Deep Purple Milk Monster

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Will somebody redesign the label of this wine and put a scary Purple Milk Monster image on it, please?

This violet purple wine is a nice wine if you are fond of yogurt milkshake. It is a textbook example of cool-climate red wines that have not taken too well to ‘le malo’ or malolactic fermentation.

This is the process that turns tart-tasting malic acid, naturally present in grape must,  to softer-tasting lactic acid. It has been said that malic acid tastes of green apples. By contrast, lactic acid is richer and more milky, buttery tasting.

Many producers in Slovenia nowadays have come to realise that today’s modern wine drinker doesn’t appreciate high acidity and severe tannins in red wines. And, winemakers more and more rely on the second, malolactic fermentation, that is now practically de rigueur for red wines throughout the rest of the world, to soften their wines.

This can be a good thing as it usually helps to display the qualities of the western Slovenian grape variety variously called Teran and Refošk, a relative of Italy’s Refosco, when carried out correctly. Otherwise the wine may also lose its fruit integrity and take on the unpleasant lactic smell of cured meats and yogurt.

So, who has emptied the milking pail in the tank of this wine?

Tasting Note (7.1.2013 G.M.)

Teran – Slovenia, 2011, 13% Vol.

variety: Teran

style: dry red (purple) wine (still)

region: PTP Slovenia

producer: GRCA

Georges’ Score: D

The typical purple colour is almost lucid but not quite turbid. The nose is herbaceous with some hints of blue and black fruit. The mouthfeel is very soft with smooth tannin. The overall character is vinous with a blank palate which is broad but far from complex. The flavours turn meaty in the finish with distracting lactic flavours denying one to want more.

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