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This Refosco is unlike anything we’ve had recently. Like the landscape it comes from, it
is riddled with minerality and vibrance, showing best after being open for a few hours.
Rather funky and warm aromas of light red berry soon become blue and black, with
thyme, mint, rooibos mixing into bright red plum and cherry pit in graham crust. There is
a hint of acerola and bubblegum. Light, vibrant and strangely silken, the tannins are firm
yet resolved and hints of spice and wood carry this high acid red out long on the briny
palate. Flavors are of cranberry, strawberry leaf, cinnamon, iodine, orange pith, evergreen
and Carpano. What a weird, wonderful wine that is sure to age better than most would
give it credit for.
South of the Goriška Brda, just off of the Adriatic Sea is a region known as the
Kras. Centuries ago, fierce northern winds known as ‘buria’ were filtered through an oak
savannah here before the Venetians clear cut the forest building ships and supplying the
growing city. After deforestation, the buria blew away much of the topsoil into the
Adriatic. Farmers made do, fashioning walls, building lakes and transporting soil as the
Kras transformed into the unique landscape of limestone and dolomite bedrock riddled
with sinkholes and massive underground caves. As you might imagine, vineyards are
limited here in Europe’s first recognized cross-border wine region. Known in Italy as the
Carso, the Kras has been home to the Štoka family for over 200 years.
In addition to farming vineyards in the red, iron-rich soils, the Štoka family has
replanted oak forests to protect vines from the buria and farm with no irrigation and
organic methods. A quarter of the Štoka vineyards are planted to the Teran vine, which is
also know as Refosco. This old, revered varietal was used medicinally for centuries, due
to high levels of resveratrol, lactic acid, and iron. The high tannins and acidity present
some challenges but the methods at Štoka prove wonderfully suited to offer a beautiful,
light and distinctive wine that play well with high acidity and minerality. The vineyards
were replanted at higher densities 15-20 years ago and are trained to reduce vigor and
encourage better sugar and flavor development. The Refosco is hand harvested, sorted,
de-stemmed, and fermented with native yeasts in temperature controlled stainless steel
for only 8 days before aging in large used oak barrels for 10 months.
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