Guerila’s Rebula 2010 is restrained and pure on the nose, with attractive honeyed notes.
Rebula is the Slovenian alias for Friuli Collio’s Ribolla Gialla, and there’s no mistaking the characteristic chewiness which is this variety’s calling card. At least if you leave it on the skins for 14 days, as here. If that sounds scary, it’s not at all – the structure of this wine is accessible and refined.
The palate is spicy with dried apricot and a nutty apricot kernel finish. Plenty of ageing potential here, although there’s no reason not to uncork this wine now and enjoy it with anything from charcuterie and cold cuts, to roast chicken, pork or hard cheeses.
Guerila are based in Western Slovenia’s Vipava Valley, a region that’s historically very interesting when it comes to orange wines: Local priest Matija Vertovec wrote a winemaking manual which documents the long tradition of making wine in this fashion. Published in 1844, the book is titled “Vinoreja for Slovenians”, and is written in the old Slovene dialect. Vertovec recommends skin macerations “from 24 hours to 30 days”, noting “it improves the flavour and durability of the wine, and ensures it will ferment to dryness”. Thanks to Alexis Paraschos for the translations.
I’ve tried to find outlets for this wine, but frustratingly it doesn’t even appear on the producer’s website, nor is it sold by their Dutch distributor Imperial Wijnkoperij. Their other wines are recommended however – the varietal Zelen and Pinela are both delicious (no skin contact, these are fresh young styles).
Guerila are one of a number of growers in the region who have committed to organic viticulture, with organic certification from 2011 and biodynamic certification from 2013.