Wine Enthusiast Magazine has a new article called 12 Exciting Wine Regions You’ve Never Heard Of. We import wines from 4 of them: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, and Slovenia. We think they should have mentioned Georgia, too!
“Nestled within the crossroads of the Alps and the Mediterranean, Slovenia produces some of the most exciting wines in Central Europe. Since the fall of communism, much of Slovenia’s wine production has returned to small, family-owned operations, where individualism and experimentation have taken center stage. —Anna Lee Iijima, ratings by Jeff Jenssen”
Batič 2007 Valentino Sweet Red Merlot-Cabernet Franc (Vipavska Dolina); $60/375 ml, 90 points.
Kabaj 2008 Cuvée Morel Red (Goriska Brda); $46, 90 points. Sanctum 2011 Chardonnay (Štajerska); $17, 90 points.
Štoka 2011 Izbrani Teran (Kras); $23, 90 points.
“With 160,000 acres dedicated to vineyards, white wine accounts for 70% of Hungary’s total production. Beloved by Thomas Jefferson and Russian czars alike, the country’s strikingly floral, lusciously fruity wines are traditionally a blend of Tokaji grapes: Furmint, Hárslevelű and varieties of Muscat. Not unlike other botrytis-affected wines like Sauternes, Tokaji is one of the wine world’s best-kept secrets, boasting the ability to age for decades. —Anna Lee Iijima, ratings by Jeff Jenssen”
“Croatia boasts 64 indigenous grape varieties, resulting in a wide range of wine styles. Wine is also made from “international” varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Chardonnay. Despite Croatia’s relatively modest size, it boasts 17,000 registered vine growers and 59,000-plus acres of vineyards, growing grapes for more than 800 wineries. White wines account for 60% of production. —Jeff Jenssen”
Bibich NV Ambra Red (North Dalmatia); $50/500 ml, 91 points.
“Concentrated in the Herzegovina side of the country, winemaking here is heavily influenced by its Austro-Hungarian history. The nation’s most promising wines are made from indigenous grapes like Blatina, which produces a ruby-red wine with bold alcohol and acidity, and Žilavka, which yields dry, full-bodied and aromatic white wines. —Anna Lee Iijima, ratings by Jeff Jenssen”
Read the whole article here.