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For those who need it, invaluable advice lies ahead: The dramatically singular and limited Cabernet Francs of Batič are aromatic/textural/gustatory triumphs that simply must be experienced. Like France’s Ganevat, Austria’s Veyder-Malberg, and Italy’s Fabio Gea, today’s Slovenian Cab from Batič is an artisanal, esoterically beloved creation produced in minute quantities—the absolute antithesis of a prosaic Costco product.
If you’ve missed the previous sellout offers, allow me to reintroduce this ancient property. Starting in 1592, monks of the Batič estate began crafting sacramental wines for Mass, and 430 years later, the Batič family still carries their winemaking torch with a transcendent, supernatural mindset. By channeling the wisdom of their ancestors and hand-working their raw material via biodynamics (and far beyond), not a soul could replicate this mind-blowingly pure and soulful Cabernet Franc. Although it remains true to its Slovenian terroir, it’s as if a natural Right Bank Bordeaux was infused with a savory Saumur and a glossy Friulian red. I must warn you, these wines are rarely seen in the US—we’re currently the only one retailing today’s new 2019 release—so if you want to experience this extraordinary, otherworldly wine, here’s your one chance.
Located in Slovenia’s renowned and historic Vipava Valley, just a handful of miles from the northeastern border of Italy, this continuously run 16th-century winemaking property is truly one of a kind. Therefore, current proprietor Miha Batič believes to his core that it shouldn’t be squandered. To him, anything that survives four centuries unscathed deserves to be treated as sacred—and that’s exactly how he carries out his philosophies.
Miha’s 19 hectares are spread throughout three small villages and each one is naturally farmed to the highest degree. While they do hold both organic and biodynamic certifications, the Batič family goes much deeper, almost crossing into another dimension. They crank it up a few notches by downright flirting with the occult: their vines wake up to the bright sound of a trumpet and farming occurs with the elementals of fire and air. The latter is a Physics-based Cropping System that they themselves invented. Essentially, this extraterrestrial-looking apparatus mimics the warm breeze of nature by blowing 75-degree heat on the vines which helps prevent diseases and deter pests.
Come harvest, their Cabernet Franc grapes are carefully hand-harvested, sometimes weeks apart, and what happens next is the signature of Batič: nothing. Like the monks that were crafting wine in this very spot four centuries ago years ago, they allow a long, native-yeast fermentation in open-top wood containers. Following, the wine is transferred into Slovenian (and some Slavonian) oak barrels and aged for two years completely undisturbed. Bottling occurs without fining or filtration with little-to-no sulfur additions. All of this is monitored and carried out in concurrence with the lunar cycle.
After spending 24 months in old barrels and nearly another year in bottle, today’s Cabernet Franc has morphed into a texturally deep and soulful red. This is an exceptional biodynamic wine with the herbal aromatics and cut of a cult Loire classic and the broad, plush power of blue-chip Saint-Émilion. It has incredible potential too—I fully expect it to develop beautifully and gain complexities throughout the 2020s. Cheers!
Heard It Through The Grapevine
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