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Slovenian Wines - Rojac

Tom Cannavan, 07/07

Tasting notes from a visit to Rojac, Istria, in Western Slovenia. These notes accompany a full length feature article on western Slovenia, with profiles of nine of the top private estate wineries.

Rojac, Istria

Rojac Malvasia 2006
Very simple cool fermentation, no real skin contact, one month in oak just to add a slight hint of vanilla. Very lemony and fresh, with a little hint of oatmeal and almond. On the palate bone dry and shot through with lemony fruit and clean, white fruit shimmering acidity. 87

Rojac 'Moja' Sparkling Refošk Rose 2005
No sulphur, made in a frizzante style. 2005 harvest fermented with the must of the 2006, put into bottles. Very bright, vibrant rose colour. Fresh, fruity, red fruit nose with a hedgerow quality of berries and a nettly background. The palate has slightly creamy quality, but the soft, strawberry with a touch of sweetness, before sharper raspberry fruit comes through. Very nice acidity and clean, crisp finish. 87

Rojac Starid'or 2003
chardonnay and Pinot Gris, with a little Malvasia and Muscat. 30-day maceration for each component, apart from Pinot Gris, which has no time on skins. Fermented in oak, and into barriques with no sulphur and no battonage. Free co2 keeps wine healthy. After one year components are blended in large oak casks for 18 months. 'The Pinot Gris brings harmony across the wine.' Big vanillin and cream nose, with a minty, toffee and ripe nectarine and peachy fruit beneath. The palate has a deal of sweetness and that vanillin-wrapped, creamy ripe and fat fruit. Low acidity and a grippy tannin quality, but rather overoaked. 87 12 Euros

Rojac Starid'or 2004
Still has that creamy mint humbug and vanillin overlay, but rather more fragrance and floral highlights. The palate has more life and brightness, with an orangy tangy of fruit and acidity, a touch of lime and a much fresher palate. This is juicy and fresh, and a much better wine, which ?? thinks is the product of the vintage. 89.

Rojac Malvasia 2000
Very dense, creamy, toffee and buttered toast nose, with a depth of rounded, baked banana and spice. Very complex and layered, and ?? says that is the grape, not oak, because only old barrels are used. The palate is mouth-filling and creamy, like vanilla and toffee, but then a really good pear and ripe, juicy apple fruit and acidity comes through. This is a fairly rounded, lowish acid style, but has lovely balance. 88

Rojac Malvasia 2003
25 days skin contact, two and a half years in barrels. More subdued than the 200 perhaps, but there is ginger and toffee, and a touch of honeycomb and crunchie bar. There's a lovely fruit quality here, with bright tangerine and orange coming through, with that apple fruitiness and acidity holding on very well in this hot vintage. 89

Rojac Refosco 2006
Refosco means "king of reds". In the middle of malo. Vibrant colour. Quite a bold, cherry fruited nose.

Rojac Syrah 2005
Very vivid crimson colour, with a creamy blackberry and vivid cherry fruit, with little violet cream nuances. The palate has plenty of pretty fruit, with a slightly herbal note, and plenty cherry lift and acid brightness. A very crisp, fruity style. 87

Rojac Renero (?) 2005
100% Refošk. Very nice, bright pastille fruit. And a bit of glossy cassis. Big, dry palate, with cherry and a bright food quality.

Rojac Starid'or red 2004
This is a brightly focused, forward and fruity style, with really nicely managed oak adding a soft and supple vanilla. Quite long, and again that crisp, cherry and mineral acidity adding real freshness and bite.

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