Tag Archives: Wine

Slovenian Wine Review | Slavček Sivi Pinot & Rojac Refošk | Outstanding Flavor & Value

 

Slovenian wines have been extraordinarily popular this year, and for good reason!

Multifactorial, responsibly made wines, bursting with unique characteristics at everyday prices from a place not everyone is familiar with are inspiring us to buy every drop available in Vermont.

 

 

Today, we highlight two Slovenian wines (which both happen to be vegan) – Rojac Refošk (red) and Slavček Sivi Pinot (white/semi-orange).

Slavček Sivi Pinot – A slightly extended skin contact white (semi-orange) wine that primarily inspired us to create our ‘Native & Natural’ wine section. Semi-dry, medium bodied white that is not too acidic or oaky – very crowd pleasing for an eclectic wine.

Rojac Refošk – A robust, very food friendly wine (think BBQ, roast beef, game, Bolognese, anything rich!) bursting with old-world rusticness, deep earthiness, tannins, and a little acidity for balance.

 

 

If you haven’t taken a journey to Slovenia, Rojac Refošk and Slavček Sivi Pinot can take your primary senses away on ‘liquid trip’.

Na zdravje! (cheers)

 

 

Winery, and varietal information below compiled from slavcek.si & indiewineries.com

 

Slavček: Sivi Pinot –

  • Winery: Slavček
  • Wine Maker: Franc Vodopivec
  • Location: Dornberk, Slovenia
  • Appellation:  Vipavska Dolina
  • Altitude: 260’–560′
  • Soil:  Lime rich marlstone
  • Winery Process: Practicing Organic
  • Grape Varietal(s): 100% Sivi Pinot (a.k.a. Pinot Grigio / Pinot Gris)
  • Vintage: 2017
  • Fermentation Vessel(s): 50 % oak barrel (10 years old), 50 % stainless steel
  • Yeasts: Natural
  • Maceration: 24 hours
  • Malolactic: Spontaneously during fermentation
  • Aging: 25% in the old acacia barrels (200 L), 25% in old foudres (200 L), 50% in foudres (1000 L, 1500 L & 2000L)
  • Aged For: 3 months of lying on sediments
  • Clarification/Filtration: After a month in a stainless tank, where the wine is exposed to ambient low temperature to become stable and ready for bottling by racking
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Alcohol Content: 13.5% vol.

 

 

About Slavček –
Slavcek is a family winery with a history of over two centuries in the Vipava Valley. It’s currently helmed by Franc Vodopivec. The historic winery runs as a traditional agrotourismo and inn. The Slavcek winery and inn only serve what has been grown on the land, everything prepared with centuries-old traditions, including the wine. The oldest records of the farm, from 1769, indicate that it was called “Slavčevih” (Nightingale).

In Vipava, the reputation of Slavcek is centuries deep for high quality wine, but only under Franc’s stewardship has the winery become world renowned for traditional Slovenian wine.

 

“Today’s task is to raise the quality of growth, to better express terroir, tradition and the essence of our family cultural values through the winemaking techniques of our forefathers.”

The vineyards are planted with environmentally friendly methods and with consideration and respect of the biodynamic force. All grapes are hand-picked and carefully selected. No pesticides or herbicides of any sort are used.

 

Even the barrels are local, made from acacia and oak that grow in the nearby forests. The lands are dutifully maintained. Just as much as much as the wines are the family legacy, so are the lands that surrounds them.

 

 

 

Slavcek’s wines are produced according to ancient Slovenian traditions with exteneded maceration for many bottlings which develops a richer taste and deeper color. Natural stabilization occurs at ambient temperatures, with racking only just before bottling.

 

 

 

Winery and varietal information below compiled from: rojac.euindiewineries.com

Rojac Refošk –

  • Winery: Rojac
  • Winemaker: Uroš Rojac
  • Location: Gažon, Slovenia
  • Appellation: Slovenian Istra
  • Altitude: 650’–820′
  • Soil: Sandy Soil (Flysch)
  • Winery Process: Certified Organic
  • Grape Varietal(s): 100% Refošk
  • Vintage: 2015
  • Fermentation Vessel(s): Open Vats
  • Yeasts: Natural
  • Maceration: 10-15 Days
  • Malolactic: Spontaneously
  • Aging: 18 Months (Oak) + 6 Months (Stainless Steel)
  • Clarification/Filtration: None
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Alcohol Content: 14% vol.

 

 

Rojac Wine –

Uroš is the vivacious heir to one of the pioneering families in traditional honest winemaking on the Slovenian coast. Rojac has been making wine in Slokenska Istria since the 19th century. Uroš is considered the wild child of famed wine maker, Bruno Rojac. He’s known for playful antics and a free spirit, and has made a proud and enthusiastic protégée for his father. He rode (and sometimes crashed) motorcycles to school at the Bio-technical Faculty at the University of Ljubljana where he stirred controversy with his thesis about his native grape Refošk.

 

 

“There was a time when there was no wine industry. People just grew grapes and made wine…. We do all we can to make drinkable and ultimately healthy wine.”

What promised to be a dynamic father son team came to an unfortunate halt in 2005 with the untimely passing of Bruno at the peak of his career. Reeling from the heard news and pain, many assumed that Uroš would abandon his dreams of running the ancestral winery. Instead Uroš came back stronger than ever running the vineyard, making the wine and becoming one of the youngest and most notable winemakers in the region.

 

 

Channeling his energy and passion, he perfected the craft of his forefathers, and started a family of his own. Rather than capitalizing on his success through globalizing his wines, Uroš remained true to his fathers traditional wine methods and continued his approach in the vineyards and the cellar. His is the greatest comeback story in the region, and he’s earned himself the title: King of Refošk.

 

 

The Refošk Grape –

Indigenous grape varietal to the region.

Historical records show that the Roman Empress Livija Drussila who lived to the enviable age of 86 years (at that time) presumably by many references to her enjoyment of this “black grape” from river Timavo (Triest river from sea).

This came from a “rocky hill” which produced very little yields to fill only a few amphorae. These vineyard positions can be none other than the great refošk vineyards of the current Rojac Family Estate.

The grape was frequently referenced in Roman times for its health qualities.

The hills of Gažon give the great acidity and elegance for growing refošk, due to the poor soil, altitude, and positioning to
the sea.

 

 

 

60 Days of Rosé #16 | Joseph Mellot | Sincérité | Pinot Noir Rosé | Loire Valley | $14.99

 

60 Days of Rosé #16 | Joseph Mellot | Sincérité | Pinot Noir Rosé | Loire Valley | $14.99

When you think of the Loire Valley in eastern France, you don’t instantly think of Pinot Noir, your mind usually thinks of the predominant Sauvignon Blanc (there are many other varietals, of course).

Vivid and refreshing, this Pinot Noir Rosé has a brightness on the palate, and a crisp, proportionate grapefruit note.

 

 

Thai food, crispy chicken, grilled summer squash, fresh sheep or goats milk cheese are all great pairings for this lively Loire vin.

Beyond the bottle, the Joseph Mellot family has 500 years of history behind them and are keeping up with responsible, modern practices that include being the first domaine in the Centre Loire region to obtain ISO 14001 certification.

 

 

Only a few cases of Sincérité make their way to Vermont and at $14.99, they don’t last long – just like a Vermont summer.

 

From josephmellot.com:

 

 

 

VINE GROWING
Making good wines begins in the vineyard, working in harmony with the terroir to draw out its best.

 

 

The Joseph Mellot vineyards are managed according to principles of:

  • Sustainable pest control: prolonged observation of vine plots and climatic conditions and the implementation of environmentally responsible treatment programmes which take into consideration the real risk of disease development.
  • Yield management: systematic vine-pruning, disbudding, crop thinning if necessary and shoot thinning.
  • Vine plot traceability: all plots are monitored by computer to ensure complete traceability in production.

 

 

HARVESTING
From the beginning of September or even late August, grape samples are taken regularly to monitor levels of maturity. Grapes are harvested at full maturity and sorted carefully to ensure that the juice is of the best quality. Each plot is harvested and vinified separately, with the grape harvest lasting approximately a fortnight (14 days).

 

 

LOIRE VALLEY
The Loire Valley is the third largest wine-growing region in France. Designated a UNESCO world heritage site from Chalonnes-sur-Loire by the Atlantic coast to Sully-sur-Loire in the Centre, the Loire Valley offers exceptional land for viticulture and is a textbook example of a region with diverse terroirs. Seventy four appellations make up the mosaic of Loire Valley wines from Nantes to Sancerre, most of which are situated along the River Loire.

 

 

 

 

Sun + Moon | Spanish Organic Vegan Grape Wines | Cabernet / Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, & Sparkling

A new line of vegan wines made with organic grapes are now available in Vermont – Sun + Moon!

We are delighted to see the organic wine category expanding.  Customers are actively on the hunt for delicious and responsibly made wines – and we are happy to now stock them!

Sun + Moon | Vegan & Organic Grape Wines –

  • Cabernet / Syrah | Spain – IGP | 14% ABV | $11.99 – Rich and bold with notes of cassis and blackberries.  Pair with lamb, Iberico or Serrano, fig and Idiazabal, Mahon, or Manchego cheese.
  • Sauvignon Blanc | Spain – IGP | 13% ABV | $11.99 – Vivid and crisp! Pair with herb grilled shrimp, watermelon & feta, couscous salad, lemon grilled summer squash / zucchini, fresh cheese & jam.
  • Traditional Method Sparkling | Brut | Spain | 11.5% ABV  | $17.99 – Anytime you need some bubbly!  Great with margherita pizza, fried chicken, or as a cocktail by adding Campari, orange juice, honey, and strawberries.

Salud!

 

 

60 Days of Rosé #14 | Domaine de la Prebende | Beaujolais Rosé | $13.99

 

60 Days of Rosé #14 | Domaine de la Prebende | Beaujolais Rosé | $13.99

  Wash your palate in the delights of Beaujolais!  Harmonic, delectable, and not sweet, we are utterly charmed by this rosy tonic crafted by the Dupeuble family.

Fertilized with natural compost from only 7.4 acres of land in Beaujolais and fermented naturally, this fresh n’ snappy rosé is a rare delicacy – santé!

 

From kermitlynch.com

Domaine de la Prebende Beaujolais Rosé:

  • Varietal:  Gamay
  • Vine Age:  3-70 years
  • Soil Type:  Granite
  • Vineyard Area: 3 Hectares (only 7.4 acres!)
  • Hand harvested
  • Vines are fertilized with natural compost
  • Yields are severely limited by both pruning and green harvest, even for the grapes that go into the Nouveau
  • Grapes are harvested manually and vinified without SO2
  • Wines are fermented naturally
  • Rosé made by direct press
  • Full malolactic fermentation
  • Vinfied and aged in stainless steel tank
  • Aged for 3 months before bottling

 

Domaine de la Prébende –

Domaine de la Prébende Domaine de la Prébende produces a deeply mineral Beaujolais from a predominantly clay and limestone terroir, a rarity in a region dominated by granite soils. “Une prébende” essentially means “a tax,” and the domaine sits on the location where monks used to collect taxes from the villagers. As Ghislaine Dupeuble puts it, “Monks didn’t like to own low end vineyards!”

The grapes are harvested manually and vinified completely without SO2. The wines are not chaptalized, filtered, or degassed and only natural yeasts are used for the fermentation.

The wines of Dupeuble represent some of the best values in the Beaujolais today and are widely regarded for their very high quality and eminently reasonable price.

 

In the hamlet of Le Breuil, deep in the southern Beaujolais and perched above a narrow creek, the Domaine Dupeuble has been running almost continuously since 1512. The name of the domaine has changed just three times in its history, most recently when the last heir, Anna Asmaquer, married Jules Dupeuble in 1919. Anna’s son Paul, and her grand children Ghislaine and Stéphane Dupeuble, manage the domaine. Kermit first met Ghislaine and Stéphane’s father, Damien, for lunch in Paris in the late 1980s, and thus began the annual tradition of blending the KLWM Beaujolais Nouveau.

Tradition runs deep in the family, but each generation has also managed to add something new, including increasing the property. Today it is comprised of one hundred hectares, about forty percent of which is consecrated to vineyards. Strong advocates of the lutte raisonnée approach to vineyard work, they tend their vines without the use of any chemicals or synthetic fertilizers. The vineyards, planted primarily to Gamay, face Southeast, South, and Southwest, and about two thirds of the property is on granite-based soil.

 

60 Days of Rosé #13 | 90 Plus Cellars | Côtes de Provence Rosé | $12.99

60 Days of Rosé #13 | 90 Plus Cellars | Côtes de Provence Rosé | $12.99

Treat yourself this summer with the refreshing and craveable 90 Plus Cellars Côtes de Provence Rosé!  From the Le Haut Var of Provence in southern France, comes this classic rosé blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah.

 

No corkscrew required to dive into this bottle of deliciousness – lift out the glass stopper and you’re ready to enjoy the refreshing liquid delights of southern France!

90 Plus Cellars Rosé –

  • Country:  France
  • Appellation: Le Haut Var, Provence
  • Varietals:   Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah
  • ABV: 12.5%

From ninetypluscellars.com

For more than 2,500 years humans have been cultivating grapes and making pale, pink (i.e. Rosé) wine in the sundrenched, windswept vineyards of Provence. This is the Rosé center of the world.

 Winemaking & Vineyards
A blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah grown in Le Haut Var of Provence, France. The mountains and forest cool the vineyards in this warm Mediterranean climate, preserving the acidity and freshness while also allowing the grape’s flavors to develop fully.

Taste
A powerful bouquet of red fruits and stawberries are tied together with wild flowers, stone fruit and minerality. A highly aromatic wine, bursting with freshness.

 

 

60 Days of Rosé #09 | Wilde Farm | Native & Natural Dolcetto Rosé | Fox Hill Vineyard Mendocino

   

60 Days of Rosé #09 | Wilde Farm | Dolcetto Rosé | Fox Hill Vineyard Mendocino California | $19.99

Wilde Farm Dolcetto Rosé is lovingly made with natural yeast, no sulfites are added, and it is 100% delicious!

Only 70 cases of were made for the universe we exist in, so snag your bottle of this sumptuous stunner before they vanish!

wildefarmwines.com

 

The Winery:
Wilde Farm was a place long before it was a wine. Built in 1907 on the estate of Samuel Wilde, a successful coffee and spice trader, Wilde Farm began as a horse farm, with a generous kitchen garden of vegetables and herbs. It is of the Colonial Revival style popular at the time. The edifice itself is purposefully constructed, with hand-hewn floorboards, chestnut moldings, high, plastered ceilings and strong, honest lines. Much like its eponymous wine, the house was expertly crafted of honest materials and made to age gracefully. About twenty years ago, my wife and I took over custody of Wilde Farm. There we have raised three beautiful boys, in the only home they have ever known.

Wilde Farm makes wines from old vines and exceptional vineyards. Quantities are very small. Our wines are bright, balanced and made by hand. They emphasize a balance of acid and fruit. As an added bonus they age great.

Pax Mahle makes Wilde Farm wines. He has a light touch and a craftsman’s approach. Together, we work hard to ensure that Pax has the best materials available and that as a team we screw it up as little as possible. We source grapes from old vine, low yield sites, where soil, climate and honest farming practices allow for a full expression of the type of grape and the place the grapes come from. We only offer vineyard designated wines (so far).We pick when the grapes are ripe and ready. Yeasts are ambient, oak is neutral and fermentation happens at its own pace. We sometimes include stems in the primary fermentation, when it makes sense. We bottle our wines unfined and unfiltered. We sell them when we think they are delicious.

Winemaker’s notes:
Vibrant and fresh with a compelling depth of aroma of effusive cinnamon laced black red & blue fruits. The palate is loaded w/ fresh fruit, spice and a supple core of spicier fruit. Weighty and textural this is really delicious served w/ a chill.

  • Alcohol: 12.4%
  • pH: 3.48
  • Cases Produced: 70

Fox Hill Vineyard:
Wilde Farm Dolcetto comes exclusively from The Fox Hill vineyard, located just south of the town of Ukiah on the Talmage Bench. The soils are well-drained, with high concentrations of gravel and sandstone. Fig, apple and plum trees dot the grounds, as well as an acre of olive trees. The Dolcetto we source comes from the cooler, tree-shaded, north-west facing slopes. This wine goes through complete carbonic fermentation with native yeasts and is raised naturally for only 6 months in neutral french barrique with no sulfur added.