Tilia estate – Pinot Noir, Estate, 2018

Tilia - Pinot noir, Estate
Tilia – Pinot noir, Estate
Photo: Mihaela Majerhold – Ostrovršnik

This snowy Sunday calls for some brightening and what a better choice than Tilia Estate’s‘s Pinot Noir.

Coming from “The house of Pinots”, Tilia this has become a true epitome when speaking of Pinot Noir from Vipava Valley and Slovenia overall. Actually, they produce four types of this variety, and having the honour of tasting them in a flight, all at once, is a real treat.

Well, it’s four distinguishing exemplars, mainly due to the provenience of grapes. Think of it also like the pyramid system of quality. The higher the quality, the lesser the quantity, the smaller the provenance.

These are the levels in order from bottom to top: Vipava Valley with grapes coming from two different vineyards (Pliska and Merljaki, which belongs to a different municipality), Merljaki (entirely from the vineyard of a partner farm), Estate (the two vineyards near the estate) and White label which is entirely dedicated to a single plot.

Fort today I’ve chosen the Estate expression. It’s coming from the actual domain. The Pliska vineyard is at an altitude of 170 meters above sea level, the vineyard is below Čaven and comprises 5 different clones aged 10 years. The other one is Potoče and is extending at an altitude of 120 meters above sea level with just one clone (no. 666) of 20 years of age. In both soil is marly clay.

Now the Estate Pinot noir is produced with very mature grapes; some are even dried out. Before maceration part of the most is taken away to concentrate colour and tannins. It undergoes a 10 to 12-day maceration at controlled temperatures, with 20 % of bunches intact (stems included) and this adds another aspect to the flavour profile. If I’m correct, Matjaž started this approach in 2017 where he used 30 % of bunches with stems.

The wine is then left to mature for 16 months in a combination of Slavonian and Louis Latour barriques with 6 months of constant battonage. It also conducts malolactic fermentation.

The result is a transparent, ruby red coloured wine of dense texture.

The bouquet is seductive, intense. It reveals a note of ripe cherries, plums, violet petals, green pepper, leather, cloves, cinnamon, sandalwood, forest undergrowth, humus with hints of kerosene and smoke in the finish.

The taste is warm, soft but with accentuated freshness and youthful tannins, starting to slowly round-up. Intense and lasting, full-bodied with an accentuated elegance, that will only grow over the coming years.

A skillfully produced wine which will please drinkers now, but I’d keep it stored in the cellar and try again in 5 to 7 years. It fully reflects their brand promise: “House of Pinots”.

Tilia - Pinot noir, Estate
Photo: Mihaela Majerhold – Ostrovršnik

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