Radikon Pinot Grigio Sivi 2016
Stanko Radikon, one of the most passionate innovators in Italian wine and one of the leaders of the orange wine movement in Oslavia, Italy, passed away on September 12, 2016. While I never met him, his wines remain some of the most intellectually challenging that I have ever tasted. Simply put, they pushed all the boundaries – natural, biodynamic, orange, indigenous varieties, sulfur-free, indigenous yeast, etc. – if you can think of a wacky way to make wine within the last 20 years, Stanko has led the way.
Now the helm of this eponymous winery has fully passed to his son, Saša. And while I honor all of the revolutionary work that Stanko did, his son has taken the winery one step further and is now producing some of the most sophisticated, hedonistic and intellectually pleasurable wines in Oslavia, if not the entire world. When we first got in one of Saša’s wines, an unstabilized, skin-fermented, two-year-barrel-aged Pinot Grigio, the staff at Waterford nicknamed it “Darn Sexy.” And the name was well deserved. You may not have known what you were drinking, but no matter, it was just that good.
All of Radikon’s wines are in short supply, and they are difficult to obtain and keep in stock. We got in a limited supply of the “S” Slatnik and Pinot Grigio from 2016. It is fully Saša’s wine, yet it also would have been the last vintage for Stanko to see fully through to completion. It is simply magnificent.
The wine opens with caramelized blood oranges, savory herbs, roasted peaches and a background of sea brine and ocean spray. The palate is dry and structured, like a red wine, but delves into layers of extract and minerality. There is richness of fruit though, it’s not just an intellectual wine, it’s a hedonistic joy to drink as well. This is an exceptional wine from a master craftsman, second generation. It will be one of the most unique and delicious wines that you have all year, I guarantee it.