Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

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Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#1 Post by Noah C »

Thought this might be of interest, particularly with the recent "Off the Beaten Path" Thread.

https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp? ... 8d3f83548d

Really weird, unique, fascinating, unusual, bizarre even. I've never had anything like it, but it sure is tasty. First of all, this wine needs lots of air. I initially popped and poured this and it was disjointed, clumsy, had a bit of noxious VA to it. Decanted for an hour and the wine was great. Day two was better. Day 4 was even better. I finished at this point, but imagine that it could improve for another few days. You might even consider trying what natural wine guru Nicolas Joly recommends (and this Gravner is certainly Natural with a capital N) and open this 36 hours before drinking!

The flavors are weird and wild- there are definitely oxidized sherry type notes of almonds, cashews, dry honey (if that makes sense), as well as red apple, peach, dust, clay, dried silt, honeysuckle, black tea, golden raisin, and I don't know what else... there are weird flavors and aromas that you will have to experience and name for yourself. The 2010 vintage of this wine is described as a "dry-Sauternes", and honestly, I can't think of a better descriptor. If you are interested in unusual wines, and are the type of person that will "try anything once", this is worth it. At least once. I liked it, not sure if you will, but it certainly is an experience worth having.
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Say Whot???

#2 Post by TomHill »

Noah C wrote: January 13th, 2021, 6:54 pm Thought this might be of interest, particularly with the recent "Off the Beaten Path" Thread.

https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp? ... 8d3f83548d

Really weird, unique, fascinating, unusual, bizarre even. I've never had anything like it, but it sure is tasty. First of all, this wine needs lots of air. I initially popped and poured this and it was disjointed, clumsy, had a bit of noxious VA to it. Decanted for an hour and the wine was great. Day two was better. Day 4 was even better. I finished at this point, but imagine that it could improve for another few days. You might even consider trying what natural wine guru Nicolas Joly recommends (and this Gravner is certainly Natural with a capital N) and open this 36 hours before drinking!

The flavors are weird and wild- there are definitely oxidized sherry type notes of almonds, cashews, dry honey (if that makes sense), as well as red apple, peach, dust, clay, dried silt, honeysuckle, black tea, golden raisin, and I don't know what else... there are weird flavors and aromas that you will have to experience and name for yourself. The 2010 vintage of this wine is described as a "dry-Sauternes", and honestly, I can't think of a better descriptor. If you are interested in unusual wines, and are the type of person that will "try anything once", this is worth it. At least once. I liked it, not sure if you will, but it certainly is an experience worth having.
Say what, Noah??? Gravner? Bizarre?? How could that be??
Sounds pretty much like an older Gravner.
The wines are very exotic. Describing them is damnably tough. They really demand savory food to accompany them.
Thanks for sharing that note.
Tom

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Re: Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#3 Post by Jason L. »

Thanks for posting this. I haven't had a Gravner wine in years but I still think about them often. At their best they are really exotic, pleasurable and totally novel. Really enjoyed reading your notes.
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Re: Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#4 Post by Adam Frisch »

Noticed on my own skin-contact Marsanne just how much air they can stand up to. They just get better and better over days and mine would drink its best after about 5 days open in fridge. Not very customer or business friendly to have wines that take 5 days to show their best, so it's a problem... [wink.gif]

The Gravner I had a few years back was too grave, if you pardon the pun, but that was probably just because I didn't give it enough time, then. An even graver one was the wonderfully aesthetic Kabaj wine - even less accessible.
Last edited by Adam Frisch on January 15th, 2021, 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#5 Post by LasseK »

I had an "orange wine" period a few years back where i also got around to taste some Gravner. They are good wines, but a bit too "dark" for a my taste if that makes sense.

I think you can find wines in this category with more lift and energy, and often cheaper, that are more interesting. I can highly recommend Vodopivec, Radikon or La Stoppa's Ageno. Or even some of Claus Preisinger's skin-contact wines.
Last edited by LasseK on January 14th, 2021, 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#6 Post by Jason L. »

Vodopivec is a great recommendation, although I recall them being quite expensive. But they were the most refined skin-contact wines I'd ever had. I just remembered another that I think delivers a good skin-contact experience at a fair price: Skerk's "Ograde"
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Re: Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#7 Post by LasseK »

Jason L. wrote: January 14th, 2021, 1:02 pm Vodopivec is a great recommendation, although I recall them being quite expensive. But they were the most refined skin-contact wines I'd ever had. I just remembered another that I think delivers a good skin-contact experience at a fair price: Skerk's "Ograde"
Yes Vodopivec and some of Radikon's wines are not cheap.

Another good one is Kmetija Stekar's Jankot Suho!
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#8 Post by TomHill »

LasseK wrote: January 14th, 2021, 1:23 pm
Jason L. wrote: January 14th, 2021, 1:02 pm Vodopivec is a great recommendation, although I recall them being quite expensive. But they were the most refined skin-contact wines I'd ever had. I just remembered another that I think delivers a good skin-contact experience at a fair price: Skerk's "Ograde"
Yes Vodopivec and some of Radikon's wines are not cheap.

Another good one is Kmetija Stekar's Jankot Suho!
'Tis true, Lasse. Pretty expensive for what they are.
I, too, would endorse the Stekar wines. And I like some of the Kabaj's as well.
But, to my taste, the best ViniMacerati (using Bobby Stuckey's term for those wines) are from SandiSkerk, especially when they have
a few yrs on them. And some from MattRorick/Forlorn-Hope in Calif.

I try a lot of VM wines. With some age on them, they can evolve into amazingly complex wines, much like the Gravner in the OP.
In making those wines, it's a tough balancing act to determine the degree of skin-contact to get a good balance between fruit & not letting
the skin-contact obliterate the varietal character. Too much skin-contact and they can be dreadfully tannic and woefully dominated
by the phenolic/VM character. Still, some of those unpleasant in their youth can still evolve into wonderful/complex wines.
Tom

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#9 Post by LasseK »

TomHill wrote: January 14th, 2021, 1:36 pm
LasseK wrote: January 14th, 2021, 1:23 pm
Jason L. wrote: January 14th, 2021, 1:02 pm Vodopivec is a great recommendation, although I recall them being quite expensive. But they were the most refined skin-contact wines I'd ever had. I just remembered another that I think delivers a good skin-contact experience at a fair price: Skerk's "Ograde"
Yes Vodopivec and some of Radikon's wines are not cheap.

Another good one is Kmetija Stekar's Jankot Suho!
'Tis true, Lasse. Pretty expensive for what they are.
I, too, would endorse the Stekar wines. And I like some of the Kabaj's as well.
But, to my taste, the best ViniMacerati (using Bobby Stuckey's term for those wines) are from SandiSkerk, especially when they have
a few yrs on them. And some from MattRorick/Forlorn-Hope in Calif.

I try a lot of VM wines. With some age on them, they can evolve into amazingly complex wines, much like the Gravner in the OP.
In making those wines, it's a tough balancing act to determine the degree of skin-contact to get a good balance between fruit & not letting
the skin-contact obliterate the varietal character. Too much skin-contact and they can be dreadfully tannic and woefully dominated
by the phenolic/VM character. Still, some of those unpleasant in their youth can still evolve into wonderful/complex wines.
Tom
I have never tried Skerk's wines. I will see if i can locate a bottle! Thanks.
A lot of US wines can be rather hard to find in Copenhagen, if the name is not Drake Whitcraft, so not sure i can find Forlorn-Hope's wines.
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Re: 'Tis True...

#10 Post by Otto Forsberg »

TomHill wrote: January 14th, 2021, 1:36 pmViniMacerati (using Bobby Stuckey's term for those wines)
Sounds like a weird choice for a wine style. It's just Italian for "macerated wines" and it thus doesn't sound that specific, as not only orange wines, but all red wines are macerated wines. Furthermore, I think it's odd to opt for an Italian term to refer to a style that's not uniquely Italian nor even originating from Italy.

Why not just use "macerated whites"? That is more accurate while conveying more or less the meaning and it doesn't look that pretentious. At least to me, in the middle of an English sentence, vini macerati feels like pain grillé of wine style names.

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Re: Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#11 Post by LasseK »

But i hear "Amber Wines" is the new hip term 😄
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Re: Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#12 Post by Otto Forsberg »

LasseK wrote: January 15th, 2021, 10:56 am But i hear "Amber Wines" is the new hip term 😄
New? [scratch.gif]

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Re: Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#13 Post by Mike C. »

At least with respect to Radikon, I find Gravner to be a clear cut above. I have had VA and mouse issues with multiple bottles of Radikon.
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Re: Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#14 Post by LasseK »

Otto Forsberg wrote: January 15th, 2021, 12:34 pm
LasseK wrote: January 15th, 2021, 10:56 am But i hear "Amber Wines" is the new hip term 😄
New? [scratch.gif]
Yes in regard to how people describe macerated whites. I know the term is not new in itself. If i remember correctly Amber is actually the description that has been used for ages in some European countries, that has a longer history with macerated whites.

But a few years back everyone seemed to use the term "orange wine'. If i went to a shop or a restaurant, thats how it would be described or listed on the menu. But after what seems to have been some consumer confusion about the use of real oranges, that seems to have changed a bit.
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Re: Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#15 Post by LasseK »

Mike C. wrote: January 15th, 2021, 1:30 pm At least with respect to Radikon, I find Gravner to be a clear cut above. I have had VA and mouse issues with multiple bottles of Radikon.
I also had a very bad Radikon in regards to mousiness. But the other bottles i have tasted i have preferred to the Gravner i have tasted. But its wine, it is very subjective 🙂
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Re: Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#16 Post by Otto Forsberg »

LasseK wrote: January 16th, 2021, 2:05 pm Yes in regard to how people describe macerated whites. I know the term is not new in itself. If i remember correctly Amber is actually the description that has been used for ages in some European countries, that has a longer history with macerated whites.

But a few years back everyone seemed to use the term "orange wine'. If i went to a shop or a restaurant, thats how it would be described or listed on the menu. But after what seems to have been some consumer confusion about the use of real oranges, that seems to have changed a bit.
That sounds really weird. I've been hearing people refer to them as orange wines, amber wines and skin-contact wines as long as I can remember. Perhaps orange wine is still the most commonly used, but as a whole I haven't noticed any other trends beyond that.

I've noticed that "amber wine" is the preferred term for the skin-contact kvevri wines of Georgia, since historically these macerated white wines have been called ქარვისფერი ღვინო (Karvisperi ghvino, "amber wine") there, but otherwise I haven't seen any trend in the usage of the term and definitely nothing that would make it feel like "new".

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Re: Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#17 Post by JDavisRoby »

I have a 2007 Klinec Rebula sitting in my cellar. Any ideas on this? I have no clue about it being past prime. Or how to serve it. Only had orange wine at tastings and a few at wine bars.
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Re: Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#18 Post by LasseK »

Otto Forsberg wrote: January 17th, 2021, 2:27 am
LasseK wrote: January 16th, 2021, 2:05 pm Yes in regard to how people describe macerated whites. I know the term is not new in itself. If i remember correctly Amber is actually the description that has been used for ages in some European countries, that has a longer history with macerated whites.

But a few years back everyone seemed to use the term "orange wine'. If i went to a shop or a restaurant, thats how it would be described or listed on the menu. But after what seems to have been some consumer confusion about the use of real oranges, that seems to have changed a bit.
That sounds really weird. I've been hearing people refer to them as orange wines, amber wines and skin-contact wines as long as I can remember. Perhaps orange wine is still the most commonly used, but as a whole I haven't noticed any other trends beyond that.

I've noticed that "amber wine" is the preferred term for the skin-contact kvevri wines of Georgia, since historically these macerated white wines have been called ქარვისფერი ღვინო (Karvisperi ghvino, "amber wine") there, but otherwise I haven't seen any trend in the usage of the term and definitely nothing that would make it feel like "new".
Ofcause my observation is based on where i live (and Google searching). So I might completely wrong 😀
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Re: Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#19 Post by Otto Forsberg »

LasseK wrote: January 17th, 2021, 4:22 am Ofcause my observation is based on where i live (and Google searching). So I might completely wrong 😀
It's definitely possible that it's a local phenomenon. Based on my observations, I haven't seen any such trends and all the terms are used pretty interchangeably and without much preference to one or another.

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Re: Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#20 Post by Karl K »

In my experience orange wine was the term used most in the US
during a spike in interest about 7 years ago.
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Re: Tasting Note: Gravner Ribolla 2009

#21 Post by Noah C »

JDavisRoby wrote: January 17th, 2021, 3:56 am I have a 2007 Klinec Rebula sitting in my cellar. Any ideas on this? I have no clue about it being past prime. Or how to serve it. Only had orange wine at tastings and a few at wine bars.
Interesting! I say you should just go for it; open it up with zero expectations. A well-stored and well-made orange Ribolla wine is more than capable of lasting 14 years. I opened a 2003 Radikon recently that was just off the chain (in a good way). I would recommend handling aged orange wines like red wines- i.e. watch out for sediment and decant prior to drinking. The tannins present from the grape skins tend to precipitate out over time and can make for a muddy drink. So handle the bottle carefully. Update us when you open it!
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