Awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).
Gašper is located in Goriška Brda, which makes up the two thirds of Collio stretching into Slovenia from Friuli-Venezia Giulia in north-eastern Italy. Goriška Brda has a climate ideally suited to viticulture, with its proximity to both the Adriatic Sea and the Alps providing dry, warm summers with cooling breezes during the crucial ripening period. The Gašper wine estate is a joint venture between a local cooperative and the Čarman family, who have been in the wine and hospitality business for over 50 years. At the helm of the cellar is Darinko Ribolica, a respected oenologist from Goriška Brda. He uses Slovenia’s local varieties, deeply rooted in Germanic, Slavic and Roman cultural influences, to create wines in a modern, fresh style.
The Gašper vineyards are between 10 and 25 years old, and characterised by ‘opoka’ marl soil and excellent sun exposure on terraced, hillside rows. There is also the benefit of altitude, ranging from 80-200 metres above sea level, which helps the grapes retain acidity and aromatics. Vines are single Guyot trained and planted at a density of 4,000 to 5,000 per hectare. All picking is done by hand and by cooperative partners, family members and friends, which allows for a careful selection of fruit that enhances the quality of the final wine.
Gašper believes that Cabernet Franc is one of most suitable red varieties for the Goriška Brda terroir. here, it shows and develops great red fruit character, freshness and ripe, soft tannins.
Variety: 100% Cabernet Franc.
Vinification and fermentation: in large 4000-litre oak casks at 16-20°C.
Maturation: 1 year in used French 225-litre oak barrels + 1 year in large, used Slovenian oak barrels.
Aromatic, perfumed nose of red and dark fruit with notes of capsicum and black pepper. The wine has lovely, supple tannins and great structure, with a long, consistent finish. Impressive.
ABV = 13.0%.
Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).
Every wine tells a story about the synergy between the soil, sun, grapes and the country of its origin. The Tikveš Winery has been narrating the Republic of Macedonia’s story as a winemaking country since 1885. However, the Republic of Macedonia remains one of Europe’s last undiscovered wine countries: it is a natural paradise of vineyards, mountains, lakes and rivers, with a climate perfectly suited to producing quality grapes. Located in the Tikveš region of central Macedonia, the Tikveš estate sustainably cultivates indigenous varieties such as Smederevka, Vranec and Kratoshija. The grapes are vinified in the state-of-the-art cellar equipped with the latest technology under the watchful eye of illustrious consultant oenologist Philippe Cambie, resulting in a series of authentic and characterful wines.
Grapes: Kratoshija 65%, Vranec 35%, being a blend of two indigenous varieties. Kratoshiya (pronounced krat-oss-SHEE-yah) has the same genetic origins as the Italian Primitivo variety. Vranec (pronounced VRANash) translates as 'black stallion' and wine made from this grape variety is associated with strength and opulence. The double Guyot trained vines are grown in a hilly plot with a south eastern orientation. Planted in well drained volcanic soils, the roots extend to a depth of 1.2 metres, where the soil is enriched with carbonates, minerals. This complex nutrition level imparts richness to the resulting wines. The vines are green harvested before véraison in order to further concentrate the flavours within the grapes. Harvest is undertaken manually, in order to ensure the grapes are picked at their optimum maturity.
The grapes were cooled for 12 hours, then destemmed, crushed and cold macerated for three days. Vinification took place over the course of 25 days, with regular pumping-over taking place in order to extract the desired levels of tannins, colour and flavours. Pressing took place in a pneumatic press which was followed by malolactic fermentation. 80% of the wine was aged in new French oak barrels for 15 months, followed by a minimum of six months bottle ageing.
A warm and savoury wine showing raisined black fruits complemented by dark chocolate and elegant toasty oak flavours.
Complex and elegant aromas of blackberries, plums and cherries combine with subtle hints of vanilla and toasty notes. Beautifully textured with a mouth-filling palate of ripe berried fruits against a mineral backdrop and a long lasting finish.
Thsi wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
ABV = 14.5%.
Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their January 2020 edition article, Most Exciting Wines of 2019 (see blue link below).
The 2016 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2019 edition article The Joy of Clay on amphora-produced wines (see blue link below).
Zorik Gharibian, an Armenian based in Italy, worked with Attilio Scienza to find precisely the right location for this exciting project. After three years of research and detailed analysis of every aspect of the region, he finally bought the land in Vayotz Dzor. This is historically known as the most prestigious wine region in Armenia. The intention was to create a wine of the highest international quality. Winemaker Alberto Antonini and viticulturalist Stefano Bartolomei brought a great deal of passion and planning to the project, as well as a profound understanding of how to make it a success.
Zorah has 15 hectares of vineyards, surrounded by mountains at 1,400 metres above sea level and only steps away from a 6,100 year old winery. The vineyards are situated in the small rural village of Rind in the heart of Vayotz Dzor, Armenia's quintessential grape growing region for quality wines. Long dry summers, with good sunlight and high daytime temperatures contrast with cool nights, encouraging a lengthy growing season. The soils are rocky and rich in limestone, helping maintain moisture for the vines during the intense summer heat. The indigenous vines are grown on ungrafted rootstock as the area is unaffected by Phylloxera.
The grapes were harvested by hand into small 15-kilo crates. After destemming, the grapes were gently crushed. Fermentation and maceration on the skins took place in concrete tanks with no epoxy lining. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally. The wine was aged partially in concrete tanks, partially in large untoasted wooden casks in order to soften tannins, but mainly in traditional Armenian amphorae (karas) of varying sizes which were sealed with wax and buried partially below ground to maintain a constant temperature. The wine was very lightly filtered before bottling, and spent a further six months ageing in bottle before release.
100% Areni Noir.
Bright ruby red in colour, this wine has complex aromas of red fruits, lightly spiced with an elegant toasted note. The palate reflects the exotic nose with hints of soft red fruits, dried mountain herbs and wild earth. Generous and soft with balanced, full-bodied structure and mature tannins before a long, evolved mineral finish.
ABV = 13.5%.
The Kozlović family have been making wine in the Istrian region of Croatia since 1904. The region borders Friuli and the wines, food and people have a real connection with their Italian neighbours. The winery is run by Gianfranco and Antonella Kozlović and they currently cultivate 25 hectares of vineyard. Gianfranco is a perfectionist and he is constantly striving to improve his wine. He takes a modern approach to winemaking and produces seriously good wines.
The Zmergo vineyards are situated at an altitude of 240 metres above sea level and have a southerly orientation to maximise the vine's exposure to the sun. The vines have an average age of 31 years and are grown in soils that are composed of flysch, limestone and clay. The Teran variety is characterised by high acidity and low tannins and makes wonderfully refreshing wines. The grapes are hand-harvested at optimum maturity.
The grapes were carefully sorted and underwent 10 days’ maceration, with fermentation taking place in stainless steel vats at controlled temperatures. The wine was then matured in wooden barrels of 30 hectolitres for eight months, prior to bottling.
Fresh and intense aromas of raspberry, blueberry and strawberry are complemented by hints of pepper and herbaceous notes. Bright and vibrant with silky tannins.
Teran is ideally served with lasagne, pasta with meatballs and a tomato based sauce, or grilled pork, lamb and game.
ABV = 13.0%.
The vineyards of Urla Sarapçilik are farmed entirely following Biodynamic methods with the vineyards consisting of Italian and French grape varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Nero d’Avola, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot as well as indigenous varieties Bogazkere and Bornova Misket, residents of Anatolia, which have been introduced over the last 8 years.
In the winery, gravity flow techniques are employed with the processed grapes automatically flowing into stainless steel tanks and a mixture of American and French oak barrels. As no pump is used, the wines are not traumatised nor do they lose any of their fine aromas and flavours. They are firm believers in using only healthy and clean grapes free from any treatments or vineyard matter; so much so, that he commissioned a machine to be built to wash and dry the grapes pre-vinification. Other visiting winery owners that have seen this piece of equipment have been inspired to invest in one too. The key aim for Urla Sarapçilik is the dedication to ensuring the finest quality wine.
This wine exhibits pure and vibrant aromas of plum and black mulberry under a frame of earth, vanilla and sweet spice. Ripe, fleshy and concentrated with a harmonious density of well-extracted tannins and hefty fruit. Excellent length and finesse on the flavourful finish. This wine is now ready to drink.
ABV = 15.0%.