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Movia Rebula 2018
The historic Movia estate was founded back in 1700 and has been run by the Kristančič family since 1820. Set in the Goriška Brda region in western Slovenian on the border with Italy, the winery has around 18 hectares of vineyards of which around half are located on the other side of the border. Here the warm Mediterranean climate with hot summer days and cooling sea breezes is ideal for producing premium wines from both local and international varieties.
Rebula is the local name for the Ribolla Gialla grape which many oenologists believe actually originated in Slovenia where it has been grown since at least the 13th century. Movia farm their Rebula vines organically to produce the best fruit possible and the vines have an average age of 66 years which helps to produce low yields of very concentrated fruit.
Movia harvest the grapes for this bottling as late as possible to ensure optimum ripeness and the fruit is always harvested by hand. The must is then fermented using wild yeasts in wooden barriques with 18 months of ageing on the lees. The result is a fantastically complex and full-bodied white wine with a rich, creamy texture and expansive tropical fruit, toasted almond and brioche notes. A great choice to serve with creamy chicken, fish or pasta dishes or to cellar for another six to eight years.
Jakoncic Carolina Rdeca 2016
The origins of Jakoncic winery date back to 1847 when Mihael and Carolina Jakončič planted their very first vineyard in Kozana in western Slovenia close to the border with Italy. Today the estate is still in the hands of the same family with Aljosa Jakoncic heading up the operation.
Their Carolina Rdeca is a Bordeaux-style blend crafted from predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon along with smaller proportions of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The sunny Mediterranean climate ensures that the grapes achieve optimal ripeness and the vines are planted on characterful terraces on the hillsides. Here the cooling breezes help to modify summertime temperatures and preserve freshness in the grapes.
On the nose there are intense notes of bright ripe berries like cassis, blackberry and redcurrant along with subtle notes of dried flowers, bitter chocolate and crushed wild berries. The wine is aged in oak barrels for 24 months which adds complexity and subtle hints of clove, cinnamon and spice to the richly-layered flavour profile. This is a wine which will perform well in the cellar over the next decade or so, but can equally be enjoyed now with rich red meat dishes.
Burja Bela 2018
The Lavrenčič family have lived in the Vipava Valley in Slovenia since at least 1499 and for the past three generations they have made wine here. In 2009 Primoz Lavrenčič left the family winery to set up his own project named Burja after the fierce wind that blows through the valley and has a big impact on everything from daily life to the kinds of crops that can be grown here.
Primoz seeks to work in harmony with nature wherever possible and practices both organic and biodynamic viticulture. He primarily uses local grape varieties which are well-suited to this region with its proximity to the sea and the mountains. Bela is crafted from Malvazija, Welschriesling, Rebula, and Vipavec grapes which grow on marl and sandstone soils in the valley.
The fruit is carefully harvested by hand with 70% fermented in oak barrels and the remainder in concrete tanks. The young wine is then aged in oak barrels for 11 months and is bottled without filtering or fining to preserve the full natural character of the wine. The result is an intense white wine with ripe tropical and stone fruits on the nose and a rich texture and medium body balanced by a lively streak of acidity.
Scurek Stara Brajda Rdece 2017
Stara Brajda Rdece means “old vineyard red” in Slovenian since the grapes for this red are sourced from some of the estate’s oldest plots. The cuvee is composed of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot as well as the indigenous Refosco grape. Following vinification the young wine is aged in 500-litre oak casks for 24 months to harmonise the different varieties and add polish and elegance.
This rich, full-bodied red has plenty of luscious generosity from the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with ripe dark berry flavours, firm tannins and a well-built structure. The Refosco adds a touch of tart freshness which helps to provide balance and grace to the plush flavour profile.
The Scurek family have been making wine for at least four generations, with historic records showing that current owner Stojan’s grandfather had 1 hectare of vines which produced some 50 hectolitres of wine annually. Today Stojan works the family estate together with his sons using traditional methods and local grapes alongside cutting edge technology and international varieties. Their estate is set on the Italian border in western Slovenia and is known for its elegant yet full-bodied wines produced from prime vineyard sites.
Batic Angel Grand Cuvee 2016
Ivan Batic and his son Mika are the talented winemakers behind the Batic winery which is set in Slovenia’s beautiful Vipava Valley in the west of the country close to the border with Italy. Ivan and Mika use biodynamic and organic practices in their vineyards to produce the best fruit possible. Their vines grow at an altitude of up to 400 meters which helps to capture freshness and varietal purity in their diverse selection of wines made from both local and international grapes.
The Angel Grand Cuvee is a Bordeaux-style blend composed of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot from the Batics’ best vineyard plots. The Batic philosophy centres around minimal intervention of the winemaker in the winery, and so the Grand Cuvee is both fermented and matured in Slovenian oak barrels for 48 months and is not touched again until the wine is ready for bottling. There is no addition of sulphur and no filtration to ensure the wines truly express the character of the terroir and the grape variety.
On the nose there are enticing hints of cassis, blackberry and black cherry while the first sip reveals gentle hints of toast and spice from the oak ageing as well as succulent dark berry flavours. The firm structure and tannins will respond well to extended cellaring over the next decade or so.
Edi Simcic Sivi Pinot 2018
Slovenia’s Gorizia Hills sit just across the border from the Italian region of Friuli and are widely recognised to be one of the finest places to make wine in the country. It enjoys Mediterranean climate and protection from the strong Bora winds which can blow fiercely along the coast, making it the ideal spot to craft rich, full-bodied reds and intensely-flavored whites. Edi Simcic established his winery here in 1990 and today he is joined in the family business by his son Aleks.
Together they produce a tiny amount of artisanal wines using traditional methods like extended maturation in large oak casks. Sivi Pinot is the Slovenian name for Pinot Gris and the Simcics make theirs in a unique oaked style with plenty of freshness and elegance. The grapes are harvested at optimum maturity while there is still ample acidity to ensure balance in the finished wine. After fermentation the young wine is aged in oak barrels for 10 months to add complexity and body.
The result is a richly-textured and stylish Pinot Gris bursting with ripe tropical fruits and hints of smoke, oak and toasted hazelnuts from the oak maturation. This bold, full-flavoured profile makes it a great match for all manner of cuisines ranging from risottos and creamy chicken dishes to gnocchi and lasagne.