Santomas – Big Red Reserve – 2000

And so, here I am with this bottle of what I’m told is rather lovely wine. It’s a Slovenian one from the coast, near the largest Slovene city on the coast, Koper. It’s also a refošk (Italian refosco) and I don’t know a damned thing about it. So naturally this calls for getting together some friends and seeing what it’s about.
Right out of the bottle, it’s very enjoyable. Definitely dry and as that Wikipedia article I linked to above states: strong, powerful, and tannic. But, I have no complaints as, like the article also states, there are strong berry flavors there as well that keep it all in balance. I think that my friends (especially the ladies) seem to like it right away more than I do.
Given a little time and good conversation, it starts to open up very, very fast. I wish I had thought to decant it, but live and learn. The tannins and boldness of it give way a great deal to the fruits and I am liking it a lot now. I thought the dryness was going to stay like it does in most Old World wines, but it doesn’t. While it doesn’t reach that plushness that it might if it were a Californian red, it holds its own wonderfully.
Naturally, it goes great with foods. My god does it go great with foods. It’s a shame that they don’t have Monterey Jacks in Slovenia because they’re fantastic together. Of course, a good paški sir from Croatia (or a Slovene equivalent) might do well also.
Of course, the catch is in where to get it. I recommend Blue Danube Wine, but it’s apparently a tough one to keep in stock. Otherwise, if you see it on a menu… somewhere… out there, get it.