Highlights : Vodopivec Vitovska 2017

Paolo Vodopivec owns this organically and biodynamically farmed Carso estate, on the border with Slovenia, and just north of Trieste. Vodopivec (vo-do-pee-vetz), works solely with the Vitovska grape, and knows it intimately.

Only 50 hectares of Vitovska currently exist in Carso, and 6 hectares are owned by Paolo, sitting on his limestone plateau estate. Vodopivec, inspired by the wines of Gravner, uses amphorae to age many of his wines. 

From a vineyard at 260m, and rocky, limestone soils high in iron and magnesium, the destemmed Vitovska grapes are crushed and native fermented in Georgian Anfora, and in contact with the skins for six months, plunged several times a day. The wine then matured for 24 months in large 3000L Slavonian oak barrels prior to bottling without fining or filtration. 

This pours a shining gold hue, with a powerful nose of apricot, pear, apricot fuzz, white peach, and ash, with a fine elderflower perfume woven throughout. There’s more generosity to the textural palate than the stricter 2016, yet this is held lean at 12.5%. The whole is gripped with a chalky limestone hand, shaping this wine until the lingering finish. Intriguing, and moreish, this singular wine is drinking beautifully now, and with time ahead. 93/100

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Treve Ring

Treve Ring is a wine writer and editor, judge and speaker, and perpetual traveller. [She is also Correspondent Anorak.]