Pivnica Cajkov Frankovka "Empress" 2017

Pivnica Cajkov Frankovka "Empress" 2017

Regular price$38.00
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Located in the foothills of Slovakia’s remote Štiavnica Mountains, Pivnica Čajkov has cellars carved out of the volcanic tuffa formed from the eruption of Sitno, the highest peak in the range. These cellars are from the 1600s and are now UNESCO protected. Winemaker Marek Uhnák’s ‘Empress’ is made from Frankovka, aka Blaufränkisch, and it’s a much more refined and textural expression than versions from Austria. This is definitely due to the volcanic soils, but also to the colder climate at the limits of where grapes can ripen in Europe. Marek is trying, above all, to reach harmony and coexistence with the unique volcanic material underfoot, and using preindustrial techniques and little intervention in the cellar to fully let the terroir come through. Subtle aromatics with clove and soy sauce are matched with blueberry skins, sour cherry, and rhubarb on the palate. The salty volcanic savory notes draw you in, while the lifted, crunchy, rocky mineral sensations give it freshness and lift. It’s already had some bottle aging and will continue to develop nicely. Jonathan Kemp

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