Another radical natural, orange wine from Radikon in Friuli. The Slatnik is a blend of Chardonnay and Tocai Friulano. It spends about 2 weeks on skins depending on the vintage and the texture you gain from this is incredible. Ripe, opulent and zippy, zesty fruit... as far as Orange wine styles go this has to be up there with the most eccentric. Not for the faint hearted! - Chris L
"The future of wine is in this direction. We need something more from white wine." Saša Radikon
Tucked away in the far-eastern corner of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region lies a small winery called Radikon.
Despite its small size and minimal production, Radikon wines have had a major impact in the wine world, through their championing of orange wines and lo-fi, natural winemaking. Their path was set when founder Stanilaus (Stanko) Radikon began his stewardship of the 12 hectares of vines near the Slovenian border. He began to make wine from the local indigenous variety, Ribolla Gialla, but Stanko felt that the pale, fairly unexciting wines being produced throughout the region were not truly indicative of the grape and its potential for flavour.
So in 1995 he began to change his methodology. He started with a fairly conservative 7 days of maceration on skins to boost the colour and flavour - something that the DOC didn't agree with. Radikon have been proudly outside of the DOC, and happily declassified since 2001.
Sadly, Stanko passed away in 2016, but his son Saša, stepped in to fill the void. Saša had been working side by side with his father for the 15 years before Stanko's death, so the change over was seamless, and the wines have never looked better.
The Radikon philosophy is beautifully simple: "If you have good grapes, you can make good wine. If you have bad grapes, you can only have bad wine," says Saša.
"We try to move the sensation you have when you eat the grape to the wine. And the skin keeps the energy from the sun and the information from the vintage. If it was good, if it was bad, if it was rainy, if it was sunny – the skins keep the information and I think it is very important to use that information."
Needless to say, the wines are thrilling and vibrant, complex, layered, filled with energy and vitality, and packed with texture and flavour. If you've never tried one, perhaps now is the time to get your Radik... on. (Sorry!)
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