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Movia Ribolla, Brda: 2004

June 10, 2008

~$20US, 100% Ribolla Giallo/Rebula, Brda, Slovenia

Movia’s Ales Kristancic is one of Europe’s most dynamic winemakers working in the mountainous Italian-Slovenian border (which puts him in the running for one of most exciting in the world, IMHO). With across-the-border neighbors like Gravner and Radikon, Movia is pushing the boundaries in creating living wines using traditional methods and natural and biodynamic practices with a hands-off ‘wine-guiding’ (so hands-off that some are reluctant to even call it winemaking) technique. These wines not about creating a generally appealing fermented grape juice beverage – these speak of the heritage and land, of the people and culture.

The Ribolla has a beautiful bright golden cast. The initial aromas of green apples gave way to a fascinating herbal and spice perfume with fresh parsley, sandalwood, dried-lemon and sage. The wine has a wonderful acidity that rides high in the palate with a medium-light body. As the chill subsided, it gained some weight and power – I recommend this with just a light chill. The flow of flavors here is very hard-to-pin-down, with Amaro (herbal bitters) starting and ending on the back of the tongue while the fruit and acidity danced around in between. The finish was like cracking a fresh brick of gymnastics chalk before a high-bar routine; so fresh and minerally.

A confounding but incredibly easy-to-drink white, where each sip beckoned for another…and another…to gain understanding of its fleeting pleasures. Although totally satisfied, we felt as if we did not even scratch the surface of what this wine had to offer by the time the bottle was gone. A definite rebuy and one to seek out for fans of aromatic Italian whites, Gru-Vees and Loire-philes.

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