2020 Domaine Ciringa "Fosilni Breg" Sauvignon Blanc, Štajerska, Slovenia
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ABOUT THIS WINE
The entry-level Fosilni Breg, which is in effect a village wine, spends one full year on the full lees in oak followed by about a year on the fine lees in stainless steel. The Fosilni Breg Reserve is a cask selection of the three strongest and most distinctive casks. These casks are kept for an extra year on the full lees before being racked and aging for almost another year in stainless steel.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
With Domaine Ciringa, the focus is on one single vineyard Ried Ciringa, the Slovenian name for Ziereggand one grape variety, Sauvignon Blanc. The border between Slovenia and Austria runs directly through the vineyard. Ciringa is an incredibly steep and beautiful Grand Cru vineyard that the Tement family has farmed for three generations on the Austrian side. The name of the series of wines – Fosilni Breg (Fossil Mountain) references this place and geology… even the front label shows a fossil of a large, ancient sea star.
When Armin began working with his father in 2005, they agreed to start cultivating the vineyards organically, replanting sections of vineyards across the border—on the Slovenian side. The vineyard is a continuous, south and southwest-facing steep mountain hillside of pure 60-million-year-old limestone reef, formerly covered by the ancient Paratethys sea.
From the very beginning, the vineyards in Ciringa have been farmed organically and biodynamically but were certified organic in 2019 and Demeter and Respekt certified in the 2023 vintage. Most of the work is done by hand out of necessity – it is impossible to drive a tractor into many of the steeper sections of Ciringa. Yields here are quite low for Sauvignon Blanc and vine density is about 5,000 vines per hectare, which translates to one kilo per vine.