The wine of the month, 2019, part 2 of 4
September 2019: Steyer, Kraljevo vino, Diseci Traminec, Ledeno vino, 2011, white sweet wine, Stajerska, Slovenia, 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points) (2019-09-01 by Nenad Jelisic)
Wow, what the wine! This is probably the world's best ice wine made of Gewurztraminer, and the Steyer winery is probably the world's best producer of ice wines made of Gewurztraminer. In any case, I have never tasted better ice wines made of Gewurztraminer than those from the Steyer winery and I have tasted many. So far, the winery has produced only six vintages of this fabulous wine: 1997, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2011. Three of these (1999, 2001 and 2011) have been tasted by NJ Wines and all have got NJP 5,0 of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points). Bravo Steyer! Balance between the sweetness and the acidity is absolutely incredible in this vintage. It was a pure joy to taste/drink this fantastic wine. Steyer Kraljevo vino Diseci Traminec Ledeno vino 2011 has at least a 30 years long aging potential, i.e. until at least 2049. Note that it is already 8 years old. The aftertaste is extremely long, better to say, it almost never disappears from the mouth. Very sweet, extremely complex, honey-like and mineral-like, almost salty, flavour with dried fruits, citrus fruits, orange peel and sweet spices. An explosion of aroma of incredible complexity with honey, sweet spices, raisins, dried figs, orange peel, citrus fruits and yellow pears. Kraljevo vino Diseci Traminec Ledeno vino 2011 should be enjoyed with grilled goose liver, which is the best combination with the wine, or with fruit salad consisting of orange, white grapes, mango, kiwi and a little of this wine or with tasty cheeses such as Gorgonzola, Roquefort and Stilton or without any food at all, just enjoy its enormous complexity, taste and aroma. It should be drank at 8°C from Riedel Vinum Extreme Rose/Ice wine or Orrefors Difference Sweet or Orrefors Elixir. The soil on which the grapes for the wine grow consists of marl (a clayey soil that contains a lot of lime). The grapes are harvested, destemmed and sorted by hand. Then they are pressed very slowly and very gently for a three-day period. The fermentation takes place in old oak barrels from France, which hold 200 to 300 litres, over a two-month period and a controlled temperature of 12 and 15°C. The aging takes place in the same oak barrels as the fermentation has been done for a period of 24 to 36 months. The harvest usually takes place during the month of January. According to the Slovenian rules, the temperature must be at least minus 7°C, three days in a row, before the harvest may begin. This vintage began to be harvested in January, after the temperature was under minus 12°C, three days in a row. The wine is only produced during exceptional years and in very small quantities. Only 933 0,375 litre bottles were produced of this vintage. Finally, and not least, Kraljevo vino means Royal wine, Diseci Traminec means Gewurztraminer and Ledeno vino means Ice wine.
August 2019: Edi Simcic, Sauvignon, 2016, white dry wine, Goriska Brda, Primorje, Slovenia, 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points) (04-08-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)
This is the best and most complex and concentrated Sauvignon Blanc-wine that I have tasted. One like this Sauvignon Blanc-wine you cannot find in the wine region of Loire Valley in France or in the wine region of Marlborough in New Zealand. With this Sauvignon 2016, Aleks and his father Edi confirm again that they belong to the absolute best wine producers in Slovenia or better to say that they belong to the absolute best wine producers in former Yugoslavia. Aleks and Edi allow the nature (their grapes and terroir) to "talk" in their wines. As they say "The nature itself speaks to the one who can hear it". The aroma is large, complex and concentrated. It is characterized by yellow pears, apricots, peaches and hints of butter, smoke and vanilla. The flavour is fresh, large, complex, concentrated, fruity and mineral. It is characterized by citrus fruits, minerals, apricots, yellow pears, peaches, green apple and hints of honey, vanilla, butter and smoke. The aftertaste is very long, and it feels like it never disappears from the mouth. Edi Simcic Sauvignon 2016 is a fabulous wine already, but it can be aged for at least 6 more years i.e. until at least 2025. Enjoy this fabulous wine at 8 to 10°C from glasses like Difference Crisp from Orrefors or Veritas from Riedel or Esprit from Peugeot or Atelier from Luigi Bormioli. Spaghetti pasta frutti di mare with shellfish or grilled lobster halves with some butter, parsley and finely chopped red pepper on them or grilled salmon with white wine sauce and boiled potatoes (preferably new potatoes) or grilled corn chicken with grilled red pepper, grilled tomatoes, grilled zucchini, potato croquettes and a little bearnaise sauce or Bouillabaisse will very well fit with the wine. The grapes for the wine are hand harvested. The vines are between 16 to 29 years old. The soil on which the grapes grow consists of marl (a clayey soil that contains a lot of lime). The wine is first macerated for about 2 to 4 hours in press, and then fermented in 75% used and 25% new 225 litre oak barrels from France under a temperature between 22 and 24 degrees for about 25 days. After the fermentation, the wine is aged in the same oak barrel as it had been fermented for about 10 months. After the aging, the wine is bottled and aged for about 12 more months.
July 2019: Enjingi, Venje, Bijelo, 2006, white dry blend wine, Kutjevo, Slavonia, Croatia, 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points) (07-07-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)
That a white wine can be so complex and concentrated and have such a good tannin structure is absolutely incredible. On the side of the wine's pre-mentioned complexity, concentration and tannin structure, the wine's minerality and extremely long aftertaste stand out. Everyone who knows a little about white wines knows that the largest majority of white wines should/shall be drunk young i.e. 1 to 3 years old, but this rule does not apply to Enjingi's Venje. The wine is already 13 years old, but shows no signs of such ages, on the contrary it shows a really good acidity, a really good tannin structure, a really good concentration and a really good complexity. In addition, the wine never stops growing/developing in the glass. The aroma is big, complex, floral, creamy and feels almost a little perfumed. In the aroma, one will find white flowers, roses, vanilla and other sweet spices, honey, dried fruits, yellow apples, yellow pears, honey melon and freshly baked brioche. The flavour is even more complex, floral, creamy and perfumed than the aroma, as well as fresh and mineral rich. In the flavour, one will find minerals, honey, sweet spices, peaches, apricots, yellow pears, yellow apples, honey melons, dried fruits, orange peel, grapefruit and lime. Thanks to its complexity, acidity and tannin structure, Enjingi Venje Bijelo 2006 fits almost any food. Here are some suggestions: chicken soup, grilled salmon with white wine sauce and boiled fresh small potatoes (my favourite food with Venje), grilled corn chicken or grilled pork chops with grilled red peppers, grilled tomatoes, grilled zucchini, potato croquettes and bearnaise sauce and Bouillabaisse. Regardless that the wine already has 13 years, it has a great aging potential, at least 10 years (2029). It should start drinking at about 8°C from large Burgundy glasses from Orrefors, Riedel or Spiegelau. Venje is always made from these five grapes: 20% Riesling, 20% Grasevina (Welschriesling), 20% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Gewurztraminer and 20% Pinot Gris. The grapes are organically grown, and all the grapes are harvested by hand. The vines are between 30 and 50 years old. The soil on which the aforementioned grapes grow consists of about 30 cm of very rocky clay soil on the top of weathered magmatic rock. The grapes are fermented separately in stainless steel tanks under a controlled temperature between 15 and 20 degrees. Only the natural yeast, which comes from vineyards, is used. After the fermentation, the wines are blended together and first aged in 225 litres new oak barrels (barrique) from the Slavonia in Croatia for at least 18 months and then in stainless steel tanks for at least 12 months. After the aging, the wine is bottled, without fining, and aged for at least 12 months more. The wine is only produced during exceptional years. Most recently, the wine was produced in 2008 and before that, 2006, 2003, 2002 and 1998. The quantities are very limited.