It’s time to return to Svetinje hills to have a look at another wine from the range of Samo Kupljen‘s Stars of Stiria wines. We’re looking at his Riesling, which we find under the name Aldebaran.
Aldebaran is the brightest star in the Taurus constellation, and the stars are connected with the Kupljen family more than you can imagine. In 1992 his late father Jože produced an outstanding Chardonnay. Sitting in front of the terrace and having a couple of glasses, he thought about how to name this wine. He didn’t feel it deserved just the name of the variety. He started staring at the brightest star in the sky and decided to name it Sirius.
He had a wine named Extract of Styria and got sued by the Austrians and wasn’t allowed to sell it anymore. While looking for an alternative name, he noticed that Elton John bought a star and decided to name a star accordingly. A couple of calls to London’s observatory and a star in Orion got the name Star of Styria. This marked an end to this saga.
And this is where the story with stars intricates with Aldebaran. Samo, whose astral sign is Taurus decided to name a wine after it. An avid Burgundy fan, he still believes that Riesling is the variety that can perform better with age. Perhaps with sugar levels up to 12 grams per litre, its longevity is what he sees drinking when 70 or more.
Grapes for this Aldebaran are coming from a south-facing plot Žerovinci. After a 24 hour maceration, it went into a controlled fermentation at low temperatures for six weeks. It was then transferred in large oak barrels, where it matured for the next six months. Finally, it was bottled without filtration and with minimum addition of So2.
Aldebaran shows a crystalline, strawy yellow colour of medium density.
Its refined aroma is intense and pleasing. We sense scents of tangerine, yellow apple, gooseberry, mango, jasmine, lemongrass, with gentle hints of saffron and wet stone.
The palate feels soft and nicely balances its pronounced freshness and a mineral saltiness. The later two slightly prevail but leave an intense and lasting display of elegance. Medium to full-bodied, enchanting.
A wine so cleverly conceived, it displays its genuine charisma while sipping it. The softness is so nicely balanced by the refreshing feel you keep on wanting more. A true star!
This riesling will keep on evolving and spoiling our palate. I’d have it stored for the next three years and then re-taste again, though I believe it has the stamina to keep in shape for the next seven years. A bottle will cost you approximately 15 Eur, and you can get it at Koželj or Deliz.