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Slovenian Wines - Ščurek

Tom Cannavan, 07/07

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

Ščurek, Brda

Ščurek Savignonasse 2006
This is Tocai-Fruillano, macerated cold for 12 hours and made in stainless steel. Very fresh, bursting, lime and vivid green apple nose. Masses of ripe, zesty fruit with a verdant, Sauvignon-like grassy streak. Full, sweet-edged palate with a bit of RS, but more very sweet, ripe fruit. A really cleansing lemony acidity and a streak of pithy dryness. Stylish, modern and a very convincing demonstration of the versatility in this region. 87 7 or 8 euros locally, export price around 5 euros.

Ščurek Pinot Blanc 2006
Beli Pinot, or Pinot Blanc, made with six hours cold maceration and stainless steel vinification. Luscious peach and nectarine fruit on the nose, with a candied pineapple richness and tropical notes. On the palate there is mouthfilling, very sweet and mouth-filling fruit, with a real sense of fruit intensity and sweetness, and just a grippy pear and apple skin note. Acidity is very fresh, in a straightforward and commercial wine of great appeal. 88

Ščurek Pinot Grigio 2006
Six hours cold maceration and stainless steel vinification. Big, pungent nose, with herbal notes and a vivid green streak, but very fresh and appetising with some floral notes. Lovely mouthfilling fruit, very sweet and flattering, flooding the palate with melon and fresh, vivid apple. Good citrussy acidity. 87

Ščurek Stara Brajda White 2005
60% Rebula, 20% Pikolit, 20% Pika, Glera, Tržarka and Malvazija. 24 hours cold maceration followed by 12 months in new Slovenian oak. Quite a deep yellow/green colour. Big, bold, fig and spice nose with plenty of oak influence. The palate too has a rather strident oak influence, with modest but juicy sweet fruit that is very mouthfilling and pleasant, if slightly short. Pleasant drinking with fruity charm, if a rather overpowering oak influence at this stage. 87

Ščurek Stara Brajda White 2004
Very waxy, resinous oak quality here, with more of the green fig character and pungent fruit quality. On the palate it has sweet, forward, mouth-filling fruit and has better oak integration than the 2005, and though it is still a simple wine, very nice, mouthfilling fruit and creaminess. 88

Ščurek Stara Brajda White 2003
Much more pungency to this, with the figgy, tobacco oak subsumed under a Botrytis note of honey and green-streaked fruit. On the palate the extra ripeness adds a lot of nectarine and peachy fleshy ripeness, and though acidity is lower, it still has some edge. Oak is supporting rather than dominant. Slightly short. 87

Ščurek Stara Brajda White 2001
Quite a honeyed, nutty, almond and ripe, rich tropical fruit nose. The palate is smooth and limpid, with a slightly more angular feel to the acidity, but a nice integration of oak and fruit, and a harmonious mid-palate. This has aged quite gracefully. 88

Ščurek Pikolit 2003
24 hours cold soaking, with eighteen months in new oak and acacia wood. 15% alcohol. Intriguing floral and high, spicy notes, with some juicy melon fruit. The palate has a rounded, full sweetness of fruit. There's a warming, coffee and cream smoothness and flavour in the finish here, and the lowish acidity keeps that silky impression. Slightly harsh note in the finish perhaps, but interesting and drinking nicely. 87

Ščurek contra 2006
Blend of Rebula and chardonnay. Seven months maceration, each grape being picked from the bunch and dropped into the barrel for fermentation, with no sulphur added. Quite unusual nose with Botrytis notes and a quality of Amaretto. Palate has a waxy dryness, but fresh and zesty right in the finish. Tangy and savoury, and intriguingly moreish. 88

Ščurek Stara Brajda 2004
Stara Brajda means 'old vineyard'. 40% Merlot, 20% each of cabernet Franc, cabernet Sauvignon and Refošk (Refosco). 18 days maceration and 24 months in new and used oak, half French, half Slovenian. Quite a high, kirsch-like but very slightly volatile nose, with a slightly dried raisin, Amarone suggestion. Some dry cranberry notes and background cedary oak. On the palate the fruit comes through nicely, with red berry fruits and an edgy, liquorice and cherry skin acidity. Quite crisp and tangy, very fresh. 88 19 euros for a bottle here in Slovenia

Ščurek Stara Brajda 2002
Nice vibrant colour. A creamier, more rounded and subtle nose, with a suave black fruit quality. There is a chocolaty and plumy depth here, that is very appealing. The palate is voluptuous and soft, with plenty of fruit filling the mouth, and again that tight, acid edge and touch of roughening plumskin tannin that adds texture. Very good quality. 89

Ščurek Stara Brajda 1999
No cabernet Sauvignon in this vintage. There's a herbal lift to this wine, with red fruits and a certain leafiness more to the fore. On the palate there's a creamy fullness, with some raspberry and cherry quality and a chocolaty density. An orangy acidity gives this a lift and some life, and though the fruit is falling away slightly now, a balanced and interesting wine. 88

Ščurek UP 2001
80% Merlot, 20% cabernet Sauvignon. 21 days maceration, with 26 months in new oak and a further one in bottle. Spicy, soft, appealingly fleshy and fruity nose. Quite exotic and smoky, but a solid fruit. The palate has a full, fleshy appeal too, with very good fruit sweetness and some fine acid and supple tannin balance. Not hugely long, but defined and has finesse. 89

Ščurek UP 2002
A very fruit-dominated nose, with spice and a smokiness and some herbal touches. The palate has a creamy fruitiness, but once again it is bold, assertive, with nice tannins and an edgy cherry acidity. An enjoyably fruity wine, with a little spice and coffeeish richness in the finish. 88

Ščurek UP 2003
Deep-fruited, spicy and powerful, with great fruit density and sweetness, and a suave, polished character. Really stuffing here, and no trace of greenness, with lovely almost jammy mouthfilling blackberry fruit and a clear acid and tannin structure. Acidity is a little lower and more lemony,

Ščurek Rebula 2006
Very fresh style, with limpid, fresh, green apple purity and bite and just a bit of honey and freshness. Qa

Ščurek Pikolit 2005
Fabulous, enticing fragrance of old roses and lavender. Exotic notes of lychee and powdery love heart and Parma violet too. The palate has power and concentration. Lovely strawberry and sweet fruit, but huge dry extract quality with some tannin and huge core of acidity. Almost 16 degrees, but fantastic wine experience. 91

Ščurek Story sweet wine 2004
60% Rebula, 10% Pikolit, 30% Rumeni Muskat. Dried in wooden crates for 7 months and 2 years in old barrels. Beautifully sweet, notes of tobacco and smoke. Slightly smoky. Aromatic. Dry, smoky dried apricot. Becomes quite silky and softly smoky. 90. 70g/l RS

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