I had a pleasure of meeting Movia winemaker Ales Kristancic recently at Storyteller Wine Company in SW Portland. Ales was visiting from his native Slovenia on a whirlwind tour of various US cities that love his wine, Portland among them. I stopped by Storyteller, heard he was on the way, waited, waited some more, and finally he blew in. Almost literally.
Ales is a force of nature. He rushed in and before I knew it, was weaving stories about low and now sulfite winemaking and grapevine pollination. On many of his wines, he uses no sulfur. On some perhaps a touch at bottling. And why is their Pinot Noir planted among his cabernet and merlot on the border of Slovenia and Italy? Because it blooms earlier and encourages bloom in the other varieties. Really, I asked? Of course, says Ales. You know when you see two people together, it makes you want to get together with someone? Like that.
Oh, really. I look down at my feel. Or actually, Ales'.
So we drank (and there was little spitting) his whites of Sauvignon and Ribolla. The Sauvignon 2008 was cloudy but so fresh and crystalline, full of passion fruit. The Ribolla 2008 was more clear but earthy, red apple and bass notes. The Veliko Bianco 2007 was more like the Sauvignon, pure and fresh. The Veliko Rosso was Bordeaux like, cassis, tobacco, gravel, with great texture and length. All of these wines were tremendous.
Ales and I got to talking about my wine and he encouraged me to open a bottle, for sale in the store. So my 2009 Vincent Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills, nicely fragrant but herbal after the Veliko Rosso. But look at Ales. Feel him poke you in the chest as he talks with his entire body. He tells it straight and he honestly seemed to enjoy the wine. I was happy.
Then came the moon shot. The Movia Lunar, 2006 I believe.
I won't speak of this wine as much as show it.
Pardon the blur. Ales is always in motion.
Yes, it looks like a sample. But this elixir is one of the most delicious and interesting wines I've tasted. Hugely aromatic, yellow fruited, yeasty like fine champagne but pure and focused. Words sort of fail with such a different, orange wine. I simply loved it.
Ales knew we all did. So he thought, let's smoke herb cigarettes from Slovenia. Outside we go. I managed one puff. Mint. Hmm. Interesting. I don't smoke, but right now I was willing to do almost anything.
We talked about Ales returning for some wild event/party/madness. We will see. We should hope. With that, Ales was off.
For now, shop owner Michael Alberty had an inspiration. Why not recreate the moment as best as we can? So, come to Vincent and the Movias this Friday evening at Storyteller. I'll pour my Pinot Noir, and Michael will have a selection from Movia. No Lunar though, that's crazy rare.
And of course, there will be no Ales, which is like The Who without Keith Moon. But what the hell. It will be good nonetheless. The Movia wines deliver, just like their maker.