Dark cherry. Aromas of sour cherry, black pepper, with a fresh brioche note and blackberries emerging. The palate is silky with a roundness that leads to a more mediumbodied texture than the eyes would lead. It is lush and concentrated without being heave, with spicy and charming black berry notes continuing. There is a freshness to this wine that leads to a slightly crunchy finish.
The fruit was hand-harvested and destemmed without crushing, keeping as many of the berries intact as possible. The berries were placed in small, plastic fermenters and fermented open-top without any manipulations other than keeping the cap wet with gentle pumpovers. Fermentation finished in roughly three weeks and the lots were pressed to tank where the wine settled naturally before being racked to old French barriques for maturation. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally and the barrels were lightly sulfured post-ML. Two months later it was racked to tank and bottled without fining or filtration and just another small addition of sulfur.
Gabernik 23 is a small family-owned winery in Štajerska, Slovenia. Janko Bogatic started working alongside his father in his family’s vineyards at the age of ten. While he seemed destined for a career in dairy farming, at 18 Janko was forced to return to the family property to manage the vineyards after the sudden passing of his father. Now, almost 30 years later, Janko is farming 9 hectares of vineyards situated on the slopes around Ritoznoj in the foothills of the Pohorje range.
While some of the grapes are sold to another local winemaker, Janko began bottling his own wines under the Gabernik 23 label in 2018. There are many varieties planted in the Gabernik 23 vineyards, but the focus is on the less fashionable varieties, like Yellow Muscat and Zweigelt. The aim is to show that with a little love and respect these grapes can produce some stunning wines.
This Slovenian Zweigelt has a deep dark cherry color. It has aromas of cherry, red plum and forest floor. In the mouth there are flavors of cherry, strawberry and red plum. -J.J.