There aren’t many grape varieties that can be so versatile as the rebula (or Ribolla gialla). Two of its main advantages are thick skin and high acidity levels which winemakers are leveraging to produce sparkling, still, macerated and sweet versions. There are several amazing expressions on the market, but personally, I find the one with prolonged skin contact closer to my palate. Such is the case with the one from JNK.
Now this one might fall under the “extremely macerated” ones, but one to look for and taste. This was the last variety handpicked in the 2014 vintage. Grapes are coming from two vineyards of 20 and 45 years of age, planted on Flysch, rich with minerals.
The mash macerated in open vats, at uncontrolled temperatures for 14 days, undergoing spontaneous and malolactic fermentation with grapes own yeast. Gently pressed and then left to mature in used barrique barrels for 22 months. Following the final assemblage, it waited patiently in an inox tank. With minimum addition of sulphur before bottling it then waited for further 4 years in the cellar before entering the market.
And what a result! Deep, dense and clear amber colours.
Its bouquet is intense of dried apricots, apple slices, yellow plum jam, chestnut honey, thyme, rosemary and dried yellow flowers, resin, carob, cloves and a note of graphite.
The taste is soft, lively fresh, with perceptible tannins and minerality. A wine which intensely indulges our palate, boasting a vigorous body and a long-lasting, elegant aftertaste. A wine that for some might feel edgy, such as is the ever effervescent character of Kristina Mervič, the winemaker.
If you’re interested to learn more about rebula’s specifics, then jump to my friends at Exotic Wine Travel and check their freshly published Rebula: “Slovenian Wine’s Flagship Variety?”. While at it also check Matts super insightful and super-funny video about rebula.