60-Second Primorska Cabernet Sauvignon Mini-Challenge

Well, it took a little longer, but not much.

For this inaugural mini-challenge, we pit a pair of cabernet sauvignons from Primorje (a quick overview on Slovenia’s regions here and open this in a new tab for this evening’s challenge theme song):

The 2005 from Dolfo (Medana, Goriska Brda) against that of Primož Štoka (Krajna Vas, Kras), 2002. Brda, the established international red area v. the uppity Kras, seeking respect for their classic varietals.

Both came off the shelf at Mercator, one of Slovenia’s three major grocery chains, for EUR 7.99 (USD10.91/ GBP 5.39), and 8.72 (USD 11.91/ GBP 5.81) respectively, basically solid mid-range offerings that should give you something in return. Both received ample air before any quaffing ensued, but from the get-go, it was fairly obvious that Štoka was going to kick some western Slovenian ass here tonight. It was more of a romp.

The initial leathery raspberry aromas eventually turned jammy and pleasantly plummy, with great fruit on the palate and a nicely-balanced finish. I have no idea how Štoka’s wines age, but this one will be even better in a year or two, and has enough backbone to last longer.

By comparison, the Dolfo was flat. Significantly lighter in color and body, the upfront fruit simply wasn’t there on the palate, and it ended with a hint of unripe sour cherry –if you bothered to search for what was lurking behind the tannins. This 2005 is obviously still young; the tannins should smooth out and it’ll fill out a little more in the next year. But not much. For 73 cents, the difference should not have been this dramatic.

No contest. Štoka will return in the Piran Cafe Winter Less-Mini-Challenge, where it will fight for the right to move on to the inaugural Piran Cafe BIG Challenge in the spring. Stay tuned.

(If it’s of enough interest, view pic large to see the colors, along with the little flying things that went for a swim who also seemed to prefer the Stoka.)

10 August 2007



  1. Worth knowing. Your jammy/plummy description of the Štoka is essentially what I’m hoping for in a Cabernet, whereas your less glowing notes on the Dolfo describe a disappointing number of the Brda wines I grab at random. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. My pleasure! Am looking forward to exploring more from Kras. I enjoy randomly selecting stuff, but wines should be, at the very least, somewhat decent at those price points.

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