21 March 2016

Valter Sirk: wines from the Slovenian Collio (Brda)

I tasted ribolla and tokaj, but Sirk is much more than this!

In the Collio of Gorizia, the Sirk family has been producing wine for quite a few generations, but since 1991 they started producing their own products, by creating the wine company Valter Sirk.
It was a great pleasure to chat to Valter Sirk.
I tried his ribolla and his tokaj, so I then asked him if these were the wines that best represented him.
“Yes, ribolla represents tradition, it’s a local grape-vine and it’s also the one we grow the most, instead tokaj (or friulano) is a very aromatic grape, for which we had to fight for, and now it has been registered with the name jakot (symmetrical to tokaj). Both wines are made with a maceration process of 12 hours which gives them colour and aroma, then they are left to ferment for 9 months in contact with the dregs (80% in steel, and the remaining 20% in wood), and the last step is a period of 6 months in which it perfects in the bottle.
What other grapevines do you grow?
“Malvasia, pinot bianco, chardonnay, pinot grigio and sauvignon, and from the first three I created a blend called Tereza bianco, while as for the blend Tereza rosso I use a base of merlot with some cabernet and malbec.”
Malbec is definitely not a grapevine of this area.
“Definitely not, I planted it in ’92, I had started my company just the year before and I wanted some grape-vines of French origin, because I had been there often and I learnt lots of thing regarding wine while I was there.”

How would you describe your wines?
“They are wines that are quite sapid and mineral, a good structure that allows them to last long and smooth out in time. For example I have a line called Selezione of which I produce small quantities, and only in the good years, with chardonnay, pinot bianco and merlot that I sell only 4-5 years after the harvest, they are very fine wines that without loosing structure and body can evolve and last for years.”
Will I see you at the Vinitaly?
“Yes, I’ll be there with the 2014 production, of which I’m very proud of. The wines aren’t as strong but quite sapid, fresh and aromatic. If you come to Vinitaly stop by at my stand, I have a sauvignon with summery scents of white peach that you must taste! I’ll see you there!

A brake and a sip of wine:
Ribolla 2013 (13% alcohol): it’s structure is very nice, a lovely light straw coloured yellow with a greenish reflection, a delicate perfume, pleasantly refined with floral and fruity scents of citrus and lime. At the end you feel the mineral taste, almost salty.
Jakot (t.f.) 2013 (13% alcohol): a darker straw colour. An energy that recalls white flours, elder flour and tomato leaves, with a background of stony mineral taste.
These perfumes are then recaptured in the taste, as it starts with a nice fresh flavour and ends with a hint of almond.

Mademoiselle du vin


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