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Gasper, Cabernet Franc

It is always refreshing to try a wine from somewhere off the beaten track that unexpectedly bowls you over. Gasper's Cabernet Franc just did that. I'll be the first to admit I'm a newcomer to the wines of Slovenia but if this is a sign of what is on offer, let me try more. It's easy to see why the Decanter judges were so impressed they gave it Slovenia's first Platinum Award for a red wine.

ETA: 2-3 weeks

2017 Gasper, Cabernet Franc

£170 per 6 Bot Case, in bond
£220.07 duty & VAT paid

The nose is both fragrant and savoury, whilst the palate is ripe and plush, with fine, supple tannins. Musky and smoky, with an abundance of autumnal fruits. Enticing and effortless. There’s impressive complexity for such a youthful wine. Poignant minerality runs throughout. I wouldn’t have guessed this for a Cabernet Franc; more likely a meaty Pinot Noir. A great wine to open on short notice when you want to enjoy the subtleties of something more mature but don’t have the time to settle and decant something more venerable. Serious stuff. Now-2026+
Simon Quinn, VinQuinn

Aromatic, perfumed nose of red and dark fruit with notes of capsicum and black pepper. The wine has lovely, supple tannins and great structure, with a long, consistent finish. Impressive.
97 points (Platinum Award) Decanter World Wine Awards

Gašper is located in Goriška Brda, which is the two thirds of Collio that stretches into Slovenia from Friuli Venezia Giulia in north-eastern Italy. Goriška Brda has a climate ideally suited to viticulture, with its proximity to both the Adriatic Sea and the Alps providing dry, warm summers with cooling breezes during the crucial ripening period. 

The vineyard is characterised by its ‘opoka’ marl soil and excellent sun exposure on its terraced, hillside rows. There is also the benefit of altitude, ranging from 80 to 200 metres above sea level, which helps the grapes retain acidity and aromatics. 

The 100% Cabernet Franc comes from from low-yielding, 50-year-old vines. After being picked by hand, the grapes are crushed and spend eight days macerating on their skins before fermentation takes place. Once fermentation is complete, the wine then spends 18 months ageing in new, 350-litre French oak barrels. 

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