Let’s attain tonight a story about belief. It’s a story deeply bonded to the ancestors, souls, and political pictures that dramatically impacted Nova Gorica’s life approximately a century ago. We’re at UOU, a consortium of winemakers bonded together by the passion and dedication to unite and revive what our ancestors did.
UOU is a consortium, a movement generated by believers unified around reviving old, abandoned vineyards that people didn’t have the energy or resources to look after. The driving force behind it Marinko Pintar, a known individual from Solkan who courageously embarked with the first Yugoslavian expedition to the then unconquered top of Himalaya’s Gasherbrum in 1977.
The whole story of reviving something abandoned, forgotten per sé is worth touching as it restores the touch of tradition, the old, rustic ways our ancestors used to tend vines and approach winemaking.
Keep in mind, all of the UOU vineyards are looked after low, low intervention methods. Only algae mixtures with limited amounts of sulphur and copper are used for spraying these vineyards. Just imagine all of the energy and labour involved in looking after, replanting and restructuring old vines … But let’s keep this story for some other time, with actual impressions form some of those forgotten vineyards.
Grjanc 9 is a fantasy name for an atypical blend of red varieties. Though, this bottle underwent some underwater maturation. Grapes are coming from a 16-year-old vineyard interplanted with predominantly Merlot varieties, plus parts of Refosco, Cipro, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, Barbera, Maločrn, Syrah, and Gamay, hence the number nine. Marinko adds that he was planting vines, mainly for consumption, which is again something for our next story.
Another interesting fact for tonight’s wine is that Grjanc is planted close to the village of Gornje Cerovo, at an altitude of 220 meters above sea level and has a well at its bottom. This is where 60 bottles of Grjanc 9 waited patiently for six months.
Bunches were hand-harvested at optimal ripeness, destemmed and macerated for 20 days in open vats without temperature control. After gentle pressing, the wine underwent 18 months of bottle ageing in used oak barriques of mixed origin, also conducting malolactic fermentation. After the assemblage, it spent two months settling down in stainless vats and was then bottled without filtration.
Sixty bottles of this wine were then laid to rest for half a year in the well at the vineyard’s bottom.
Grjanc displays a ruby red colour with a deep and dense texture.
The aroma is intense. It evokes ripe black cherry, sour cherry, plum, black pepper, cloves, anise, chocolate, tobacco, hints of mint and leather.
The mouthfeel of this dry wine is soft and reasonably warm. It’s vibrantly fresh and mineral tasty. The tannins are lively, slowly rounding off. Grjanc presents a vigorous body with elegant and lasting persistency. A wine that has the stamina to kick for at least the next ten years.
Interesting fact, some bottles were laid to rest in the nearby pond, which is where water from this well flows. Bottles in the well developed a layer of limestone sediment, whereas bottles in the pond did not. You can find bottles of Grjanc 9 that did not rest in the well at Faladur wine shop, but you can contact Marinko at firstname.lastname@example.org or +386 41 620 291.