26-05-2015

Batič Angel Rosso Grand Cuvee 2007

The name Batič comes up here and there on this website. There are many reasons behind this, but the main driving force is that wines of Miha and his family are quite simply, excellent. They’re part of the group of winemakers in Western Slovenia who make more natural style wines from their local grapes.

I encountered these wines several times while living in San Francisco, but it was the tasting at the now defunct Zagreb Wine Gourmet Weekend in 2012 that made me realize I was long overdue for a visit to his winery. On the way to Vinistra 2013, as we had to arrive via Venice (going East to West in Europe ain’t as easy as North to South) we made a little detour up to the Vipava Valley.

While catching him in the midst of working some wind tractor for their biodynamic agriculture, he took us in and did a lengthy tasting of the wines. You can read up on that here if you’d like. But, the main takeaway from that visit was what I took away which were two bottles of their extremely elegant whites and a bottle of their rare top-end Angel Rosso which they only make in very, very optimal years. I believe that the 2009 is the latest vintage to be on the market and there were only three such vintages in the last decade.

A low-yield harvest of 40 year-old vines on marl soils, this is a challenging wine to make. Red wine in general seems to be a difficult thing in this part of the world as while they use a very Bordeaux-centric blend, this is not Bordeaux in that it’s hotter but without the Atlantic Ocean influence. This would go a long way to explain doing things so extreme as a 60 day maceration for the grapes and aging in Slovenian oak for four years!

After two years of my own cellaring, there was finally a chance to open it at a tasting in Priorat last week. Although, after bringing back what was left of this magnum, it seems like sitting for a day actually improved upon it a even more.

Angel Rosso Grand Cuvee 2007
The Bordeaux elements are immediately apparently with bell pepper notes from the Cab Sauvignon. This quickly gives way to the firm, structured elements of the Merlot and the overall, weighty body of the wine. Minor mineral touches as it breathes, but everything is more predominated by leather and balsamic notes. Despite not being the absolute best of cellar conditions for the last two years, this wine easily had another 10 years in it. Great to drink it but sad to see it finished.

Merlot, Cab Sauvignon, Cab Franc 13.5% ?€
***