Tonight calls for some cuddling. And I want to taste a wine which is produced only in the best vintages. We’re in Bela krajina, where the Šturm family produces this refined expression of Pinot blanc.
Touching the point, this Pinot blanc wears a blue label, meaning it is destined to meet more demanding drinkers. It is a selection line produced only from selected bunches in the best vintages, which is reflected in the wine.
Now, bear in mind that Slovenia’s law requires wines to undergo a blind panel tasting which scores the wines according to the 20-point Buxbaum scale. We’re a bit archaic here, but this is what you see on labels in the form of “kakovostno (quality wine)” or “vrhunsko (outstanding wine)”. Now both fall under PDO designation, but “Vrhunsko” means the wine scored at least 18,1 points out of 20 at a blind, organoleptic panel, plus it underwent demanding controls in the vineyard by the authorities before picking. And such is the case with this Pinot blanc, and nothing is left to chances.
Grapes are coming from two vineyards from the slopes below St. Ana church. One counts for 18 and the other for 25 years of age. Grassed vineyards are planted on south-facing, terraced slopes on light grey marlstone.
Hand harvest is executed when grapes are overripe. Bunches are transported into the production line within 30 minutes. Naturally, as vineyards are expanding below the wine-cellar. Grapes are destemmed and undergo a 48 hour, cold maceration. Following gentle pressing, the wine ferments at 15 – 16 ° Celsius with selected yeast. It is then racked into big oak barrels with lees where it matures for one year, also conducting malolactic fermentation. The final wine waits for at least five months before being released to the market.
This results in a crystal clear, Pinot blanc of strawy yellow colour, with reasonably dense texture.
Its alluring bouquet is intense, evoking a yellow apple, peach, pear, lemon, pineapple, almond blossom, and dried grass. This followed by a slightly buttery note and a note of marzipan underlined by a mineral-bleached stone.
The mouthfeel is soft, with medium alcohol—refreshing and minerally salty, feeling balanced. The taste is elegant, serving just enough persistency to ask for more. The aftertaste leaves a note of hazelnuts, nutmeg and ends with a buttery feel.
A wine that matures well and will enchant drinkers for at least the next two years. You can get it for the price of 8,5 Eur at their wine store, and trust me when I say you should order it as it offers a fantastic rendition to this variety.