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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!
One of our favorite wineries in central and eastern Europe is Slovak.
Located just outside Bratislava in the village of Devín, Zlatý Roh is a young winery with a bright future. These are minimal intervention Slovak wines. Their vineyards are located on the Danube and you can see Northern Burgenland (Austria) just across the river. Winemaker Filip Nagy works with organically farmed grapes and ferments the wines spontaneously with native yeasts.
We first visited the estate in 2018, during our second whirlwind tour through the Slovak wine regions. Filip immediately impressed us with his energy, focus, and vision. This is a small project now, just done out of a garage but the plans are to expand the vineyards and build a new winery. That’s all in the future, for now, these are some of the most exciting wines coming out of Slovakia. Get your hands on them if you can!
You can find out more about our scoring system on the WINE RATING page.
- Zlatý Roh, Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
This is the first vintage of Zlatý Roh Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon. There are notes of blackberry, pine, graphite, and sour cherry notes. It’s all fruit at this point. Fresh and full in body with a touch of green notes on the finish. It’s young now and should round into form in a few years. For a natural red, this is very solid and should cellar well, possibly deserving an uptick in score. Score: 89/100
- Zlatý Roh, Blanc 2018
The Blanc is our favorite wine from Zlatý Roh every vintage. It’s a barrel-fermented blend of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. Notes of sweet peach, sliced apricots, grass, lime, and a touch of white pepper. This is a full-bodied, unfiltered, and unfined white. It’s slightly cloudy with a tangy finish, no tannins. Score: 91/100
- Zlatý Roh, Pinot Noir 2018
The Zlatý Roh Pinot Noir is very old world in style, it’s more of an earthy, vegetal wine. Notes of soil, greens, fall leaves, and mushroom with strawberry. It really smells like a forest floor with a touch of forest berries. Silky smooth palate with concentration and a long finish. There is some grippy tannin. This has a future in the cellar, its made in the spirit of Burgundy. Score: 91/100
- Zlatý Roh, Veltlínské Zelené 2018
Another brilliant white from Zlatý Roh is this Grüner Veltliner, which is golden in color. Notes of lime, basil, grass, and white pepper. It’s a full-bodied, unfiltered wine. It’s so ripe that you wouldn’t expect it to be from Slovakia. Bright, focused fruit and a peppery finish. Score: 90/100
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