||Ask around, and you’re likely to discover that one of the most coveted wine destinations on planet earth is… Slovenia. Yes, the same Slovenia that just a decade or so ago was a non-factor for many oenophiles; “maybe someday their wines will become important” was a common line, perhaps the way some speak today about Greek or even Israeli wines.
All that has changed. As we speak, this little “bump” on the Northeast corner of Italy is producing some of the most exciting, most promising wines anywhere. The future, it seems, is now.
Leading the way is winemaker Aleks Simcic, head winemaker of the Edi Simcic estate, a man of exceptional talent and devotion to his territory. His micro-production estate wines have reached true cult status, eliciting a fervent following and fetching some of the highest prices in the region. His white wines are taut, clean, and visceral; his reds are extraordinarily concentrated, yet elegant - the mark of a vintner that lets the land speak. These are wines that inspire.
So when we asked Aleks to make us a collection of “everyday” local wines made from exceptional vineyard sites, we were thrilled when he agreed. For him, it proved to be a chance to showcase what Slovenia, and particularly Goriska Brda - his appellation - could do outside of the cult sphere. And are we glad we asked!
The result is the Giocato collection - wines of distinction, clarity, and true varietal character. And what’s more, they offer terrific value (and when we say terrific, we mean terrific!). In fact, we know of few wines that deliver more for less, which is always a thrill to find as a wine seller, buyer or drinker!
With grapes grown on the terraced hills outside of Collio Orientali, Friuli, the vines range from a decade old to about thirty years, and benefit from persistent, cool breezes off the Adriatic that lengthen the ripening time. All the fruit is hand-picked on small, family-owned plots, and grown without irrigation, pesticides, or other no-no’s. The result in the bottle is convincing - complexity, minerality, intense aromas and flavors. These are simple wines that are not simplistic.