It isn’t every day that you come across a truly interesting and unique producer of wine. Many wineries, especially in the “New World”, are copies of each other – that is to say that every winery in Central Otago grows Pinot Noir, which isn’t a complaint I should add, it is just what about the producers that try something new?
I am a big believer of the ‘little guy’ and the game-changers who are clearly doing what they do for passion as opposed to a secure retirement. Matej Skerlj is one of these producers. Instantly you have become worried as you don’t know how to pronounce his name, it is ‘scare-lee’. Matej has just two hectares of vines in Carso, which is on the border of Slovenia and northeastern Italy. For those that know the north of Italy, it is right up there next to the region of Friuli.
He is the definition of a small producer, a micro-producer perhaps? His soils are rich with nutrients from iron to limestone, all of which helps to give this rich, textural wines some lightness from all that imbedded minerality. Whilst he isn’t certified organic everything is organically planted and cared for. He is as ‘natural’ as they come without being bizzare. All old oak and bottle unfired or unfiltered. Purity in a bottle.
As for the wines, there are three to choose from: Malvasia and Vitovska being his white wines, and Terrano being his red offering. That is it, not just what we have available, but that is all he makes. Three wines.
Some of you may be familiar with the grape Malvasia as it makes a myriad of refreshing white wines in Spain and Portugal but I can be pretty certain that Vitovska and Terrano are newbies to your book.
The Malvasia and Vitovska are both aged on their skins for a period of three weeks and then finished off/aged in large old oak barrels for a couple of years. They are aromatic as anything but have enough acidity to be refreshing and aren’t heavily tannic skin-contact wines, trust me.
The Terrano, is a savoury red if ever there was one that reflects the ripeness of the grapes with plenty of wild red berry fruit flavours but the richness of the soil with its herbal and earthy flavour palate.
This month we’ve got 10% OFF all of our Skerlj offerings – CLICK HERE to check them all out.