Like Muscat or Lambrusco, Refosco refers to a family of wine grapes, rather than to one variety. Refosco can be found in Northern Italy in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and in the neighbouring Slovenia. It is one of the oldest grapes in existence, predating the establishment of borders between these two countries.
Wines from this grape can vary, but they tend to be dark in colour with intense fruity aromas and flavours. And this week's sip, the Refosk from Korenika & Moskon in Slovenia, is no exception.
Until I tried this wine, my experience with Refosco had been the opposite of the norm. I had only tried Italian Refosco, which was light in colour and reminiscent of Burgundian Pinot Noir or Langhe Nebbiolo. As soon as I poured this wine, I was struck by the difference.
The Refosk is fruity, but the aromas and flavours are ripe rather than fresh; think berries left out in the summer sun. Theres blackberry, blueberry, cranberry, and plum, with a hint of baking spice. All of these factors combined give this wine a very sangria or mulled wine like quality.
The most surprising part of this wine was the slight effervescence, which added a nice refreshing touch. It also made me wonder how it would taste chilled, and my guess is excellent. This wine definitely has depth and structure, but the tannins are soft and its refreshing enough to drink in the heat.
Its always fun to open a wine and have your expectations completely subverted. From the country of origin, to the colour, to the deep flavours, and the light fizz, this wine is a conversation starter. It's the perfect choice to try something new and experience Slovenian wines.