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Slovenian Wines - Batič

Tom Cannavan, 07/07

Tasting notes on Batič Estate, Vipava Valley in Western Slovenia. These notes accompany a full length feature article on western Slovenia, with profiles of nine of the top private estate wineries.

Batič Estate, Vipava Valley

Batič Rose Polsuho 2006
Polsuho indicates 'half-dry'. This Cabernet Sauvignon rosé is fermented in stainless steel and has a delicate, coppery pink colour. Very nice, fresh, soft strawberry fruit with little herbal nuances on the nose. Palate is off-dry, with plenty of fruit ripeness and RS. Mouthfilling and quite rich, with good acidity, though certainly in a soft, sweeter style. Very nice, easy-drinking aperitif wine, with only 12% alcohol. 85

Batič Rebula Polsuho 2005
Made in a similar style to rose, in stainless steel, with no maceration. From younger vines. Herbal, slightly vegetal notes. The palate is off-dry again, with a peachiness to the fruit, but also a certain nuttiness. But the sweetness of RS comes through, leaving this slightly in need of acidity, but again easy to drink. 85.

Batič Chardonnay 2004
Made in barriques, both French and local oak, from a forest next to vineyard. Three days of a hot maceration. Big, oaky, nutty nose, very slightly oxidised. Lots of waxy richness and white fruits. On the palate there is plenty of alcohol and acidity, but a core of sweet apple fruit and that nuttiness persists. Quite orange pithy notes in the finish, and plenty of power, if a little alcoholic (14% alcohol). 87

Batič Sauvignon 2005
Old clone from this valley. Made with a very long skin maceration, influenced by Josko Gravener's philosophy and revival of ancient techniques, so the wine has structure and staying power, but loses fruit. Very different from NZ or Loire Sauvignon, with an intense, skinny, wax and parcel string nose. Some pear skin notes. On the palate this is tight and waxy, with very firm acidity and plenty of apple and pear skin flavours and tight structure. A really dry, racy, but full food wine. 88

Batič Cuvée Bonisimus 2005
Pinella, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Rebula. Plenty of toasty, deep oak notes over ripe apricot fruit. Very open and flattering compared to the Sauvignon. On the palate very dry, with mineral and herbal flavours dominating, and fruit very restrained and tight. The fruit - melons and pears - is constrained by the oak and the skinny, grippy extraction. Miha Batič thinks this is too young and needs time. Complex, dry and savoury. 90

Batič Sivi Pinot 2005
25-year-old Pinot Gris. Coppery and full coloured. Plenty of toast and orange oil notes, with a rich, powerful herbal quality and a lovely underlying apricot kernel fruitiness. The palate is quite full and waxy, with a nice sense of freshness and raciness. This is tight and focused, with the same skin-contact grip and complexity, but an orangy acidity and core of pure fruit powers through. Long and balanced. 89

Batič Chardonnay 2003
Bold, quite brassy colour. Big, sweet, plush and attractive nose, with buttery toast nicely balanced by a real depth of fruit sweetness. An almost minty, mint humbug ripeness and richness here. That ripeness and sweet edge familiar on the palate too, with bold, quite oily fruit cut through by very nice mineral acidity. That purity and ripeness of fruit comes through. 90

Batič Chardonnay 1999
Partly French oak, partly Slovenian. No obvious toastiness, with much more honeyed, complex, dried fruit and oatmeally qualities. On the palate this has a very rounded, composed, harmonious quality with the fruit and oak resolved, and a lovely integrated acid structure. Savoury and fleshy, this has bite and a depth of fruit sweetness. Powerful, with a touch of oxidised quality, dried apricot and more exotic fruit notes, but a very profound. 14.5% Alcohol not obtrusive. 91

Batič Chardonnay Malvasia Rebula 1986
This has a lovely waxy nose with nuttiness and a beautiful fruit quality suggesting candied peel, preserved figs and a honeyed, smoky minerality coming through. Delicious fruit quality on the palate too, where the sweetness of the fruit really comes through with plenty of vivacity and a mouthfilling waxy richness. Lovely tension from quite high alcohol, a hint of terse minerality and some warming oak and spice. A revelation. 92

Batič Cabernet Franc 2004
Very nice dusty, redcurrant and slightly green nose, but lovely spice and pepper, and red cherry fruit. The oak is slightly resinous and raw, and the fruit is a little shy, but it has some good fruit at its core, with a crisp, light acid structure adding freshness and tang. Quite juicy and savoury, and a nice food wine style. 88

Batič Merlot 2003
Vivid pink-rimmed crimson colour. Big, plush oaky nose laden with Sandalwood, cinnamon and toast. composed cherry and red plum fruit beneath. The palate is crisp-edged and firm, with a racy herbal, menthol and cranberry fruit quality. Acidity is good and the tannins are rather mean and grippy, giving this a slightly lean quality. The oak seems a touch overpowering for this level of fruit. 86

Batič Cuvée Micha 2006
Field blend of Pinella, Muscat, Rebula, Zelen, Klarnica, Chardonnay. Racy orange and grassy character. Some linseed, flax and hessian notes, but also an intriguing floral lift and a touch of spearmint. The palate is powerful and skinny, with lots of grip and lots of pithy lemon. The peppery quality of the oak comes through, but very clean and fresh and really promising. 90

Batič Pinella 2004
9% alcohol. Quite a high, estery, floral nose with plenty of zing and lemony zip. crisp, taut, pithy grapefruit flavours and white fruit acidity. Very fresh and bracing. 88

Batič Valentino 2003
Pinella and Rebula. 2003 was the driest vintage in over 20 years. Grapes dried in shallow wooden cases in rafters of cellar from beginning October to end of February. 3 years in barrels. Only 50gm/l of sulphur needed to stabilise. Lovely salmon pink colour with a lightly oxidised nose with delicate notes of old roses, dried apricots and a hint of acacia honey. On the palate there's a silky texture and medium body, with a sweet, marmalade and brown sugar character. Lovely acidity here that really pushes through a powerful, slightly alcoholic finish. Really lovely stuff though. 92

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