2011 Kabaj Merlot Slovenia
The Goriska Brda Hills for a hilly landscape in western Slovenia, north of Nova Gorica on the Italian border. The region has a mild sub-Mediterranean climate with plentiful sunshine. This is the ideal location for grape growing, according to Katja Kabaj Morel and her French oenologist husband, Jean-Michel Morel. From importer Blue Danube: "Along with the rest of the Bordeaux varieties, Merlot has existed in Brda for over 200 years and resides on the steepest and most exposed portions of the vineyards Belo, Grbunovo, Neblo-Vh and Jez. With an average vine age of 40 years, grapes are hand harvested in early October, quickly transported to the winery, destemmed, and placed into concrete vats. After spontaneous primary fermentation and a minimum of 21 days of maceration, the wine is then transferred to neutral French barrique for malolactic fermentation and 24 months of aging. Compact, intensely mineral and savory, it unites this ideal site with the spirit of a Grand Chateau. The Kabaj family also ferments turnips with the grape skins from their Merlot before adding them to a traditional pork and bean soup called Jota."