Movia, Veliko Rdece, 2006, suho rdece kakovostno vino ZGP, Brda, Red-wine from Slovenia
One of the probably most underestimated or let’s say undiscovered wine country in Europe is Slovenia. The most northern country of so-called Former Yugoslavia has three very different wine areas among some real small others: Podravje (in a triangle of Austria and Hungary), Posavje (toward south-east and Croatia) and Primoska which borders to Italy and Istria / Croatia as well. Although there are certainly interesting and even much less known wines from the first two areas the best known one is Primoska. Probably all internationally recognized wine makers of Slovenia are out of this region which lays in southern foothills of Slovenian alps along long valleys towards the Adriatic sea. Some of the wine growing areas are connected directly with Italian areas Friuli but also Venetia.
Winemaking in Slovenia is as old as in Italy or any other former part of Romian empire. Although this country has such a tradition the international presentation and marketing is far behind western standards which is good for people like me since one can always discover something. But it is perhaps a disadvantage of many ambitious wine makers as they produce wine which are on top-level but couldn’t find their ways into international sales. This said, don’t think a minute that wines from Primoska would be comparable with any other Balkan wine. If you like to find similarities than for sure with middle Italian wines.
The first and not any more first but still best known vinery is Movia from a small Slovenian town Brda directly at the border to Italy where they even have another half of their estate. Some of the white sorts are rather regional as Rebula for instance, among the reds you find nowadays only well-known sorts as Merlot, Pinot Nero and Cabernet Sauvignon.
I cannot remember any more precisely when I had my first Movia although I guess it was 2005. At this time it wasn’t relevant either to me than to the person who introduced it to me as it hasn’t been important which Movia exactly we had. Ten or even more years ago a bottle of Movia was rare and like a special currency. Sreten Zivojinovic, one of my best friends, a passionate bon vivant of wine and food, was so proud of this wine and I still understand this very well. But, I never had ever anymore a wine which had such an old-fashioned dusty cover ten years ago. For sure something I would never forget I thought. In meantime they went through a huge re-designing procedure and present themselves much more appropriate. Nevertheless I didn’t forget this vinery out of two reasons: the excellent quality of wine and the spoiling design.
Exactly ten years after I had my first Movia I opened a 2006 Movia Veliko Rdece, the flag-ship of their wines perhaps. First of all: you need to give it time to breathe since this wine matured not less than six (!) years in barrique casks. Each drop gets better as longer it stays in the decanter or the glass. The color is deep and rich red like blood of a bull.
This is really a very complex wine. It is very much dominated by its basis which is clearly Merlot and this makes it really a dry one. Cabernet Sauvignon gives – as I would say – the wine the international approach, the creaminess and some very familiar flavors. What then reduces the vehemence probably is the portion of Pinot Nero. This gives the wine its whole elegance, character and extraordinary kick. Even you think you nip dry red earthy, straw and dry herbs – which is the first experience – a little bit later you can taste also some sour cherry notes – a frazzle of clouds swapping over form some higher mountains with some fresh air.
Needed to add that I kept some for two days in the bottle: it is wonderfully soft and very smooth. Just great wine!
This is a strong and really powerful wine which comes along perfectly with red meat, pasta but certainly also any kind of creamy risotto. Although it is a special and excellent wine it is rather conservative and should be approachable for a broad audience of people. Let’s say, if you like to make a special Thank You Gift to someone who has not a lot of knowledge of wine this could be the perfect present as it is unique due to its origin but conventional enough not to overstress its future drinker. Last but not least it would be a valuable one as this wine can age very long in my point of view and should have a potential even over the next twenty years. But in some extend it is rather expensive, too, as surprisingly so many other Slovenian wines as well.
Astonishingly some while ago I found this wine in New York at a wine store which has a great and very special wine selection called September Wine (http://www.shopseptemberwines.com/). Since this time I always braised the store but just found out that – at least online – they don’t offer the wine anymore. So my dear Slovenian friends, I know you all prefer to drink your own wines for good reasons, share some bottles with the rest of the world. Happily Movia offers a huge and very informative homepage: http://www.movia.si/en/movia on which you will find everything about all their wines.