~all tastings in the shop are free & open to the public~
Gianfranco Kozlovic is the largest producer of Malzasia in Istria. The focus on this 17 acre family owned and operated estate is on indigenous varietals and sustainable farming. The winery is close to the Slovenian and northern Italian border, not far from the Adriatic coast.
This wine is fermented in stainless steel, at controlled cool temps to preserve and enhance the zesty Malvasia aromas. This is a lively wine, full of flowers, apricots, peaches. It’s not quite as rich as some other Malvasia’s on the market these days, it’s a little leaner and drier. As indicated on the label, it really would be a nice pairing with seafood, risottos, pasta with cream sauce, etc…
Until the early 1990s, Slovenia was under communist rule, and the wines were made by strict government controlled cooperatives. With independence came a resurgence & innovation in winemaking and viticulture. Pullus is the oldest winery in Slovenia, dating back to 1239. They also claim to have the oldest grapevine in the world, at 400 years old. We’re curious about that one!
Farming here is sustainable, and the use of sulphur is limited. This Pinot Grigio is another Ramato, or copper-hued (this is in fact the traditional style of Pinot Grigio) although this one is on the pinker end of the copper spectrum. It spends 72 hours on the skins, and 5% of the wine is aged in 225 liter oak barrels. Some lees aging adds a touch of weight and creaminess. The nose is floral and fruity, on the palate is fresh, dry and mineral driven. Only 1,000 cases produced.
This is a very small production wine (approx 300 cases) from a family producer in Bizeljsko –Sremič, Lower Styria, in northeastern Slovenia. The vines are dry farmed, farming is sustainable, and the use of sulphur is limited in the vineyards and the cellar. After fermentation with wild yeast in large open vats, this Blaufränkisch ages for up to 16 months in used 225L French oak barrels. It’s bottled unfiltered and unfined. This wine is all about blackberries, plums, and a touch of chocolate, with lively acidity, light tannins and a long, soft finish. Put a little chill on it and have it with just about anything: pizza, burgers, grilled chicken & pork, cured meats…the list goes on.
This is another tiny production (350 cases) from an organic farm on Outskirts of Šibenik, Dalmatia, Croatia. This is dry farmed, 100% Plavina, a grape we really didn’t know existed until a few weeks ago. What is it? According to the importer, Vinum, “Plavina is without a doubt Croatia’s most underrated coastal red grape! Due to the fact that the Croatian coast has been focused on growing Teran, Babić, Plavac Mali and Crljenak, the original Zinfandel, it is oftentimes in the shadows of those better-known varietals.” Oh yes, those better-known varietals, such as Teran, Babić, Plavac Mali and Crljenak! Ha! Well, we do know that Plavina is a dark skinned grape grown exclusively in Croatia. It may be related to Zinfandel, or Puglia Verdeca. Who knows, who cares, the wine is good!
This Plavina is hand-harvested, then fermented in open top vats with natural yeasts. Aging is in large, used Slovenian oak barrels for 4 months. It’s bottled unfiltered, and is only lightly fined. This is a medium bodied wine with fresh, bright red berries on the nose and palate, tart and zesty acidity, a touch of earthiness, and soft tannins. This will be a good grill-n-swill wine, perfect with hotdogs and kraut, easy on its own. Another winner with dinner!