02 Jun Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Kobal Bajta Blaufränkisch Rosé Pet Nat from Slovenia
Blaufränkisch and Pet Nat are probably two terms you would not expect together. But you should! The Kobal Bajta Blaufränkisch Rosé Pet Nat from Slovenia is weird, wonderful, delicious, and the Please The Palate wine of the week.
Blaufränkisch is a late-ripening, black-skinned wine grape that produces red wines which typically fruit forward with rich tannins and a spicy character. Blaufränkisch is a parent grape of both Gamay and Zweigelt. It is the second most popular red wine variety, behind Zwiegelt, in Austria. But, in 2016, a research study based on DNA profiling and historical ampelographic sources showed that two international varieties of red grape, the Blaufränkisch and the Blauer Portugieser, have a high likelihood of originating from the territory of what is today Slovenia, specifically Lower Styria. Other names for Blaufränkisch are Lemberger and Kékfrankos, and in Slovenia, Blaufränkisch is called Modra Frankinja.
Kobal Wines is a small boutique winery from north-eastern Slovenia, based in the Haloze district of Lower Styria, which is a stretch of hills along the banks of the Drava River near the charming city of Ptuj . With steep slopes which consist predominantly of marl and roots of vines that average 35 years old, Haloze is considered one of the top wine-growing sites in Central Europe.
Kobal Wines is owned by winemaker Bojan Kobal whose family has been involved in winemaking since 1931. Born in 1977, Kobal was raised surrounded by vineyards and processed to get a degree in Food Science and Technology from the University of Ljubljana Biotechnical University in 1996. Kobal has worked as a winemaker since 2002 and he started Kobal Wines in 2015. Bojan Kobal is the most awarded winemaker in Slovenia and his wines have won more than 195 Grand Gold, gold and silver medals at competitions around the world.
At Kobal Wines, the focus is on terroir driven wines that are distinct to the region. The grapes are farmed following the environmentally friendly integrated farming guidelines of Slovenia and the vineyards are not irrigated. The grapes are hand-picked and fermented with natural yeasts.
For the Kobal Bajta Blaufränkisch Rosé Pet Nat, the grapes are hand-picked and then “bleed” for four hours, followed by a closely monitored natural fermentation. When the sugar level reaches the desired level, the wine is bottled with wild microflora and continues to ferment in the bottle.
The color of a Cosmo, the wine is lively with notes of cranberries, raspberries, strawberries and citrus. Fresh on the palate, the effervescence tingles on the tongue. The wine has a good mouthfeel and finishes with flavors of tart cranberries and raspberry lemonade. Drink chilled and have fun.