You know the situation where you’re always around something, you can sample it here and there, but you never really have the opportunity to look into it thoroughly? Such is my case with wines of Reia. It’s at least ten years I know their wines. I’ve tasted few samples here and there but never really dig into the wine properly. But luckily, the chance has come to sample a bottle of their Khmer 2015 properly.
We’re in Brda’s village of Neblo, where generations of Reia produce some stunning wines in touch with nature. They follow biodynamic farming principles, and there is charisma with all of the wines I tasted.
Khmer is a blend of two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and a third of Merlot with grapes coming from two vineyards planted in 1973 and 1974. One is at the top of a hill with East, South and West aspects, and the other facing West.
The production of Khmer is meticulous, as shortly after the grapes have started to colour up, Reias’ went removing unsuitable and green bunches. Merlot was hand-harvested at the end of September, while Cabernet Sauvignon two weeks later. Even berries selection was meticulous at harvest, as unripe or unhealthy ones were removed. Each variety is harvested and vinified separately.
Bunches were transferred in wooden crates and destemmed as in the old times. A destemmer/masher was placed above a vat, and the process was executed manually. The mash then macerated spontaneously with thirty-six hour spontaneous fermented at room temperatures. Maceration lasted in this vat for four weeks. Finally, the young wine was racked into used oak barrels (manually, without the help of mechanisation), where it matured for three years with Batonnage.
Ultimately, both wines were united and rested for a further couple of months to fully incorporate in stainless vat. Bottling was executed at the right moon and the right mood – as Maja Reja says; and without filtration. The wine then waited at least half a year before coming to the market.
Khmer displays an extractive ruby red colour with a dense texture.
Its bouquet is intense, feels mature and decisive. We perceive ripe plums, cherries, black currants, mulberries, cherry compote, notes of red pepper, forest undergrowth, dry autumn leaves, leather, chocolate, also cinnamon, vanilla and cedar.
The mouthfeel is soft, reasonably warm, but simultaneously refreshing and mineral. Tannins are expressed and rounding out. The flavour profile is intense and boasts elegance, with a vigorous body and a lasting persistency.
A wine I’m just asking myself why I haven’t looked more in details sooner. Varieties are nicely expressed, and the finesse is there. It has the potential to evolve in the next five years and then stay at the peak further on. A bottle will cost you between 25 and 30 Eur, and you can get it at Vinoo.co or Be.Wines.