2020 Rodica Malvadiesel
Region: Istria < Slovenia
Grapes: Malvazia Istriana
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming; dry-farmed; 8 hours of skin maceration, aged for 6 months in 2500L acacia barrels and then in stainless steel until bottling, without fining or filtering, with minimal added So2; 13% ABV
Within spitting distance of the Adriatic Sea, 5km away, Rodica is a family-run winery in Slovenia’s Istrian Peninsula that sits on top of a hill, overlooking the Gulf of Trieste. Here the happy vines enjoy significant diurnal temperature swings which, combined with the constant breezes that flow through the vineyards, allow for organic farming and slow grape ripening (both very good things). The estate was started in 1998 by Marinko Rodica, a car mechanic by trade but wine lover by passion, pivoted to making wine. They were certified organic in 2008, and built a brand new environmentally friendly and energy efficient wine cellar in 2012. Today, Marinko's sons are running the estate, but this wine, with the cute old car on the label, is a tribute to papa and his hard work as a mechanic that enabled the family to buy the vineyards and start the winery.
The story is cute, but we fell in love with the aromatic, fuzzy Malvasia juice that gets a kiss of skin contact. Bright, floral and chewy with a slightly bitter edge, it's like Kern's apricot nectar with almonds and just the slightest touch of honey. So pretty for sping.