Of Radikon, in Oslavia, in the heart of Collio Goriziano, just 3 kilometers from the Italian-Slovenian border, are famous wine choices that over the years have led this winery to fire wines that, as they like to repeat, “not everyone likes”. In fact, what Stanko Radikon has tried to tell, throughout his life, through his wines, is nothing more than truth, sincerity and respect for his land, passing these values to his son Saša, current owner. It all began around 1949, when Stanko’s father first planted Ribolla, a particularly problematic grape variety for winemaking as it is the first to bud and the last to mature. Even if already in the ’60s and ’70s the Radikon family timidly begins to sell the surplus of bulk wine, it is however in the mid-80s that Stanko takes the reins of the company and clearly specifies its enological direction.
The story of Stanko as a producer, rather similar to that of Gravner, begins with the creation of wines inspired by the utmost technical cleanliness but which seem almost soulless to him. It is in this way that by first studying the Ribolla he desumes that to exalt it it’s necessary that its skins, so thick and fragile, are macerated together with the must for rather long times, allowing them to give up the olfactory but also gustatory richness (tannins in the first place) that enclose. We are in 1991 and already in 1995 the winemaker makes a further drastic choice ahead of time: the total abandonment of chemistry in the vineyard and sulphites in the process of winemaking. Today Saša carries on this type of viticulture which obviously contemplates the maximum of naturalness even during the vinification phase: the very few bunches per plant ferment naturally and by means of indigenous yeasts. As for bottling, are adopted one-litre bottles because the classic Bordeaux 0.75l bottles did not have the right shape to accommodate the cork invented by Radikon: longer and with a smaller diameter, in order to use the most tender part of cork, the one less attackable by funguses.
Despite the production of this winery is mainly based on white wines, they are also vinified red wines such as Pignolo, Pinot Noir and Merlot. This last is born in a vineyard of about 20 years, a little more than one hectare, with a density of about 8000 vines per hectare, lying on soil formed by the typical Ponka, sandstone clays that in depth become hard as rock but that remain brittle and draining on the surface. From here the grapes, manually harvested with extreme care, are sent to the cellar where, after a careful destemming and pressing, ferment and macerate from 3 to 4 months in truncated oak vats, with several daily manual fullings. The wine is then left to age in used barriques for 5 years, with some racking where necessary.
The 2004 vintage has a pale ruby color tending to orange, with an olfactory range that opens on notes of cooked plum, carob, brine and vinyl, followed by pomegranate, blood orange, blond tobacco and enamel, with final echoes of licorice root, tomato sauce, Mount Athos incense and a slight oxidized note. The palate, despite the 14 abv, is decidedly fresh, citric (thanks to the masterfully controlled oxidation), spicy black peppered and with tannins still lively and palpitating; all enriched by red fruit and fresher spices that accompany the sip to an excellent length closing.
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