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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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Brda

Merlot, Stekar, 2013

Merlot, Jure Stekar, 2013, red-wine from Slovenia

7,5 points

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.

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Kolos, 2004, Edi Simčič, Goriška Brda

Kolos, 2004, Edi Simčič, Goriška Brda, Red wine from Slovenia

6,5 points

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.

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Edi Simcic, Sauvignon, Goriska Brda, 2006

Edi Simcic, Sauvignon, Goriska Brda, 2006, White-wine from Slovenia

6,5 points

This is another example how outstanding some wines can be from Slovenia. This Sauvignon of Edi Simcic is rich, voluminous and certainly unique. Although nine years old there is a wonderful freshness like morning dew on summer grass, but of course due to the age very powerful and driven by aromas of gooseberries, apple and different herbs. Many Sauvignon Blancs – in particular if they come from the so called the new world areas – have a smoky tone and / or lots of barrique. Edi Simcic invests certainly a lot in this wine: in the vineyard but also a lot in the cellar and he gives his wines a lot of time!

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Movia, Veliko, 2006

Movia, Veliko Rdece, 2006, suho rdece kakovostno vino ZGP, Brda, Red-wine from Slovenia

6 points

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.

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