2010 Movia, Veliko Rdeče, $64
Winery Info: Founded in 1820 in the village of Ceglo, in the heart of Slovenia’s Goriška Brda region, tucked between the Mediterranean Sea and the Julian Alps, just across the Italian border.
Today Aleš Kristančič represents the eighth generation of his family to oversee the estate. He is regarded as one of the leading wine makers in Slovenia, known for his wholehearted embrace of organic and biodynamic farming practices.
Grapes: 70% Merlot, 20% Pinot Noir, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged six years in French oak, and six months in bottle. No added sulfites.
Vineyard: Their vineyards straddle the border between Slovenia and Italy’s Collio region (Brda is the Slovenian name for Collio). The climate is Mediterranean, with the nearby Alpine peaks providing a cooling effect that allows the grapes to develop good levels of acidity and inviting aromatics. This wine is sourced from their Veliko Vineyard.
Flavor Profile: Intensely aromatic, with notes of dark red fruit, roses, and sweet spice. On the palate, it is soft and smooth, with ripe flavors of black cherries, plums, and a hint of meatiness. It is a complex wine that continues to evolve as it opens up.
Availability: There is still some of this vintage available.
Drinking Window: With 12 years of age on it, this wine is ready to drink now or over the next year or so.
Food Pairing: The winery suggests beef or game, especially with demi-glace or reduction sauces. Or you could enjoy it with smoked meats.
2019 Alta Mora, Etna Bianco, $43
Winery Info: Founded by the Cusumano family in 2013, on the volcanic slopes of Mt. Etna in Sicily. The name Alta Mora, or “high black,” refers to the dark volcanic soils and high elevation (up to 4,000 feet) of their vineyards. Today they own vineyard parcels in five of the appellation’s subzones which they farm with minimal intervention and without the use of chemical treatments, to allow the character of their terroir to shine through.
Grapes: 100% Carricante, from vines averaging 15 years in age.
Vineyard: Sourced from vineyards located at around 2,000 feet elevation in several distinct subzones with a variety of microclimates.
Flavor Profile: The volcanic soil of Mt. Etna tends to produce elegant, balanced wines, with good minerality. This one is fresh and aromatic, with notes of citrus, apple, and a hint of ginger. It has nice texture and structure, with savory flavors of dried fruit and spice, and stony minerality balanced by fresh, crisp acidity.
Availability: This wine is still in relatively good supply.
Drinking Window: It is drinking well now, or could develop further complexity over the next year or two.
Food Pairing: Great with fish or seafood; perhaps shrimp or vegetable tempura.