Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Strange World of Wine - Movia Lunar 8, Orange Wine or Greenish Gray Wine?

In my strange world of wine series, I'm going to explore some of the more unusual aspects of wine, wine making, and whatever other wine related gems I come across.  This first post is about a wine I had at a recent wine pairing dinner that gave me the idea for this series. 

The wine was a 2008 Movia Lunar. This wine is from Slovenia and made with 100% Rebula, a white wine grape which is also found in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeast Italy, only there it is called Ribolla. This was my first wine from Slovenia, and first from this grape - which was very cool but definitely didn't fall into the "strange" category.

Then the wine was poured. My mind was already reviewing some common descriptors of white wine color... would it be a lighter straw color, a bolder lemon color, or even a darker golden color?  Would the wine be crystal clear, or would it be cloudy from a bit of sediment? 

Well, all the choices of descriptors I was contemplating were wrong, wrong, and really really wrong! Out of the bottle poured a clouded, greenish gray substance unlike anything I've ever seen poured into a wine glass.

Both my wife and I had looks of shock and amazement on our faces, but our server's expression didn't change, so we understood this was what the wine was supposed to look like! So we bravely swirled, sniffed and took a sip.  Very much characteristics of a white wine, some stone fruit, honey and spice aromas.  I admit to being a bit afraid of what this sludge would taste like, but it turned out to be very crisp, and had a hint of yeast from the sediment, but not that different than wines that have been aged on their "lees" or dead yeast cells from fermentation.  What an amazing and STRANGE surprise... and thus this series of posts was born.

After doing some research I discovered that the wine is made as an "orange" wine, which means although it is a white wine, it is made more like a red by having the wine ferment with the skins of the grapes (typically for white wine, the grapes are pressed immediately and only the juice is fermented).  For those not comfortable with the greenish grey cloudy glass of wine, before opening the wine bottle just needs to be rested for a few days to a week in an upright position so the sediment settles to the bottom.  Then, carefully open the bottle without disturbing the sediment, and pour into a decanter until you start to see sediment in the neck of the bottle - then stop.  Some accounts I've read say you may have to leave a quarter or more of the bottle behind in order to pour a clear wine.

I highly recommend you seek out this wine to try something truly wine is kind of unique, Slovenian wine is kind of unique for some... the tasting experience... truly unique.  Also, try the wine both ways, decant off some clear wine but make sure to at least try the wine with all of its components.  Once you get past the look of it... you won't be sorry!

Here is a video from the winery talking about the wine and how to properly decant. He is opening another vintage of Lunar that is made from Chardonnay, but the same decanting approach will work for any versions of the Lunar:

Stay tuned for more from the Strange World of Wine!  Have any ideas or suggestions for topics?  Please share them in the comments below.