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Slovenian Wines - Sutor

Tom Cannavan, 07/07

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

Sutor, Vipava Valley

Sutor Burja 2006
Rebula, Laski Riesling and Malvasia. Lovely waxy, red apple skin fragrance with little floral notes and a background of creamy vanillin. Interesting floral notes. Lovely fresh, full palate with bold, assertive pear and apple flavours. There is a real mineral streak to the acidity, and the finish is tight and powerful, with a long, tangy character.

Sutor Chardonnay 2006
Fermented with D47, an old Burgundian yeast. Fine nose from barrel, with very clear, forward melon and pear fruit. Nice sense of delicacy and finesse here. The palate has fine, ripe but taut and racy white fruit. Very nice balance and life.

Sutor Sauvignon 2006
Fermented and aged in large wooden vats, with around 10% skins. Very aromatic, much more lifted, bright tropical fruit. Very nice elderflower punch and notes of lychee and tangerine. On the palate the vivid quality of the ripe fruit comes through, and there's just a hint of that grip from the skins. Lovely quality and style here and beautifully vibrant and fresh 90

Sutor Pinot Noir 2006
Half from new plantings, half from Pinot grafted onto 15-year-old Cabernet roots. First vintage. Not hugely aromatic but a little suggestion of earthiness and then truffle and soft summer berries emerges. On the palate delicious fruit sweetness, with a dense and creamy quality, and a lovely, refined acid and tannin structure. Very good and highly promising. 89

Sutor Merlot 2006
A subtle tea, cedar and Sandalwood spice. The nose is not at all green, with subdued but dense cherry fruit. On the palate that tight structure of dense fruit, tight-grained tannins and some grippy character work well together. The oak is firm and not too toasty, adding structure and a firm, liquoricy quality. 89

Sutor Burja 2004
Lovely nose, where some acacia honey and a gentle waxiness is added to fresh, aromatic fruit. There is a background of vanilla and mint, with a lovely creaminess, but the aromas are fresh and appetising. On the palate there is an initial sweetness, with very ripe fruit and an orange and tangerine fruitiness. A real minerality comes through on this, with little salty and preserved lemon notes in a delicious and mouth-watering wine. 91

Sutor Chardonnay 2004
Again a finally balanced nose, with creamy oak in the background and very finely honed, honeysuckle and ripe pear and apple fruit. Some fat lemony fruit comes through, in a delightfully appetising wine. The palate has lots of flavour, with plenty of concentration and a dry, nutty character, but the juiciness and ripeness persists. Tangy and intense. 90

Sutor Chardonnay 2002
Beautifully limpid lime and mineral aromas, with tiny nuances of honey and a lovely oatmeal and cashew creaminess. Very vibrant, nervous palate with terrific vibrancy and tangy lemon fruit and minerality. 91

Sutor Burja 2003
Has a lovely dense, minty creaminess on the nose that is very limpid and ripe, with pineapple and exotic ripe fruits. The palate has deliciously sweet fruit, with the power and alcohol of the vintage coming through powerfully. It is slightly hot in the finish, but the acidity is really very good, and an orange and lemon rind bite. 89

Sutor Sauvignon 'Primus' 2000
Quite a schisty, smoky mineral note, with some herbal nuances. Fruit is quite ripe beneath. On the palate quite a buttery, full, limpid quality, but the fruit is bright and focused. The palate has some real leesy, skinny bite, with a waxiness and grip. Alcohol is quite noticeable too, but it is a fresh wine with a vibrant, tangy finish. 89

Sutor Chardonnay 1999
Lovely buttercup yellow colour. Very nice fruit character here, with lovely limpid freshness. Little notes of honeysuckle and honey, with some fig and apple fruit, and a background of slightly toasty vanillin. Sparky, bright, delightfully orangy and lemon zest fruitiness. This has verve and nervosity, with a dry grapefruit pith acidity and a sense of minerality, before a warming, rounded finish, but with that tangy definition. Very powerful, but beautifully balanced. 91

Sutor Merlot 2003
Gorgeous nose, filled with creamy, dense sweetness. Primoz admits 2003 was an exceptional vintage for Merlot. Lots of chocolate, black plum and a plush, Sandalwood and clove spice. Delicious palate, brimming with sweet, creamy fruit, notes of cherry and ripe plums. Fantastic balance here and sense of plushness, with a creamy density to the tannins and a lovely push of acidity into the finish. Beautiful wine with plushness and velvety texture, but still structured and fresh. 91

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