A Duo of Italians

2010 Movia Sauvignon

Movia wines are from Slovenia across the border from Friuli, Italy, & are some of the world’s most idiosyncratic, avant garde wines–extreme & certainly interesting. 

 Movia2The estate dates back to 1700’s, passing into the hands of the Kristančič family with a wedding in 1820. The estate extends over 22 hectares of land, about half of which lie on the Italian side of the Goriška Brda (Collio)”. 

 I have been fortunate to try some of their Ribolla based white wines from 1959 & 1969 (in 2007) & was amazed how they tasted. The latest of their wines we have experienced is this 2010 Sauvignon. It is really different…..and a most interesting drink.

 zbbbbThis vine originates from France and arrived to Slovenia from two different directions. Its path leading through Germany and Austria gave it its German alternate name Muscat Silvaner.   Sauvignon produced in Slovene winegrowing regions develops a strong bouquet with distinct notes of bell peppers, hay and elderflower.”

“Organically farmed….late harvest, hand picked, short vine-to-fermentation times (max. 2h). Primary fermentation in large tanks on natural yeasts obtained from the same pre-harvested grapes (5%). Secondary fermentation completed in barrique barrels on the lees, no racking. No sulphur or any other preservatives used before bottling, thus the wine can complete all its natural processes and become naturally stable, ready to last a human lifetime. Matured 18 months in 220 liter French oak barrels. Aged 4 months in bottles before release”.

 This Sauvignon is way different from anything I have tasted from New Zealand, California or France’s Loire Valley or Bordeaux region.  It is resounding stony, with lots of base notes (as opposed to ethereal one gets from lighter soils, such as sand or limestone).  Furthermore, the abundant floral nuances are much more pungent & not as apparently pretty….at least at first.  I believe the winery refers to this as elderflower.  Still, the wine is very light on its feet AND quite sophisticated in its style.  I would also say this wine is quite mesmerizing not only because of its real idiosyncratic character but more about how it has many different nuances & layering……really done so quietly, which really sneaks up on you.

Granato3 Elisabetta Foradori

Here is yet another Italian producer of very interesting, idiosyncratic wines.  The estate is located in the Dolomites of northern Italy near the Austria border…..”lots of mountains and a fresh climate“.  The topography was greatly influenced by several factors, but none as immediate as the Noce River.  The soil is stony alluvial with lots of pebbles & gravel.  Elisabetta, after taking over the domaine after the sudden passing of her father, has chosen to farm organically AND biodynamically……as she understands the great importance of “being a good farmer” & how that will influence her resulting wines.  In short she is on a mission & her vineyards & wines clearly showcase that.

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 1997 Granato

Granato is one of Foradori’s centerpiece wines.  This remarkable & unique red wine is produced from the indigenous Teroldego grape variety, which for this bottling in usually grown in 3 vineyards–Vigna, Cesura & Regin.  The wine is fermented in large open top wood & aged for 18 to 24 months in barrel.

On this night, we sampled the 1997, which right off the bat, we were soooo surprised at how amazingly youthful it was.  It had a density of color, & a kind of a muddy appearance, without much sheen.  The perfume was unusual….which some tasters noted as a real pomegranate quality.  On the palate, we were all surprised at how graceful & elegant it tasted, having expecting at least some kind of coarse-ness or roughness, by the color & aroma.  Remarkably the wine just kept exuding all kinds of nuance & complexity as the wine opened up with air.  Yes, it was stony with a somewhat surinam cherry (a slight pungent/veg quality) in the background.   The wine was very tasty & I would say compelling, because I just had to keep going back to it, to smell & taste more.  The wine has wonderful depth & vinosity, superb balance & a long finish.  Bravo!!!!!!!!!   I just wish I had more!

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