Kolos, 2004, Edi Simčič, Goriška Brda, Red wine from Slovenia
For me it is rather difficult to begin with an article about Slovenian wine, because I know it rather well. So far I wrote only a few reviews about it, perhaps already more than you would find in any other blog. I am big fan of Slovenia, a small country with three very different faces: Alpine, Mediterranean and Balkan. Cuisine and wine in Slovenia are a fusion of these three cultures. There is a – yes we can say – famous chef who represents the variety, richness and capacity of “Slovenian” cooking at its best: Ana Ros. (Hisa Franko, Restaurant, Staro Selo Kobarid (2nd report)). Her husband Valter is responsible for my knowledge of Slovenian wines because he once got me drunk on some extraordinarily good and rare wines.
Slovenian winemaking is not too well known even though some of my absolutely favoured wines are from there. Many winemakers from there are fundamentalists and individualists as Marco Fon, father and son Cotar or Aleks Klinec, who are all well known in some of the top restaurants of the world. There are some really “high end” and more traditional winemakers led by Marjan Simčič or Ales Kristaničič’s vinery Movia (Movia, Veliko, 2006). The third group I would call regional winemakers with a very special esprit. However, the best part of Slovenian winemaking is that behind almost every vinery there is an interesting and inspiring personality. You can simply taste the individuality of the winemakers since each wine has a special direction or note even if it comes from the same region, even sometimes the same hill or place. Even if I will not write about his wine today, there are some youngster that have – in my limited perspective – an amazing potential to eventually become great winemakers like Jure Stekar.
Simčič by the way seems to me the most popular winemaker’s name in Slovenia. So far, I have heard that there are even four families with the same name producing wines. Marjan Simčič probably is the best known one but I don’t think there is a huge difference in quality to Edi Simčič. But their style and taste are very different! I will write about Marjan wines as well in short.
Today I am writing about one of my favorite red wines from Slovenia. The wine is called Kolos. It contains Merlot (a dominating portion), Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc – yes, like Bordeaux blends. The wine ages for two years in barrique barrels. Aleks Simčič, the son of founder and namegiver Edi, is a very polite and very friendly man as much as he is assertive and self-confident. A quote from his webpage (http://www.edisimcic.si/narava_nauci02_en.html) confirms it: “I plan where we will be in ten years, how we will get there, who drinks wines…” Of course you would also find a quote on his passion for wine but I am not sure if ten years ago he knew that I would drink his wines. Kolos’s may have a reference to colossal. At least if you – once again – follow the questionable description at their webpage. For me this wine is not colossal but very, very good.
Although there is fruitiness of black berries, cassis and black currant, it is not a fruity wine. It has a lot of tannin, tobacco and a very enjoyable dryness, earthy notes but also a bit spicyness. A very strong and complex wine, if perhaps not even massive. The real opposite to a “light” Pinot or for instance a Teran, a very Slovenian red-wine (Vinogradi Fon, Teran, 2011). In my mind this wine needs to age. Even if it is written somewhere that the potential should be 15 years; I think it can age longer. The one I opened recently was from 2004, so 13 years old and perfect. This wine also needs a lot of air. I decanted the Magnum an hour before drinking it, but I kept a rest in the decanter and put only some kitchen paper into the neck of the carafe. One day later, the wine was just fabulous! So, please, if you have an older bottle, give it some time.
Edi Simčič’ vinery is located in the best known wine region Goriska Brda and I already wrote about it some time ago. So please have a look here: Edi Simcic, Sauvignon, Goriska Brda, 2006.
It is in the direct neighborhood to the Italian wine area Friauli. Some vineyards of Slovenian winemakers are even in Italy and some Italian vineries harvest wines in Slovenia. The Italian name of the area is Collio Goriziano. Some high branded Italian vineries are from the area as e.g. Jermann.