A few wine families have built a world-class reputation, those that can be genuinely regarded for putting Slovenia on the World Wine Map and the Simčič family from Ceglo are among those few. Today we’ll look at Marjan Simčič’s rendition of the acclaimed “right-bank” aspired Merlot.
I’m literally spoiling myself with a glass of the latest edition of Merlot Opoka, the 2015 vintage. So meticulously crafted from vines that count for almost 60 years. A wine produced only in the best vintages. Few know, but the Simčič family looks after their vines following biodynamic principles, with vines spanning over beautifully terraced Opoka vineyards.
Grapes are hand-harvested at optimal ripeness and transferred to the cellar. Out of the selection, 70 % gets destemmed, and 30 % are left intact. They are then placed in a large, 5.000-litre stainless steel vinificator to macerate for four weeks, undergoing spontaneous alcoholic fermentation.
The wine is then racked into barriques, with 30 % new, to mature for 48 months. Finally, it is bottled and needs to wait for at least six months before being introduced to the market.
And what a Merlot we have! Boasting a deep ruby red colour with thick density, staining the glass walls and forming slow slipping tears.
The bouquet is luscious, precise, uncompromising. Intense aromas are expressing in waves of ripe blackberries, mulberries, Amarena cherries, plums and black olives. We also notice a mix of red roses and violet petals, as well as cedar, caramel, liquorice, anise and hints of graphite.
The palate is foremost soft; alcohol is well integrated into the structure. While crisp freshness and adolescent, grippy tannins testify of its youth—a vigorous wine of extract and structure, with a lasting persistency shining with its noble character.
A wine that merits the title of Mr Merlot! It proudly takes us to his homeland with a good deal of confidence! A wine of tremendous ageing potential that will evolve in the following decennia. A bottle will cost you approximately 50 Eur, and you can get it at eVino, Koželj, Wine amazing, Fina vina, WoodWinters, Wagners Wein Shop, Wine & More, Italian Wine Merchants, and many others.