Blaževi Estate, Slovenia – A Primer in Seven Wines
Gornje Cerovo 87
Roman (father) and Danjel (son) Prinčič
Goriška Brda, Primorska, Slovenia
GORNJE CEROVO, Slovenia — 12/13-November — The Prinčič family were our gracious hosts during this year’s Martinovo celebration; here’s a few thoughts/notes on their wines.
We began with the 2004 Rebulla (ribolla in Italian), a dry white that does quite well in this area. This one was exceptional, nice aromas, nice body, a nice starter, a winner. I took two bottles home. It briefly took me back, for no reason immediately apparent to me, to a large room in Zurich’s Museum of Art I visited last August that featured a large Monet on each of its four walls, creating a fortress of sorts for an Island of Rodin sculptures in the room’s middle. Energized tranquility.
Their 2004 Sauvignon Blanc was next, a wine that on the palate didn’t quite measure up to its full bouquet. (This one later did much better with food, a very delicately seasoned pork dish.)
2004 Chardonnay. Their regular bottling was OK, but you have to understand, I’m all about oaked, buttery chards. Read on.
2003 Chardonnay Barrique. To Danjel, barrique (oak barrel, in a literal translation) means to age in new French oak. This one, their 2003, won’t be released until April or May of 2006 but it’s already an absolutely lovely wine. A rich beautiful light gold color, tangy tropical fruit on the palate, with a long buttery finish that goes on forever. Will certainly improve for a few more years and definitely won’t top out for quite a while. Took two bottle of this home as well, and will let you know.
Before moving on, Danjel later opened a 1996 chard, unoaked, that still lives on nicely. Not my particular style, but it does show that the Princic’s obviously know what they’re doing.
2004 Rumeni Muskat (yellow muscat). A popular dessert wine from this region, and this one is impossible not to like. Plenty of dried fruit notes, not bitingly sweet. Was delicious before dinner, after dinner, before breakfast, after breakfast, before lunch, and after lunch.
2003 Cabernet Sauvignon. The first, their regular bottling, was nice enough, but still a little green.
2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Barrique. As their chard, this one is aged in new French oak, and with about 12% pinot noir blended in, another winner, by far my favorite of the night. Same as the chard, this is the yet-to-be released 2003, but already delightful and quite ageworthy. Danjel thinks it’ll peak in another two or three years and remain stable for several after that. Took home a couple bottles of this as well and can’t wait to report on it again. (But I will wait, sorry.)
During a few cellar visits, we tasted some tank samples of the 2005s; the sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot grigio, but if it’s honesty your looking for, then I have to say that I simply can’t remember the specifics except that I asked for and received a second helping on the pinot.
Sorry for the lack of more nuanced, detailed descriptions. I was enjoying myself entirely too much and I didn’t really feel like scribbling notes. In short, Danjel’s are all solid wines. With most retailing at just 5-10 euros (price for the barriques to be determined), they’re all not only great values, they’re downright bargains. Export is virtually non-existent at the moment, but I would advise that if you make it to Slovenia sometime soon, to pick up a bottle or two. Because these prices won’t last long.
Oh, the scorpion. We found him/her casually crawling up a wall on Danjel’s upstairs addition. They bring good luck, you know.