by Chris Ryerson

I taste a huge number of Italian wines on a regular basis, so it is a welcome surprise when some one brings me something unexpected and different to try. Just yesterday, I had the pleasure of being introduced to the wines of a new, small winery from Slovenia. Slovenian wines are not new to me, but most I have previously encountered are from the Goriska Brda region in the western part of the country just across the border from Friuli in Italy. However, Verus is located in the eastern part of the country in the hills near the town of Ormož. Consequently, their winemaking style seems much more influenced by nearby Austria than Friuli. 

A partnership of three friends who produced their first vintage in 2007, Verus produces six white varietals: Furmint, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Yellow Muscat, and a late-harvest Welschriesling. If the two I tasted are any indication, they will quickly earn a reputation for crafting beautiful and precise wines. In particular, their 2007 Riesling is a classic, off-dry expression. The slight green tinge to the color belies its cool climate origins, and the aromas follow suit with clean lime zest, grapefruit and subtle floral aromas. Their Sauvignon Blanc is also outstanding, tending toward the fig/melon/tropical end of the spectrum, all within a dense, yet balanced mouth feel. Neither wine sees any oak and both come in under 12.5% alcohol. The prices are incredibly reasonable given the quality. Both wines will quickly find their way on to Oliveto’s list and I look forward to tasting the other wines from this fantastic new producer.