Date: Feb 18/11, Fri Time: 12:00:00-04:00:00 Style: Drop-In
Movia Wine Tasting - Mark Cuff of the The Living Vine presented Movia. Producing wine for more than three centuries and purchased by the Kristancic family in 1820, the winery is currently under the direction of Ales, a French- and Italian-trained winemaker. Ales pursues a historically minded but radical approach to winemaking that includes aging of the whites in 600-liter Slavonian oak casks or traditional Slavonian barriques, leaving them on the lees without stirring for more than two years. His approach to the reds is no less novel, with each being treated in accordance with its particular makeup. As with the whites, maturation is performed exclusively in small Slavonian oak casks. Racking is never performed, and the fining and filtering procedures are governed by the atmospheric pressure incurred by the arrival of the new moon. This constitutes a wholly natural approach that presents the wines in a state of brilliant clarity.
Students and winemakers around the globe study his techniques, and many visit him to observe and learn firsthand. His vinification and viticultural philosophy cannot be construed as either traditional or even purely natural: rather, it is a reflection of a collective wisdom acquired and refined over two centuries of winemaking at the Movia estate. Terms that have been rendered virtually meaningless in the wine world due to gratuitous usage—green harvest, 100% new French barrique, and low yields—are not part of Movia’s viticultural frame of reference. Production is informed by fine-tuned biodynamic principles that reflect a thorough understanding of vine and root management.
Although Ribolla, an aromatic, robust, and late-ripening varietal is obscured by both Pinot Grigio and Tocai—the preferred grapes of the international and local scenes, respectively—it enjoys flattering representation in the work of Friuli’s iconoclastic producers. Ribolla wines are generally dry and buttery, possessing good acidity in their youth. However, age moderates this grape’s juvenile vivacity and many age well, developing a mature richness. During visits to the Movia estate, Sergio has tasted Ribollas dating back to the fifties and sixties, and has found them to be miracles of viticultural science—providing firsthand evidence that the whites of the Collio have the ability to age gracefully.
Just as with his whites, the Movia reds defy the characteristic and expected, eliciting strikingly pure varietal translations that capture an intimate sense of place. His approach to red vinification is no less novel than that accorded his whites. The aging period for reds spans a period of three to seven years.
Movia's Veliko Rosso (Rdece in Slovenian) —which literally means “Big Red”—is comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Nero. While the name is not a misnomer, given the wine’s full body, this is a shapely, toned red that cuts a lean figure, charged with an acidity that is almost racy—quite nearly like that of a white, in fact. The monovarietal Cabernet is of the same mode, as it does not abuse the varietal through excessive alcohol levels or over- extraction—it is a Cabernet of finesse. Another minimalist feature: As both are technically labeled as Slovenian wines, as opposed to Italian, they represent tremendous values.
Wines sampled at this tasting included:
2009 Belo, Pinot Grigio ($17.95)
2008 Sauvignon ($26.95), the 2006 vintage achieved 90 pts (Wine Spectator). "Offers aromas of lilac, pineapple skin and light toffee. Full-bodied, thick and dense, with an oily texture and lots of dried peach and lemon character, followed by a long, flavorful finish. Rich and stylish."
2007 Sivi, Pinot ($29.95), the 2006 vintage achieved 91 pts (Wine Spectator). “Pale straw in color, with a rose hue. Thick and rich, almost late-harvest in style, with loads of peach, honey and melon aromas and flavors.”
2004 Merlot ($36.95)
2003 Puro, Rose ($36.95), scored 92 pts (Wine and Spirits). Puro is Movia’s highly individual sparkling wine. Made from pinot noir that undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle (and is shipped undisgorged), this is vibrant and lifted, with citrus and strawberry aromas that lead to a ciderlike taste. Those fruit flavors become savory with air, showing a salty mineral character that lasts for minutes. This is compelling wine that may well challenge your expectations. Try it with razor clams.
2007 Lunar ($39.95), scored 91 pts (Wine and Spirits). "There's a saline aspect to this ribolla gialla that elegantly bridges the flavors of citrus and quince. It feels completely refreshing, the finish defined by nervy acidity. Decant a bottle for branzino with capers."
2008 Lunar ($39.95), scored 90 pts (Wine and Spirits), "A warm gold color implies the generous texture of this wine. It's fattened up by alcohol and fruit-skin tannin, the briny lees of the structure completely filled by a deep orange fruit flavor. Tart, cidery acidity cleans it up, leaving spice and white tea scents in the finish. Serve with roast veal and spaetzle
2005 Modri, Pinot ($39.95)
2006 Veliko, Belo ($47.95), the 2004 achived 93 pts (Wine Spectator). "Shows complex aromas of cream, light vanilla, apple pie, toffee and citrus fruit. Full-bodied, with an oily texture, but lots of almond paste, apple tart and nutmeg. Long and flavorful. Very intense and exciting to taste. Ribolla Gialla, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio."
Good show Mark!