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Slovenian Wines - Marjan Simčič

Tom Cannavan, 07/07

Tasting notes are from Marjan Simčič in Brda, Western Slovenia. These notes accompany a full length feature article on western Slovenia, with profiles of nine of the top private estate wineries.

Simčič, Brda

Marjan Simčič Sauvignon Blanc 2006
Part fermented with two days fermentation and 14 days for part. Beautiful aromatics here, with limpid fruit brightness hinting at tropicality, with expressive gooseberry and passionfruit notes and just a creamy background from the oak. The palate has some grip from the skins, and powerfully concentrated fruit. There's a huge core of lemon and minerality, with plenty of substance and extract. A huge, mouthfilling wine, in at 15% alcohol. 90

Marjan Simčič Chardonnay 2006
Bright, tropical, but quite aromatic and verdant notes. A grassy and gooseberry intensity. The palate has a breadth and pithy orange juiciness, with an oatmeal richness and full texture. Plenty of glycerine and concentration, with an intensely sweet edge to the fruit, but big savoury acid structure and tannic grip. "A twenty year wine" says Marjan confidently, pointing out thee wine's fresh minerality and maturity of grapes. 91

Marjan Simčič Sauvignon 2001
Plenty of varietal character, with a vivid elderflower note, but even more tropical lychee and honeyed, pineapple and mango fruit. Fabulous fruit sweetness on the palate, with mouthfilling vanillin sweetness and a melange of creamy yet pinpoint sharp flavours. Wonderful balance and length. 92

Marjan Simčič Teodor white 2000
Absolutely stunning mint toffee and lime, with a little floral note and some green fig nuances. On the palate a wonderful limpid quality, with that intense lime fruit and zesty acidity cutting through. Fabulous luscious palate but razor-sharp acid structure and warming depths of figgy richness. 93

Marjan Simčič Teodor red 1997
Hugely plush, cedary, luscious tobacco and figgy pudding richness, with such plush, ripe fruit. There's a floral note and something herbal, but very plush overall. Beautiful balance on the palate, with pepper and spice and rich, ripe cherry fruit. That tobacco depth is lovely. Long and balanced, and quite hedonistic. 93

Marjan Simčič Leonardo 1997
First vintage of this passito, named after Marjan's son. Wonderfully rich, figgy, plum pudding and quince nose with lovely coffee and tobacco richness. The palate has a lovely orange and fig flavours, with ginger and very good acidity brightening the structure. Delicious wine, with great length. 92

Marjan Simčič Pinot Gris 2005
Lemon rind and nectarine skin, waxy fruitiness. A deal of stony minerality too. On the palate a very light, crisp, beautifully poised wine with plenty of citrussy tang and hints of more tropical, ripe fruitiness. Nice rich texture with a bit of grip, but stays very focused and clean. Lovely wine. 88

Marjan Simčič Ribolla 2004
50-year-old grapes with 12-metre-long root systems. Six months fermentation and maceration on skins in wooden casks, followed by two years in 500 litre tonneaux. A dark, brassy yellow colour. That lovely earthiness and herbal quality, with all sorts of nutty and honeyed notes, even hints of wild mint and fennel. Really intriguing. On the palate this has lovely limpid weight, with a silky, honeyed quality and mouthfeel. Deliciously sweet fruit, with that overlay of nuttiness and all the time zesty lemon and minerality pushing through. Fabulous Ribolla/Rebula. 92

Marjan Simčič Sauvignon Reserve 2004
Fantastic nose with real toffeed richness and minty, leafy intensity of fruit. A piercing rendition of a Graves style perhaps, with an extra burst of intensity and luscious, honeyed fruitiness. Full and powerful on the palate, with delicious fruit and a real earthy, terroir-driven minerality still coming through layers of varietal fruit, layered, fig and passionfruit character and the creamy, supporting depth of the finish. Superb. 92

Marjan Simčič chardonnay Reserve 2004
18-41-year-old vineyards. Big, figgy, rich style, with toast and buttery richness, but that piercing minerality comes through, with lemon rind and nectarine juiciness. The palate is full and very big scaled, with masses of dry extract richness and bite, a creamy, toasty oak in the background, but masses of crunch and vivid fruit, as well as that steely core of minerality. This is balanced despite its extract and oak, and will age very well. 91

Marjan Simčič Pinot Noir Reserve 2002
This was the first Pinot Noir vintage, from 10 to 33-year-old vines. Lovely colour, with earthy tones. Big, very ripe and creamy cranberry and black berry fruits, with a heavy overlay of spices and exotic, incense-like notes. Seems plush and smokily sweet. On the palate it is really quite ripe and jammy, with a sweetness and plushness to the fruit. It has lovely fleshiness and the soft, silky quality of the oak and earthiness fills in very nicely. There's a coffee-like intensity and nicely roughening tannin quality, with very good acidity. 91

Marjan Simčič Merlot 2003
Plenty of push, sweet vanillin oak coming through, with masses of incense and Sandalwood spice. There's a meatiness and smoky quality here, with rolling, full, fudge-like depth. There may be a touch of briar and possibly a touch of herbal quality. Beautiful brightness of cherry fruit, all wrapped in a little chocolate and fudge. Really nice acidity here, with a savoury, structured character. Real finesse here, with plenty of coffee and plummy depth. Delicious. 91

Marjan Simčič Teodor 2003
Beautiful waxy density and green fig richness, with complex notes of leaf tea, green tea and camomile. Lots of honey that persists onto the palate, giving real richness and buttery, fudgy quality to clean, pure, limpidly bright fruit and acidity. Minerality ids expressive here too, with a slightly smoky quality into the finish. 92

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