Gordia White 2012
Slovenska Istra, Primorska, Slovenia
We continue with the orange wine parade with this stunning offering from Gordia, the first I’ve tried from this small producer from the village of Kolomban on the Ankaran (or Muggia) peninsula, not far from Slovenia’s main port city of Koper. And for that matter, not too far south of Italy’s north Adriatic port city of Trieste.
Now that you have your geographic bearings, we’ll hone in a little bit closer: Gordia is the name of the steep south-facing slope that winemaker Andrej Cep’s 3.5 hectares of vineyards sit on. A certified organic operation since 2011, he prefers and largely sticks with a low-intervention approach and has made his name primarily with his extended maceration creations — that, and the highly regarded restaurant he operates as well.
This white (belo in Slovenian) cuvee is a blend of Malvasia (Malvazija, or Istrska Malvazija), Pinot Gris and Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains (Rumeni Mušcat), macerated for 120 days, and later aged for 18 months in used oak barrels sur lies before being bottled, unfiltered.
Its color is a stunning deep caramelized orange, with creamy butterscotch and vanilla on the nose and palate. That’s just its most immediate layer. It keeps on giving; it’s bone dry but the raisiny and dry fig notes lend an impression of sweetness. There’s also some nuttiness that imparts a strong earthy quality. It’s a mouthful, too, with a long delicate finish. I don’t know if it can much better because it’s already great, but has enough firm backbone to live on for at least another half decade.
If you like orange wines, you’ll love this one. If you’re new to macerated whites, Gordia provides a fabulous place to start.
Just 2500 bottles produced. At about €15 a bottle –I had it at Bujol, a charming homestyle seafood restaurant in Izola for €3/glass– it’s an absolute bargain.