These are interesting wines. And no, not in the English sense, where, when asked our opinion of wines that we don’t really like, out of politeness we say, ‘interesting’, in a considered, thoughtful sort of way. They’re genuinely lovely and interesting.
Čotar are based in Karst, Slovenia. The family planted their first vines in 1974 to make wine for their restaurant, but this all grew, and in 1988 they bottled their first wines (previously, they’d have been served directly from cask at the restaurant). They now have 7.5 hectares, half red and half white. Both white and red are made with skin maceration in the very traditional way – whites get 4-10 days, reds 10-20. No sulfur is added during the winemaking process. I really like the wines: this is skin contact white winemaking that really works.
Čotar Malvazija 2009 Carso, Slovenia
12% alcohol, skin contact, no added SO2. Orange colour. Amazingly vivid nose of pear, apricot, spice and baked apple. Lively and detailed. The palate is fresh and grippy with a subtle earthy edge, keen acidity and fine spiciness, as well as attractive pear, peach and lemon notes. Such a vivid wine. 93/100
Čotar Vitovska 2011 Carso, Slovenia
12.5% alcohol. Orange/bronze in colour. Beautifully perfumed with fragrant apricot honeysuckle , honey and spice notes. The palate is fresh and lively with a grippy edge and some spiciness under the apricot and pear fruit. Fresh, expressive and appealing. 93/100
Čotar Terra Rossa 2005 Carso, Slovenia
12% alcohol. Organic grapes (Teran 40%, Merlot 40%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20%), wild ferment, unfiltered with no sulfur dioxide during the fermentation. Fresh, vivid, spicy nose with some lively black cherry and raspberry fruit, as well as a savoury, animal edge. The palate is vivid and fresh with lovely acidity and sleek black fruits, together with a peppery savouriness. Grippy, tannic and chewy with an animal wildness. I really like it. 92/100
UK agent: Indigo Wine
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