A valley & hills, the wines of Western Slovenia
Year 14, No. 02
‘Janbruary’ is really a weeks-long Monday on the calendar, so let’s do a new discount which is for the Hudin.com “Pro” membership.
For those who want $30 off the $90 annual price, use the code ‘gopro24’ when signing up. If you’re already a “Classic” member and want in, you can upgrade your current membership as well.
To learn more, please read the announcement (*) on the site.
Growing up in the interior of California, right around this time of year we’d say something to effect of “God I hate ‘Janbruary’.”
Despite my home state’s reputation of being 100% Baywatch year round, the interior, especially up north is a really grim place towards the end of January until mid-February, as in, Coen Brothers, neo-noir grim.
Those stories of 100 car freeway pile-ups you’ll read about in the US? These happen in California’s Central Valley because of the dreaded “tule fog” which is this thick ground-based fog that’s nearly-impenetrable to light and wears down residents as it goes on for weeks at a time. Admittedly, watching True Detective’s “Night Country” lately, I’ll take two weeks of tule fog over a month of no sun above the Arctic Circle, any day.
I’ve found that here in Priorat, Catalunya, there’s a mild case of this as fog loves to creep up from the Ebre River this time of year, yet thankfully burns off midday given that we’re at an altitude of 300m. But in releasing the latest report on Vipava Valley & Goriška Brda in Western Slovenia, I was reminded of how overcast and murky it was when I was visiting that region this past October. It was such a stark comparison to when I was researching the Hvar Island Report in Croatia, back in October 2022, bathed in what was an eerily-warm fall. Who can predict the weather…
Janbruary does eventually come to pass, but if you’re in need of levity during your own, local Janbruary, then note that the Cul de Cuvée is now publishing (*) on its own site and the guest piece for this week is all about not being a ‘glass bore’. (*)
And perhaps some of us have reason to celebrate as Dry January has officially ended today? If this is the case for you (or you’re just drinking less wine in general) take a moment and come back around to wine, as you shouldn’t mess with the raw, doldrumming power of Janbruary. Go have something nice one of these evenings, just beware the ‘balsamics’. (*)
Drink well, be well.
(*) Free to read
The Featured Reports
While a geographic gateway to Slovenia when coming from Italy, there’s a great deal to love in these hills and the valley behind them in Western Slovenia. From more exacting wines to full-on natural insanity to a good number of sparkling wines, there’s pretty much a wine for everyone here.
And now this
The 2021 wines in “not-Rioja” winery, Artadi are truly splendid. Please have a read about them and what to expect from what seems to be a fine vintage in the lands of Rioja.
Ever heard the terms, “balsamics” as a wine descriptor? Yeah, it’s a touch weird and here we take a look (*) at what it seems to mean and what it should mean.
One doesn’t get to taste a century-old wine too often, so when in Eastern Slovenia and one is offered, you very much take the offer!
The Featured Wine
It may seem a bit crazy to grow Petit Verdot in Spain as it is after all, a Bordeaux grape variety, but there are several pockets where it does quite well such as near Ronda in Andalucía when grown at 900m. This wine, by Bibi García is exceeding elegant and while it may not be the Petit Verdot you’d expect, it’s a fine wine on its own. I scored it 93pts and taking all this into consideration, it’s why it was included in the Hudin Top 100 2023.