Goriška Brda, goriska brda Slovenia

Gašper is located in Goriška Brda, which is the two thirds of Collio that stretches into Slovenia from Friuli Venezia Giulia in north-eastern Italy. Goriška Brda has a climate ideally suited to viticulture, with its proximity to both the Adriatic Sea and the Alps providing dry, warm summers with cooling breezes during the crucial ripening period. The Gašper wine estate is a joint venture between a local co-operative and the Čarman family, who have been in the hospitality and wine business for over 50 years.

Their vineyard is characterised by its ‘opoka’ marl soil and excellent sun exposure on its terraced, hillside rows. There is also the benefit of altitude, ranging from 80 to 200 metres above sea level, which helps the grapes retain acidity and aromatics. All picking is done by hand by co-operative partners, family members and friends, which allows for a careful selection of fruit that enhances the quality of the final wine.

At the helm of the cellar is Darinko Ribolica, a respected oenologist from Goriška Brda. For the whites, he uses Slovenia’s local varieties, to create wines in a modern, fresh style. The Chardonnay/Rebula dominant blend is 55% Chardonnay, 40% Rebula and 5% Malvasia. All the varieties are fermented separately in stainless steel tanks to preserve the freshness and fruitiness of this wine that displays hints of peach and citrus. The Pinot Grigio is fermented in stainless steel and is aromatic with pear and white flowers on the nose and refreshing grapefruit on the palate. The Malvazija is the same grape variety as Malvasia Istriana, native to the Croatian and Slovenian coastal areas that once belonged to Italy. This unique variety is known for being taut and zesty, but also slightly honeyed in character. It is made solely in stainless steel and is slightly richer than the other whites, with aromas of tropical fruit and hints of almond on the finish. All the white wines have a vein of lively acidity running through them and are meant for drinking young and fresh. They are wonderful to drink with charcuterie, on their own, or with Asian food.

The Gašper range also includes a 100% Cabernet Franc from low-yielding, 50-year-old vines. After being picked by hand, the grapes are crushed and spend eight days macerating on their skins before fermentation takes place. Once fermentation is complete, the wine then spends 18 months ageing in new, 350-litre French oak barrels. This is a delightful wine, with an aromatic nose of red cherry and blackcurrant, coupled with a lovely spiciness from the oak and a smooth, fruit-driven palate with supple tannins. The Cabernet Franc is also the only Slovenian red wine ever to win a Platinum Medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards.


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