2016 Batič Pinela

Vipava Valley, Slovenia

With an immense respect for nature, viewing themselves more as expert gatherers rather than heavy-handed winemakers, and paying special attention to local varieties, the Batič family has been making wines that reflect land and vintage since 1592. Given such history, their approach to wine growing goes beyond organic and biodynamic. Wedged between Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia, the Vipavska Dolina (Vipava Valley) lies within the Primorje wine growing region of Western Slovenia right along the Italian border. The land enjoys both a Mediterranean and Alpine microclimate coupled with marl, clay, flysch and sandstone rich soil. Warm nurturing air flows in from the Adriatic and over the Friuli-Venezia Giulia plains while cool air rushes down from the Alps helping retain acidity and aromatics. Overall the region is characterized by powerful mineral driven reds like Refošk, Bordeaux varieties like Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon (as is also common in neighboring Fruili), and a host of fascinating white varieties like Pinela, Pinot Gris, Zelen, Klarnica, Vitovska and Rebula.

VINEYARDS

The Batič family owns 19 hectares of vineyards in three villages (Šempas, Vogrsko, and Vitovlje) ranging from 60 meters up to 1495 meters above sea level. Incredible high vine density forces roots to dig up to 15 meters straight down in order to reach nutrients and water. The Vipavska Dolina also has a famed reputation for creating powerful thermal conditions due to the convergence of Alpine and Adriatic influences. Winds up to 10 meters/second keep rot and a host of other vine diseases at bay. In the higher altitude vineyards (1,300+ feet) no chemicals of any kind have ever been sprayed. In other locations where conditions would otherwise demand chemical application, Batič is instead the first winery in Europe to harness the power of fire and air with PCS (Physics-based Cropping System). Rather than attacking vine disease and pests with pesticides and herbicides, PCS blows air at 150 km/ h and at a temperature of 75 degrees among the vines. Pollination, natural funghi and a resilient canopy result leaving the vines with a strengthened natural immunity. Rather than fighting nature, they are mimicking what they already know nature does best.

WINE MAKING

According to Miha, “You have to think and work like the nature. If you look at the forest for example, the forest is never just acacia or oak - always a symbiosis of thousands of different plants and animals.” Establishing this symbiotic relationship in the vineyards and in the cellar is the signature of the Batič estate - emulating and getting closer to nature. Highly selective hand harvesting, extended maceration (particularly native white grape varieties), fermenting in open topped Slovenian wooden vats without temperature control, and only using indigenous yeast are the major means to this end.

2016 Batič Pinela

All wines are bottled un-fined, often unfiltered, and in some cases bottled without additional sulfur (SO2). Lunar cycles and seasons are strictly observed and determine releases and bottling dates.

NOTES & PAIRINGS

Pinela is an ancient, indigenous grape and without question the most noble of the Estate. Without the unique climate of the Vipava, Pinela would not survive. Not surprisingly, Ivan Batič devoted his soul to this grape variety. Vines are planted only in the best terroirs and according to the old Vipava Valley winemaking tradition, macerated at an unregulated temperature for five days with its own yeast. It is then matured for twenty-four months in Slovenian oak barrels. Bottled in the time of the old moon this vintage is full bodied, textured, mineral driven, and shows a sophisticated spiciness. It’s truly unique. The Batič family pairs it with the richness of duck, herbed egg dishes, and roasted fennel.

ANALYTICS & PRONUNCIATION

PRODUCER: Batič (Baht-itch)
APPELLATION: Vipava Valley (Vipava Valley)
VINTAGE: 2016
GRAPE COMPOSITION: 100% Pinela
CLIMATE: Mediterranean and Alpine
SOILS: Marl
EXPOSURE: Western
MACERATION & AGING: In large Slovenian oak vats, aged 24 Months in Slovenian Oak Barrel.
ALCOHOL: 13.5%
RESIDUAL SUGAR: 3.5 g/l
ACIDITY: 4.83 g/l