Telling about Karst viticulture by ignoring the figure of Benjamin Zidarich is a rather complicated theoretical exercise, given the symbiotic bond that holds the first to the second and that officially begins 1988, when the winegrower inherits from his father half a hectare of land planted with vines. Benjamin thus began a slow expansion that led him to own 11 hectares of vineyards, literally torn from a terrain characterized by rock and very little red soil, on which viticulture needs enormous efforts to take root. The simplest solution would be to “help” those lands with chemical laboratory solutions, but Benjamin completely turns this point of view upside down, trying to intervene as little as possible on the physiological balance of the plant. The work in the cellar also follows the same principles of naturalness and essentiality, helped by the same winemaking environments, specifically designed in 2000, and completed in 2009. It is 1200 square meters broken by digging the karst rock up to 22 meters deep, built with stone obtained from the excavations themselves, with zero environmental impact and with an underground temperature naturally constant between 12 and 14 degrees.
Here the Ruje is born, from Merlot grapes (85%) and Terrano (15%) harvested in a South-East facing vineyard with high density of planting (8-9000 vines/hectare) in Karst red earth of about 15 years, at 260-280 meters of altitude. Once in the cellar, the grapes are destemmed and ferment in open vats, without temperature control, by means of indigenous yeasts, and then macerate on the skins with several daily fullings. The obtained wine then passes, by gravitational fall, in the room intended for aging, where it spends three years in large oak barrels before bottling carried out without filtration or stabilization. Another year of bottling refinement and the wine is ready to be marketed.
This 2015 vintage shows a medium intensity ruby red color, with a range of aromas that begin, in a pretty austere setting, with cooked plum, overripe cherry, wild blackberry and purple potpourri, followed by incense, sealing wax and vinyl, with slight concluding echoes of undergrowth, black pepper, Shade tobacco and roasted meat. The palate is austere (again) and articulate, with a discreet softness, excellent freshness, elegant tannins and a reference to the darker olfactory tones that, once occupied the entire palate, finally leave room for a green slope and a more immediate red fruit, present, from this moment, until a long persistence closure.
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