Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport is publishing annual lists of best worldwide wines. The wine leading on a list for 2018 published in March 2018 included a surprise for all Italian wine lovers – a Slovenian wine, Rebula Opoka 2016 by Marjan Simcic (full article here). This was a big surprise for many people, especially as the second on the list was famous Sassicaia from Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri. Rebula Opoka 2016 by Marjan Simčič was better than Sassicaia!
But Marjan Simcic is well know winemaker not only locally but also in many other countries. He is not so talked about and surelly not so present as his quantities are rather small comparing to the big names. So for the well informed wine lovers the surprise was not so big.
Ribolla (orig: rebula) is becoming very popular in Slovenia in last years and winemakers from Brda and Vipava are building its reputation. Ribolla Opoka made by Marjan Simčič is leading their way and helping other producers.
I had a chance to taste the 2016 vintage on a dinner with Steven Spurrier in October 2018 in Ljubljana.
Rebula Opoka 2016, Marjan Simčič, description
Location: Slovenia, Primorska region, Brda, Medana, Jama, 50+ years old vineyards, facing west, 200-250 meters above sea level.
Picked on 20th October 2016
Macerated on skins for 16 days, not filtered, 12 months in concrete oval vats, then cured for 10 months in oak barrels.
Deep gold-amber color, violets on the nose, minerality, flint, wet stone and butter on taste. The wine needs some more years to mature and to gain more taste. Wait until 2020.
Production: 1.860 bottles
Price: 50 EUR per bottle at Koželj wine shop (if you can get it!)
PS: I do not understand the fascination about macerated white wines in last years. For me they lack the essence of white wines – their freshness. But I keep my mind open and keep tasting… 🙂