Let’s indulge tonight in one of the greatest expressions of Šipon I’ve had the pleasure of tasting lately. It’s Samo Kupljen’s Šipon Mihalovci. An expression of Šipon, or Furmint as it goes by his international name, fermented in stainless vats and matured in large oak barrels, but to round it up and boost its elegance.
Now to explain why Šipon and not Furmint. The legend says this name was coined during the times of Illyrian provinces when French soldiers were exclaiming “Si Bon!” when drinking white wine from the region. It was probably Furmint what they were drinking, so this became tight to the naming in Slovenia; Si Bon – Šipon.
As you might have noticed, Samo is a bit of a geek in terms of terroir. No wonder he’s in love with Burgundy. His Stars of Styria line is produced from selected plots to express the purest expressions of his lieu-dits – sort to say. Tonight’s wine could easily represent an addition to the line, but no, Samo decided it deserves more. Therefore the label is white, with a blue cross on it. There is a logic behind it, but I’ll leave Samo the pleasure of explaining it to you.
Late harvested grapes were hand-picked and pressed gently in a pneumatic press. Then the most fermented in stainless vats and the young wine was racked into neutral, large oak barrels of 1,000 to 2,500 litres for almost a year. Finally, the wine was bottled, and a bottle went straight to the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020, where it scored 91 points!
Šipon Mihalovci displays a strawy yellow, crystal clear colour with a dense texture, resulting in slowly accumulating drips on the glass walls.
The nose is overwhelmed by intense aromas that mainly focus on citruses – including lemon peel, pomelo, bergamot, followed by notes of kiwi, gooseberry, apple and almond blossom with a slightly buttery finish.
Its taste is dry, soft, and reasonably warm. With a good measure of freshness and minerality, elevating the taste and leaves a slightly spicy finish. An intense wine with accentuated elegance, full-bodied and with just the right persistence to evoke another sip. The notes of gooseberry, lemon and white flowers, which are intertwined with a mineral aftertaste, predominate in conclusion.
A wine that will keep its shape in the coming 3 to 5 years, though personally, I’d keep a couple of bottles stored for more as I’m intrigued how it will age. A bottle will cost you approximately 12 Eur, and you might be able to get it if you contact Lidija Kupljen at the number +386 31 307 417 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.