Cheers to the Wine-Tasting Society!


Next meeting:   (not yet announced)

Department's Wine-Tasting Society

It is an informal group of people, mostly researchers in biochemistry, who are interested in wines. The society meets once to several times a year for tastings, organised as competitions. Since the members do not pretend to be connoisseurs, it was decided to note the wines with notes between 0.0 and 5.0 (and not by criteria acknowledged by professional experts). Notes are not to be taken too seriously since wines, brought to the tastings might not all be in its best years for drinking nor were they all stored optimally. There are few theme evenings or guided tastings, so most often, members bring what they think is a wine that could be interesting to taste by everybody.

2003 Meeting:
(June 4, Organised by Marina Drobnic Kosorok, 14 members present)
The tasting was organised in Marina's garden in the center of the town. The notes list first got lost, but was rediscovered after 10 days (soaked with juices of all kinds, as I was informed). Of 14 very varied sorts, the best noted was a 1993 traminec archive wine from Haloze wine cellar (note 4.8) followed by 2000 Rhine riesling Zlati gric from Maribor area (4.6). These were the last two wines tasted, so one might argue that this might have played the role, too. Note 4.2 went to a semi-sweet Rhine riesling late vintage 1999 produced by Kupljen, while next best was another semi-sweet from Maribor region, the Italian riesling Vinag 2000 (4.1). On places 5-9 were: cabernet sauvignon Vipava, 1999 vintage and the rose a la rose (Cote de Provence), both noted with 3.8, a 2001 zelen (an indigenous wine from Primorska region) produced by Vipava wine cellar (3.7), a 1993 pinot blanc from Alsace and a Mosel 1998 late vintage (Rheinhessen), both noted with 3.5. Followed another zelen (Potocnik 2000, Vipava area) and a green sylvaner (Magdic, 2001) (both 3.4), a 1995 sauvignon from Ljutomer-Ormoz area (2.4), chardonnay 2001 from Lisjak (Karst region) (2.1) and a 1998 sauvignon blanc from Krusevac, Serbia (2.0). Average not was 3.52.  

2002 Meeting:
(January 18, Organised by Tatjana Popovic, 10 members present)
8 different wines were on the list. The average note was 3.35. The highest note was appointed to a chardonnay late vintage (4.15) which was served last (thus any additional data missing...). Second best note was 4.04 for a Mosel-Saar-Ruwer riesling, followed by a cabernet sauvignon (African Sky 1999) from Western Cape, South Africa (3.96). Closest to the average was the pinot blanc 1999 of Blazova-Kovacic (Bizeljsko area) (3.36). Below average were: Sryus wine 1993 from Katunuma Yamanaski (Japan) (3.23), Sauvignon 1999 by Kristancic (Goriska Brda) (2.95), La Chapelle St. Florent 1999 - Muscadet de Sevre et Maine (2.54), and merlot 2000 by Vinea (Vipavska Valley) (2.20).

2001 Meeting:
(January 11, Organised by Tamara Lah, 16 members present)
15 different wines were tasted and noted, of which 8 were whites and 7 were red wines. Among white wines, the highest note (4.29) went to the semi-sweet Rumeni muskat (yellow muscat) 1999 from Movrin (Maribor area), followed by another semi-sweet, Sivi pinot (pinot gris) berry selection 1999 by Curin (Ljutomer-Ormoz area); note 4.11. At the third position there was another 'berry selection' wine, the Traminec 1998 from Valdhuber (Svecina locality in the Maribor area); note 3.90. Next wines, sorted by rank were: (4.) Reserve des Princes (Bordeaux 1997), 3.44; (5.) Pinela semi-dry (Zorz, 1998), 3.39; (6.) Chardonnay dry (Karst region), 3.34; (7.) pinot blanc (Simcic, Goriska Brda, 1998), 3.21; (8.) Rhine riesling dry (1998, Vinag, Maribor), 2.75.
In the red wine competition, the best noted was Chiraz-Cabernet 1999, a dry wine from Forrest Hill (Australia), 4.43. On rank 2, there was the first Slovenian wine, the Sara 1993 (a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and teran) by Lisjak (Dutovlje in the Karst region), 4.09, floowed by the Pinot bleu 1996 (Undurraga, Chile), 3.71. On positions 4-7 were: Cabernet sauvignon Bagueri 1997 (Goriska Brda), 3.38; Chinon (cabernet blanc) 1997 (Cravant-les-Coteaux, France), 3.29; Cvicek 1999 (a rose-like from Dolenjska region), 2.66, and La Legende (cabernet sauvignon) 1998 (Haut-Poitou, France), 2.63.

1998 Meeting:
(May 29, Organised by Gregor Anderluh; 19 members present)
This was a chardonnay meeting. 17 different chardonnays were tasted, among them two bariques. One was Italian, all the rest originated from different regions of Slovenia. The average note of the tastings was 3.43 and actual notes were as follows:
Protner's semi-sweet Chardonnay 1997 from Maribor area was the best-noted (4.26), followed by the semi-dry one produced by Jamnik (Svecina, Maribor area, 1997 vintage, note 4.06), by 1994 'Chardonnay de Adami' (Zaloscan, Vipavska region, note 4.01) and by the best of two bariques, the 1992 barique by KZ Vipava (4.00). Notes between 4 and 3 were assigned to: Persolja's dry 1995 'Vino iz Brd' (3.96) on place 5, the semi-sweet wine from Radgonsko-Kapelska region (Kapela; 3.91), the other barique (by Cotar, Kras region, 1993; 3.79), Scurek's 1996 dry wine from Goriska Brda (3.60), Lepa Vida 1996 by Ipavec, Vipavska region (3.47) and on place 10 Cotar's regular Chardonnay 1996 (3.44). The last 7 places were ocuppied by: Malnaric's 1996 dry from Bela Krajina (3.24), the Italian 1996 dry by Krapez (3.21), 1996 from Goriska Brda by Mavric (3.12), 1996 by Buzinel (also from Brda; 3.01), 1996 by the Brda Cooperative (KZ Goriska Brda; 2.86), 1994 by Reya, Brda region (2.29) and 1995 Le gourmet by barbara International (Bizeljsko-Sremiska region, 2.15).

1997 Meetings:
(December 26, Organised by Janko Kos; 19 members present)
The traditional post-Christmas tasting at Janko's house was devoted to red wines. As many as 14 different wines from 5 countries were tasted. The best noted was a 1994 Montpeyroux (AOC Coteaux de Languedoc, France) with the average note of 4.41. Not so close behind were the 1989 archive cabernet produced by KZ Vipava (Vipava valley, Slovenia), note 4.19, the 1994 cabernet by the same producer (note 4.16) and the 1996 cabernet sauvignon frm Goriska Brda region, produced by Buzinel (note 4.15). On places 5-10 were the following wines: Merlot Paradox (1995 vintage, KZ Vipava, note 4.08), cabernet Jejcic (1995, note 4.05), cabernet Bourbon (1995, KZ Goriska Brda, note 4.00), Bolski plavac (from the island of Brac in Croatia; 1995 vintage, note 3.91), Postup 1993 from Potomje area on Peljesac peninsula (Croatia), note 3.82, and modra frankinja (1996, Vino Brezice, bizeljsko-sremic region), note 3.55. On the ultimate 4 positions were: Zinfadel Montevina 1994 (Amador County, California), note 3.53, kraski teran 1996 (Vinakras Sezana), note 3.32, Retsina Boutari from Greece (3.23) and cvicek 1996 (Dolenjska region, KZ Krsko), note 3.09.

(November 27, Organised by Tatjana Popovic; 13 members present)
9 wines were tasted, of which the best noted was again a traminec (cf. March 12 this year), this time a 1995 late vintage from KK Gornja Radgona (note 4.32). Second best was 1995 chardonnay, produced by Protner (Maribor area), note 4.26, followed by rumeni muskat (yellow muscato) 1995 by Kupljen (Ljutomer-Ormoz area), noted with 4.20. Fourth best was a Hungarian Traminer 1995 (note 3.99) while on positions 5-9 were: chardonnay 1996 by Joze Kupljen (3.70), white burgundy 1983 late vintage (Jeruzalem Ormoz), 3.63, the dry sipon 1996 from Kupljen (3.62), and far behind all others, chardonnay 1996 (Vinakras Sezana), 3.05 and chardonnay 1992 late vintage (Jeruzalem Ormoz), 2.60.

(June 12, Organised by Marina Drobnic Kosorok; 12 members present)
8 wines in competition, ranked as follows: Rhine riesling 1983 late vintage (Vinag Maribor), note 4.45; Moscato Giallo (Maestri Vernacoli, Ca'Vit Trento) 4.15; Rector's wine (1993 rhine riesling produced by Ljutomercan), note 4.15-; La Vis (1996 Mueller-Thurgau by Cantina Sociale Lavis, Trento, Italy) 3.54. The second half of the competing wines was composed of: pinot blanc 1995 from Vipava (3.38), tokai 1994 by Erzetic (Goriska Brda), note 3.37, Bergsig 1992 (Gewurztraminer) from Worcester area in South African Republic, 3.31 and zeleni silvanec 1995 (KZ Krsko, Klet Kostanjevica), note 2.81.

(March 12, Organised by Natasa Kopitar Jerala and Roman Jerala; 9 members present)
We tasted 6 wines, of which 4 originated from Slovenia, and one each from Germany and Czech Republic. The notes were (from best to average): Traminec 1992 from Kapela (Gornja Radgona) in NE Slovenia, note 4.04; white pinot (Vinag Maribor) 1995, note 3.99, Bzenec - Rhine riesling 1988 (Vino Bzenec; Bzenec-Straznice, Czech Rep.) 3.94. On places 4-6 were: Kerner (Joze Kupljen from Kog area) 1995, note 3.87, Chardonnay 1995 (KK Ptuj) from Haloze region, note 3.72 and Morzernheimer Steinboehl (G. Peth, Monzernheim; Rheinhessen, Germany) 3.64.

1996 Meetings:

There was a third meeting in late December 1996 at Janko's place. The results went lost, I'm afraid.

(August 27, Organised by Tamara Lah)
This second meeting in 1996 was chaired by Dr. Mitja Kocjan"ci"c from the Laboratory of wine analysis, National Institute of Agronomy, Ljubljana. He prepared an introduction into wine controlling and tasting, which was followed by a tasting of a wide spectrum of wines. The highest notes were given to the sauvignon 1993 late vintage, produced by Kelhar at Vrhovnica, a village in the Bizeljsko region (E Slovenia) /4.54/. This wine was closely followed by another sauvignon, vintage 1995 from the Ljutomer-Ormoz area (NE Slovenia), for which the grape was obtained from experimental plantations with clonal selection of vines /note 4.49/. Place 3 was a red Bordeaux: Chateau d'Eglise, 1989 /note 4.45/ and place 4 a Rhine riesling 1995, which also resulted from a clonal selection of grapes, performed by the Slovenian National Institute of Agronomy, in the Ljutomer-Ormoz region /4.32/. On the following places were: 5. - sauvignon 1994, produced by Marjan Kocevar in Bela Krajina region (SE Slovenia) /4.28/, 6. - cabernet sauvignon 1993 by Vinakoper, Slovenian coastal area (SW) /4.24/, 7. - Welschriesling Edition 1994 from SE Austria (Burgenland region) /4.12/, and 8. - Italian riesling 1995 from the NIA clonal selection in Ljutomer-Ormoz region /3.99/. Lowest notes were assigned to: Tacama gran blanco 1995 from Ica, Peru /3.98/, Joanes, a pinot bleu from Maribor area /3.88/, another riesling (1991, Alsacy, France) /3.87/, yellow muscat 1994 from Haloze (KK Ptuj, NE Slovenia) /3.86/ and Bilette, a rose with AOC Cotes de Provence /3.70/.

That year's first get-together was a well visted one. We tasted 10 white wines, from dry Goriska Brda pinots over Australian chardonnay all the way to a Rhine riesling from Slovenian Styria and a sweet grape selection 1981 from Austrian Burgenland. The average note of all wines tasted was 3.52, which is close to the average of our tastings.
Nr. 1 this time was renski rizling 1994 from Maribor region, produced by Protner in Dragucova village (note 4.30). It was just slightly superior to another Rhine riesling: renski rizling - izbor 1993, a selection from Nunska Graba, an equisite vineyard in the Ljutomer area, and produced by Ljutomerska klet (note 4.29). The third place was the Edition 1981, a grape selection from Weinklelerei Rust in Burgenland, Austria (note 4.14), followed by another wine from Ljutomer, a chardonnay 1993 (note 3.73). On positions 5-8 were the pinot blanc 1994 from Curin in Kog area (Slovenian Styria), note 3,64; Jacob's Creek chardonnay 1995 from Barossa Valley in SE Australia (3.62); two dry pinot blanc from Goriska Brda: one from Visnjevik vineyards by Erzetic, Dobrovo (3.21) and one from Sibav, Neblo (3.19). The ultimate two wines by our notes were a chardonnay 1993, produced by Vinakras Sezana (2.89) and a Styrian pinot blanc from Cresnjice, produced by Bezensek, Celje (note 2.27).

1995 Meetings:

The last meeting in 1995 was held on December 26. The winning wine was a Rigmori rose (Cotes de Provence; Stephany, Beaucaire) with an average note of 4.42. Second best was a traminec 1993 vintage (Jeruzalem, Ormoz) 4.28, followed by a sauvignon 1993 from KK Ptuj, note 3.90. Positions 4-8 were: a traminec from Kapela (1992) and a sauvignon 1994 from Vipava (ex-equo, 3.69), Rhine riesling 1992 (KK Ptuj), pinot blanc 1993 (KK Ptuj) and, finaly, a chardonnay 1990 from Palic, Croatia.

At our third 1995 meeting (October 20, 1995) we had 8 wines in competition. Top three were: sivi pinot, a pinot grigio, vintage 1994, produced by Joze Kupljen winery, Kog area in Slovenian Styria (note 4.30), traminec 1994 from Radgonske gorice in NE Slovenia (note 4.26) and a 1994 Sancerre from domaine Vacheron, eastern Loare valley, France (note 4.03). At the following positions were: a chardonnay 'Lepa Vida' 1993 from Vipava valley, produced by Roman Ipavec winery (note 3.95), sivi pinot 1991 from Ptuj area (note 3.90), chardonnay 1990 late vintage from Ormo"z (3.81), radgonska ranina 1992 from Radgona region (3.07) and renski rizling 1992 from Ormo"z (2.79).

At the previous meeting on July 25, we exceptionally started with red wines: a Cabernet from Slovenian coast (vintage 1991 from Marezige near Koper; note 3.96), a Carst terano (1993, by Kras Se"zana; note 3.09), Barique 85 from Croatian Istria (1985, by Plava laguna, Pore"c; note 2.79) and Merlot barique (1989, produced by "Sibau, Gori"ska Brda; note 2.01). The transition to the whites was a French gris de gris , Vin des Remparts from Aigues Mortes, un Vin de pays des sables du Golfe de Lyon, with an average note of 1.16 (we just didn't like it...). We continued with a Chardonnay from the coast (1994, Vinakoper; note 3.24) and then moved to semi-sweets from the NE of Slovenia: a Kerner (1993 late vintage from Zupan and Celestrina, Maribor area) was noted with 3.95 and a Rhine Riesling from the same area (1993 late vintage from Protner) with 4.21.

At the first meeting of the Society in 1995, on January 27, the top three wines were: Rulandec (Vinag, Maribor; 1993, Meljski hrib), note 4.26, La"ski rizling (Jeruzalem, Ormo"z; 1988 late vintage, "Zelezne dveri), 4.00 and Traminec (Jeruzalem, Ormo"z; 1993) 3.69, followed by: Kerner (J. "Snajder, Ljutomer area; 1993), Rumeni Mu"skat (Vinag, Maribor; 1992, Kamnica) and Mueller Thurgau (Herrenhaus, Vienna, Burgenland area, Austria; 1988). Also in competition were two Pinot grigio from Gori"ska Brda gris de gris, Vin des Remparts from Aigues Mortes, un Vin de pays des sables du Golfe de Lyon, with an average note of 1.16 (we just didn't like it...). We continued with a Chardonnay from the coast (1994, Vinakoper; note 3.24) and then moved to semi-sweets from the NE of Slovenia: a Kerner (1993 late vintage from Zupan and Celestrina, At the first meeting of the Society in 1995, on January 27, the top three wines were: Rulandec (Vinag, Maribor; 1993, Meljski hrib), note 4.26, La"ski rizling (Jeruzalem, Ormo"z; 1988 late vintage, "Zelezne dveri), 4.00 and Traminec (Jeruzalem, Ormo"z; 1993) 3.69, followed by: Kerner (J. "Snajder, Ljutomer area; 1993), Rumeni Mu"skat (Vinag, Maribor; 1992, Kamnica) and Mueller Thurgau (Herrenhaus, Vienna, Burgenland area, Austria; 1988). Also in competition were two Pinot grigio from Gori"ska Brda (1993) and a Pinot blanc (1987 late vintage) from Ljutomer, a Sauvignon from Vipavska valley (1990) and a Macedonian blanc de blanc (1991). Notes are averages of 10-13 votes.
You can find out more about Slovenian wines , if you are interested.

Here are a few links to some other Wine-tasting societies:
Bath University Students Union wine-tasting society, UK,
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics wine-tasting society, USA, 
LikeWine, Friends of wine from SW USA,
Opimian Society , the Canadian country-wide organisation,
Wine and Dine E-zine , the electronic magazine for lovers of wine , food and travel, which also hosts a Slovenian page (written by Miso Alkalaj).

If you know of more wine-tasting societies, contact me: Marko.Dolinar@IJS.SI .

  Slovenia and its wines:

Here is a short collection of wine-related links from Slovenia:

Wines of Slovenia : an extensive overview of Slovenian wines, wine-growing regions and producers : a Slovenian wine boutique (currently only in Slovenian language), including an E-shop
ProVin : wine shop, also on-line

Last updated February 16, 2004.

For any comments and suggestions, you can reach me by: E-mail: Marko.Dolinar@IJS.SI
fax: +386 1 257 3594
phone: +386 1 477 3765

Marko Dolinar
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
J. Stefan Institute
Jamova 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia