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Bob Ramsak
11,357 followers -
I'm a reporter, editor, photographer and blogger with a lust for travel, art, culture and justice. I've visited 54 countries and counting.
I'm a reporter, editor, photographer and blogger with a lust for travel, art, culture and justice. I've visited 54 countries and counting.

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If you're looking for a solid introduction to some reds from Croatia's Dalmatian coast, I'm here for you. :)

Here's a winning, accessible and affordable trio: Palihnić Dingač 2013, Vina Senjković Rosé Spoža 2015 and Vinarija Matuško Postup 2012. Oh -- and since it's a fairly long drive to the Pelješac Peninsula, I've tossed in a pit stop in Croatian Istria for Degrassi Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Contarini 2012. You'll appreciate the stop. :)
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If you haven't guessed, I'm all about discovering local. Drinking my surroundings. :-)

Here's another example of Pinela, an autochthonous white varietal grown almost exclusively in the Vipava Valley district of western Slovenia: dry, crisp and fresh, with soft floral aromas and ample citrus notes, and usually at its best in its youth.

Usually light lemon or yellowish in color, Colja’s 2015 Pinela leans more toward the golden end of the yellow spectrum, with grapefruit and apricot lingering on the slightly buttery finish. Medium-bodied, it spent about 18 months in stainless steel prior to release. Well-made and pleasant, delightful even, for the €8.50-9.00 price tag. It’ll likely drink well for another year.

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We all remember our first time.

In this case, I’m referring to (1) my first (known) experiences with Mavrud and Rubin, two common ruby dark Bulgarian red varietals; (2) my first wine from a small modern Bulgarian wine producer; and (3) this site’s first review of a Bulgarian wine. All left me curious to explore much more. One day I probably will.

#Bulgaria
#BulgarianWine
#travel
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Ščurek is a name you’ll see quite a bit of in Slovenia, a winery long considered a consistent producer of fresh well-made wines. Strictly on a quality for price comparison, you’ll rarely go wrong with any Ščurek offering, but I’m mentioning the 2013 Stara Brajda Rdeče, or Old Vineyard Red, specifically, a wine very familiar to me and a regular favorite, because the 2013 is markedly better than I remember the last few bottlings being.

#Wine
#Slovenia
#GoriskaBrda
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I’ll remember this Tilia Estate Pinot Gris for two reasons: it was the first regular 2017 vintage bottling I tried, and by far the freshest Pinot Gris I’ve ever tasted. An exceptional AND tasty value.

#wine
#Slovenia
#Vipava
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There’s quite a bit that’s unconventional in wines from Kabaj, the 2014 Pinot Gris, or Sivi Pinot locally, among them. You shouldn’t expect anything less from Jean Michel Morel, one of Slovenia’s most innovative and celebrated winemakers, whose independent-minded approach to wine-making has gone a long way to help put the country’s western Goriška Brda district on the international wine map in recent years.

#Wine
#Slovenia
#Kabaj
#GoriskaBrda
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This is the first I’ve tried from Ražman, a small family-run operation working about four hectares of vineyards in the village of Gračišče, 17km southeast of Slovenia’s main port city of Koper.

Like most producers in the Slovenska Istra district, the bulk of their vineyards are planted with Refošk (about 60 percent) and Malvazija (Malvasija, about 30 percent), with the remainder consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Rumeni Muškat (Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains) and another indigenous red, Maločrn (Piccola Nera).

Popetris Red Cuvee, named for a nearby village of Popetre, is a four-grape blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (50 percent), Merlot (25 percent), Refošk (20 percent) and Syrah (five percent); it’s the local refosco twist that made it stand out for me.

Aged in oak for 24 months, it’s medium-bodied, with layers of plums and prunes caked in black pepper on the palate, and a cherry strawberry mash-up on the finish. I was expecting it to be a bit longer, but for now, I’ll blame that on the chilly outdoor environment that was my tasting room. You could probably lay it down for another year or two but it’s likely at its peak now.

I’m very happy to have come across this. It’s a well-made cuvee at this price point, with a nice Istrian twist. Check it out. :) https://goo.gl/4N38NR

13% alc
Total production 3,000 bottles
€15 retail

#Wine
#Slovenia
#Istra
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Created with the royal court in mind, Abrau-Durso is still turning out quality and value sparkling wines nearly 150 years later.

#Wine
#Travel
#Russia
#Krasnodar
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Several winemakers from Slovenia have been making significant inroads internationally in recent years, yet wines from this small central European nation, tucked neatly between Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, remain largely unknown to all but the most astute wine observers or curious sipping travelers. A primary mission of Piran Café is to help shed light on some of what’s veiled in that viticultural mystery, one whose tradition goes back more than 2,500 years.

#Wine
#Slovenia
#Travel
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