Jakončič Carolina Rebula 2007
This week on Winedoctor has a Slovenian theme, for the first couple of days at least. I am kicking off today with my thoughts on this bottle of Slovenian Rebula, and will continue tomorrow with plenty more tasting notes on Slovenian wines, from the domaine featured here and a good number of others too.
Although I will provide some more detail on Slovenia and her wine heritage tomorrow, I’m sure a quick introduction to the country is warranted here. One of the states to have been created from the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, today Slovenia is a very European nation which looks more to its neighbour to the west, Italy, than perhaps it does to Austria and Hungary, which lie to the north and east, or Croatia to the south. There is a long heritage of viticulture and three major wine regions, the most significant of which is Primorje (often written as Primorska), situated on the western border. Crossing from Primorje into Italy we find ourselves in Friuli Venezia Giulia, and perhaps unsurprisingly there is much cross-border similarity between the two regions, fostering a significant exchange of ideas, practices and techniques. One of many common themes is grape variety; although the names on either side of the border may differ, the varieties are often the same, be they internationals such as Merlot, or more local specialties. Today’s wine is a very good example of the latter; Slovenians call this variety Rebula, but to their Italian neighbours it is Ribolla.
Ribolla/Rebula is an ancient variety which appears in viticultural documents from Friuli as long ago as 1289, and it would appear for many centuries it was highly prized. It was not until the invasion of phylloxera in the 19th centuries that the variety went into decline in that region, as many who replanted opted for more commercial international varieties that originated from France. Plantings still exist today though, both in Italy and Slovenia. In the case of this wine, the 2007 Jakončič Carolina Rebula, the vineyards are located at the northern end of the Primorje region, in the Gorika Brda (Gorika Hills) district, which is often referred to simply as Brda, as the low-rolling hills dominate this area. It has an appealing rich colour, and a nose with floral elements, grippy peach skin, stone fruits with a slightly dried, crystalline quality. On the palate it is immediately full bodied, grippy, with polished, honeyed fruits running through the midpalate, before it starts to show a subtle and really flattering, slightly slippery, glycerol-like texture which matches the grippy structure rather well. Aromatic yet firm rather than flighty, this would be great with roast white meats. Lovely substance on the finish. Texturally and aromatically, this is impressive stuff. 16.5/20 (28/9/09)