extract on the stains. The nose is intense, the aroma of black pepper servers as an overture to ripe fruit, blackcurrant, blueberries, blackberries, and black cherries. Violets and ferns are tied with delicate wooden flavors, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves with chocolate, leather, and eucalyptus. The palate is fresh, with ripe tannins that result in a balanced, full-bodied wine with a lasting and elegant aftertaste.

This wine is ideal for some spoiling of the palate with grilled red meat. Luckily there are still some magnums and double magnums to be found around … A real treat that can be easily lined up with its renowned World-class cousins, well-done Gašper!

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