For one lucky winner…
Les Caves de Pyrene are giving away a magnum of 2009 Zidarich Vitovska
A bit about what makes this wine so special:
The Vitovska grape hails from the Friuli region of north east Italy and the Vipava valley in Slovenia. The cultural hub of the region is the border city of Trieste, which literally straddles the border between Italy and Slovenia, as do many of the vineyards in the area surrounding the city known as the Carso (Karst). This eroded plateau, which sometimes plunges steeply towards the sea, is home to many small winemakers whose families have been farming vineyards in the area for hundreds of years, while the lines of maps were drawn and redrawn around them.
The dominant elements of Carso are the brightness of the stone and the red soil that covers some of these areas. The area is often affected by the Bora, a cold and violent local wind that can exceed 120 km/h. On the plateau, the climate is fairly continental and benefits from the mild weather that blows up from the Mediterranean Sea. It is here that Benjamin cultivates his vineyards, Prulke, Ruje, Lehte etc., named after the local toponymy.
All of the Zidarich vineyards are planted in the typical iron-red soil of the Carso.
Vitovska is a fascinating grape variety. Found nowhere else in Italy but Friuli, and rarely found outside of the Carso region, this vine is about as far off the beaten path as you can get when it comes to grape varieties. Characterised by small greenish-gold berries, it is apparently quite a hardy vine, used to cold winters, dry hot summers, and blustery winds.
Benjamin Zidarich’s version is fermented with natural yeasts in open-top wood vats where it sees contact with the skins for eight to ten days. Ageing takes place in mid-size Slavonian oak casks and the wines are bottled without fining or filtration. Zidarich’s wines are cloudy in colour, but that is simply the result of wines that have been made with a bare minimum of intervention. Like all whites macerated on the skins, these wines should be served at cellar temperature in large glasses to unveil the subtle aromatics.
Representing the purest expression of varietal in its effusion of spices, pears, jasmine and flowers Zidarich’s Vitovska has a rosy, cidery haze to it and enticing aromas of yellow cherries, apples, pears and smoke. In the mouth it is dense, yet not heavy at all, honeyed yet dry, and packed full of mineral flavours. It is almost a paradoxical wine, resting on that fragile border between lightness and weight, dry and sweet. It gives the wine tension and energy and makes one want to drink more of it. In Trieste and its environs one might drink Vitovska with mussels, fresh anchovies or fried baccala. I imagine it would also be excellent with the gnocchi, risotti, and the gorgeous local polenta with warm Montasio cheese melted into it.
Read more about this wine on the Brunellos Have More Fun blog.
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Competition T&Cs – Les Caves de Pyrene’s Zidarich magnum competition is open to all UK residents. – Only readers who completed the entirety of the above four steps will be entered. – The competition closes Friday 4/07/2014 and the winner will be chosen at random and announced on Les Caves’s Facebook page the same day. If the winning reader does not respond within 24 hours with their contact details, Les Caves will redraw the competition and notify a new winner.