Goriška 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 - 200 metres above sea level, which helps the grapes retain acidity and aromatics. All picking is done 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. He uses Slovenia's local varieties, deeply rooted in Germanic, Slavic and Roman cultural influences, for creating wines in a modern, fresh style. The Chardonnay/Rebula blend is 55% Chardonnay and 45% Rebula. 95% of the blend is fermented in stainless-steel tanks with 5% fermented in large, 6,000 litre Slavonian oak casks to lend roundness to this fresh and fruity 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 used to belong 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 with aromas of tropical fruit and hints of almond on the finish. All the 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.