[su_pullquote align=”right”]For those of you who need a refresher (or are just eager to learn!), in Slovenian č, š and ž are pronounced “ch”, “sh”, and “zh”. ‘J’ is soft, as in the ‘y’ in you. So Potoče is pronounced Po To Che. (As for the tongue-twisting ‘lj’: whenever you see those two letters together in that order as in the capital city’s name Ljubljana, it’s easier to just pretend that the ‘j’ isn’t there.)[/su_pullquote]I’ll remember this Tilia Estate Pinot Gris for two reasons: it was the first regular 2017 vintage bottling I’ve tried, and by far the freshest Pinot Gris I’ve ever tasted.
The two obviously go hand-in-hand. You can’t get much more fresh than a wine poured from a bottle less than three months after it was harvested. That’s standard operating procedure for Tilia, a small eight-hectare estate in Slovenia’s Vipava Valley district run by Matjaž and Melita Lemut, whose yellow ‘Sunshine’ line focuses on showing the freshness and varietal characteristics that the area can produce. To be clear, this isn’t a nouveau-style release. This is the standard bottling.
And it succeeds. It’s so fresh and lively in fact that it can be likened to a jolt of energizing tropical fruit. There’s a playful and very aromatic cornucopia in the glass: ripe green apples and pears dance confidently with melons before taking their final funky bow with a zesty, citrusy finish. It’s Grace Jones, circa mid-1980s. I loved Grace Jones in the mid-1980s.
Tilia produces about 30,000 liters of wine a year, with vineyards planted with Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Ribolla, Pinot Noir and Merlot. But it’s become known, and even rebranded, as ‘The House of Pinots’. This wine is a clear example of why. I’m looking forward to crossing paths with a few of its cousins as soon as possible.
About 20,000 bottles produced