Producer Profile: Some of our favorite wines from the Balkans come from a producer whose farm is not just a vineyard – at Šumenjak, it is a busy operation with beekeeping, spirit distillation (brandy), and the breeding of suckler cows. In the northeast portion of the country, nearer the border with Austria than Italy, the Šumenjak estate is beset among the wine-rich Slovene hills, technically a part of Lower Styria, a thirty-minute drive north of the city of Maribor. It is a picturesque region of Europe, with bucolic vistas that immediately bring to mind the sense of verdant peace recalled by some of the best that pastoral literature has to offer. The grapes are cultivated organically from a combination of young and old vines, and in their own words “the main concern” for winemaking is not to be found in the cellar, but rather in the vineyard, where they never use fertilizer and eschew both herbicides and synthetic pesticides. These are very pretty, easygoing wines that often carry with them a brilliant bouquet of aromatics and that smooth, cool-climate texture throughout the palate. Always one of our faves!
Vinification: A blend of organically-farmed Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Gris from marl and sandstone soils. Grapes were hand-harvested and co-fermented on the skins using native yeasts in open vats, followed by a 24 month aging period in barrique. Unfined, unfiltered with no SO2.
Tasting Notes: Dark amber in the glass, with subtle notes of apple pie, cinnamon and winter spices on the nose. The palate is also full of winter spices, orchard fruit and an earthy, gritty, somewhat bitter underlayer, with a touch of tannin that gives the wine some density and power. The finish is long, bright and electric. Pair with "Heartbeat" by Carly Rae Jepsen and a salty aged cheddar.