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Hello! Welcome to As Drunk by Exotic Wine Travel, a weekly column where we feature interesting wines that we encourage you to seek out. The reviews featured in this series may be written by either one or the both of us. The featured wines can be from obscure or well-known wine regions. We hope that these wine recommendations will keep you gastronomically curious and your palate invigorated!
Joannes Protner Renski Rizling 2005
When it comes to Slovenian wines, the western part of the country gets the most attention (deservedly so). Slovene Regions like Goriška brda, Vipavska dolina, and Kras are really making a name for themselves in the wine world. However, it’s not the only area in Slovenia with fine wine, there are some stellar wines being produced in the northeastern part of the country too.
Hiša Joannes Protner is one of the most well-regarded wineries in Štajerska. They focus on whites with razor-sharp acidity and Pinot Noir. The specialty of the house is Riesling. When we stopped in for a visit, winemaker Boštjan Protner casually poured us his entry-level varietal whites without enthusiasm. After we finished the flight he exclaimed, “Ok, let’s move on to some Riesling!”
It’s hard for us to get too excited about Riesling outside of Germany, Austria, and some parts of Australia and California. The Rieslings from Joannes have something unique, something that immediately piqued our interest. We tasted several vintages – 2017, 2016, 2015, 2010, 2006, and 2005. All of the vintages had the typical Riesling flavors with an extra herbal and grassy note that one usually associates with Sauvignon Blanc.
The Joannes Renski Rizling 2005 is a beauty. Unfortunately, it is an archive wine and not readily available. The grapes were harvested late and some of the berries were infected with noble rot (botrytis). It was aged in large oak casks for ten months. Lots of botrytis on the nose, it smells as if it could be a sweet wine. It’s very complex with honey, tropical fruits, fall leaves, grass, apple, and citrus notes. The wine has partial malolactic fermentation which gives it roundness on the palate while retaining sharp acidity. It’s full-bodied with a long finish.
There are few vinous experiences comparable to tasting fine, aged Riesling. This wine from Joannes really took us by surprise. The best part is that current vintages can be had for under 10 euros.
4.2/5 (You can find out more about our scoring system on the WINE RATING page.)
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