Batič Angel Grand Cuvee Vipavska Dolina Dry White Wine 2016
We taste a lot of wine here at Waterford. And some wines touch the heart, mind and senses all at once, and in a wonderful way, like looking into your loved one’s eyes, or a beautiful breeze through the neighborhood trees, or an amazingly delicious dish served simply, with elegance, that unexpectedly makes the evening.
This magnificent white wine does it all. True, the Brady Street store has a “thing” for Slovenian wines. To my taste, the geekery is very much justified. Here is a country producing wines of the absolute highest caliber, but because they are unknown in the market – or are from a “strange” place, or have names with too many diacritical marks, or are from unusual grape varieties – remain significantly under-priced and most definitely undervalued. But enough of all that. Here is a wonderful wine:
Found in 1592, Batič is currently run by father Ivan and son Miha. When Miha came of age, Ivan refused to let him go to winemaking school, fearing that oenological school would “cloud his brain.” And since this was probably during the Communist years, I would guess that Ivan was right. But there is something greater going on at the winery – a belief in the power of the supernatural and a keen sense of the relationship to it. I’m not a fan of the supernatural, so I would pose this idea to you in a different way. There is a Shinto-like belief in nature and its surroundings to the Batič family. And there is some hard science. I’ll briefly explain:
The Vipavska Dolina (Vipava Valley) lies with the Primorje wine growing region of Western Slovenia right along the Italian border. Here the micro climate is a “mysterious” blend of warm air from the Adriatic and cool air from the Alps. Because of this, it’s actually an amazing spot to parachute. Each year it hosts the EU Parachuting competition. The area is blessed with plenty of sunshine and soils with a mixture of limestone and clay. This, combined with completely animal-based agriculture (ducks and goats patrol the vineyards) and the fact that no chemicals have ever been used—ever—in the vineyard, lead to this wine: Angel.
The translation is a little confusing, but the name comes from their best vineyard, which was first bottled on the day Miha’s wife gave birth to their son. As he puts it, “We named him after the wine of the sun and the moon; after the wine of the wind and the rain; after the virgin soil.” It is their top cuvee, and from their best vineyards.
The wine itself is stunning. Aromatically, it gives a wide range, from ripe apricot to Adriatic seaspray, to wet granite and touches of mulled pears. The nose is engaging and incredibly complex. Joining the complexity in the aromas is an amazing body on the palate. This wine has texture that is alive and flowing. It’s not a tannic structure, but a fluid velvetiness which is supple and defined and, in the end, utterly gorgeous. The palate is long and combines all elements harmoniously. Specifically, it’s a field blend comprised of Pinela, Malvazija, Rebula, Riesling, Zelen, and Vitovska.
This wine is mind-blowing for its uniting of the heart, mind and palate around its core of undeniable deliciousness. Taste and see!