Merlot, Jure Stekar, 2013, red-wine from Slovenia
Jure Stekar often reminds me that I should finally write about his wine. And he’s undoubtedly right, because he produces one of my favorite Merlots. Merlot is such a widespread grape that there are understandably many sommeliers and wine lovers who have no particular affection for this grape variety. Due to the worldwide cultivation of this sort we can experience many different good and interesting wines. In the meantime, there are more than a few wineries in Germany who produce Merlot, including some that make very good wines such as Aldinger from Stuttgart (Bergmandel, Lemberger GG, 2012, Aldinger). Their Merlot of course tastes completely different compared to an unfiltered Merlot from Newton, California for example. What connects the two wines, however, is the proud price, even if the German is much better off.
Jure’s Merlot is not only a very special one because it has its very own character and is made entirely biologically and naturally (even without sulfides), but it is also an inexpensive price for its great quality. Though I probably shouldn’t mention that here because the price of the wine could always go up. However, what might prevent a rise in prices would be the rarely ugly label.
The wine holds the freshness from the wine-growing region in Slovenia. It is a bit fruity – typically for a Merlot, it tastes of wild berries and black cherries, but also has something appealingly reserved, some tannin’s, which provide the wine with a special note, particularly if you serve it cellar cold. Jure’s Merlot is wonderfully balanced and despite the fineness, is a strong round wine. I’m absolutely in love with it. 2013 Vintages for me are very far in front, but also the current vintage 2016 tastes very good as well. I give 7,5 points not for the quality of the wine, but for the very fair price! The value of the wine is much, much higher!
I have already written about the beautiful wine region Brda because here are several winemakers who produce fantastic wines. These include two winemakers named Simcic (Edi Simcic, Sauvignon, Goriska Brda, 2006), Alek Klinec (Móra, Klinec, 2009) and Alec Kristancic (Movia, Veliko, 2006). Jure differs slightly from those mentioned above. Firstly, he does not belong to this “first” guard (yet), which are known mainly through successful international export across the borders of Slovenia, but simply because he is younger, untraditional and more dynamic. He took over the winery from his father a few years ago under the radical agreement, which his father shouldn’t have talked him into, but he had to help with the harvest to ensure everything would be switched to an organic and natural production. Nonetheless, he is doing it sympathetically pragmatic. He is not the type of winemaker who disappears with a few visitors for hours in the cellar and explains the wine-making, where half of the guests don’t understand what is being said despite the detailed lecture. I have yet to see his wine cellar without anything really being worked there. You sit down with him on his beautiful terrace, enjoy the view of the vineyards and listen to some history of wine making.
But more importantly, you should try a new creation of blends. Jure Stekar is full of ideas and driven to continuously improve his wines as well as increase the variety. He may not have found his final style yet and his wines are not yet “ripe” compared to those in Klinec or the fine winemaker Simcic. But as I mentioned, they have their own character and as for the Merlot: it’s my absolute favorite. And I know Merlot’s the best. If you drive in the Brda and do not stay at Klinec, you must stay overnight with Jure. In the summer he rents a few beautiful rooms and apartments with a quaint pool in front of the door. It is a true holiday spot in the wonderful countryside with a generous and entertaining host. Please find all about Jure Stekar, his wines and his winery at this webpage: http://www.vinastekar.si
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