From: Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Blend: 75% Merlot, 25% Pignolo
This wine. 75% Merlot/25% Pignolo. The vines are planted on ponca, a compressed, flaky clay of marl and sandstone that is typical in this part of Friuli. They grow on a south-facing slope right by the winery; average around 30 years old; yield about 45 hl/ha; and are farmed organically and harvested by hand like all Radikon vineyards. The grapes are destemmed and spontaneously co-fermented in 25-hectoliter oak vats without the addition of yeasts, sulfur or temperature control. Maceration is about two weeks with punchdowns 3-4 times per day initially. The wine is aged in vat for two years and bottled without fining or filtering. "RS" or "Rosso Sasa" debuted in 2014, was made again in 2017 and once more in 2018; it is part of the 750-ml "S-line", the "S" being for its creator, Sasa.
About Radikon. Stanko Radikon was a true icon of both the traditional wines and grapes of Friuli and of uncompromising, natural winemaking. The type of winemaking that Stanko begin implementing in 1995 wasn't new, it was actually a return to how his grandfather made wine.
Using extended macerations, or skin contact, with white grapes is now a global trend known to many as ""orange wine"", but this is indeed the tradition in certain regions including the Italian-Slovenian borderlands of Friuli. It was only in the second half of the 20th century that the region focused on more ""international"" styled wines, without skin contact and with fining and filtration.
After working alongside his father for a few years, Stanko abandoned this style, realizing that the local grapes benefited greatly from the traditional methods of his region. He also began bottling everything in specially designed 500ml and 1 liter bottles, as he preferred these for both serving and aging. This uncompromising approach was a tough sell as far as marketing is concerned, but Stanko didn't care.
His stubborn insistence on tradition and quality eventually paid off, and his wines and his estate are now revered around the world. Sadly Stanko succumbed to cancer in 2016 at the age of 62. His children, led by his son Saša, have taken the reigns and are continuing his legacy.
Saša has been deeply involved in the farming and winemaking for over a decade, and he is devoted to his father's philosophy. That said he is his own person, thoughtful and serious minded but also practical and, in the right mood quite funny.
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