#WineWednesday Spotlight #1: 2011 Kabaj Ravan

Jean-Michel, Tom, and Eric
Jean-Michel, Tom, and Eric

New feature on our blog! Every week a Blue Danubian will highlight his or her favorite wine of the moment. Starting things off is Tom, our newest sales guy in the San Francisco Bay Area:

Conformity, regularity, status quo, etc. Call it what you will, these terms have again and again been stricken from my vocabulary. Rather than going “by-the-book”, I have always chosen to pursue the road less traveled, even if it sometimes led to learning things the hard way. For exactly this reason, I was delighted to meet winemaker Jean-Michel Morel of Kabaj (Ka-BUY) Winery in Slovenia. He truly embodies the spirit of being an expat, leaving his native France to create an entirely different style of wine in a country that has been underestimated in terms of its wine production (especially compared to the juggernaut that is France). He’s a no-nonsense kind of guy. He knows what he likes, he knows what he doesn’t, and his brutal honesty is perfectly balanced and underscored by his charming personality.
This aspect of his personality is reflected in his skin contact wines, which offer an unusually grippy and full-bodied mouthfeel supported by subtle undertones playing a back-up role. Mention the name Goriška Brda to any upstanding wine enthusiast and you may be greeted with “Bless you”, but for any diehard Slavic wine fan, this name reflects only the highest quality and passion.
The Ravan is a chameleon, known under other aliases such as Tocai Friulano, Sauvignon Vert, and Jakot (since passive-aggressivity is the best way to deal with political gridlock, as “Jakot” is simply “Tokaj” backwards). As with much of this region, the subtleties are imperceptible. I’ll be bringing a bottle to my family for Thanksgiving (“No Mom, it’s not Pinot Grigio!”) to pair with our veggie-heavy side dishes and to take a shot at the bird itself, while simultaneously stimulating the tongues of all involved, both through its tangy tannins and its barely pronounceable origin information. Ka-baj yourself a bottle for the holidays and be the life of the party, just like Jean-Michel! Na zdravje!

2011 Kabaj Ravan