Wines to Seek Out
For Radikon's iconic orange wines, macerations can be between 30 days and several months, occurring in large, 3000-liter wood vats. They're then aged in smaller barriques of considerable age (up to 50 years) to get a desirable oxygen exchange without oak's prominent flavor influence. Because of the skin contact, they feel no need to use sulphur.
While the macerated white wines get all the attention, Radikon also makes a red from Merlot. They break their wines into three lines: Selections (riserva wines from special vintages), Radikon's Blue (the "normale" wines) and the S Range (which focus on shorter maceration times). Below is just a sampling of what to look for.
Radikon S "Sivi" Venezia-Giulia
With its profuse fruit aromas suggesting a marriage of ripe peach, watermelon and strawberry, Radikon's "Sivi" is, in a word, sumptuous. The name comes from the local dialect for Pinot Grigio, which lends the wine its striking rose-orange color. This wine is also quite versatile: serve it just below room temperature if you want to do a little aroma wheel study, or chill it down more as a summer patio sipper. Sivi's precise and juicy acidity makes it highly adaptable.
Radikon S "Slatnik" Venezia-Giulia
Comprised of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Friulano, "Slatnik" fills every corner of the senses with tones recalling macerated cherries, baked orange peel, roses, lemon oil and leather. But most impressive of all is the inexhaustible energy on the palate — like a marathon runner reaching the 26th mile and asking for the starting line again.
Radikon "Oslavje" Venezia-Giulia
Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are the most recognizable white wine grapes in the glass, unless you are talking about this 50-50 blend with a rusty-rose color and waves of aromas suggesting cherries, apricot and bitter tangerine, as well as hints of rum raisin and violets. The tension between tartness, bitterness and sweetness on the palate lends the wine a compelling endurance. Radikon continues to bottle this, and the other wines in the Blue line, as 500mL or 1L bottles with a custom narrow neck and cork that they feel is suitable for aging. Stanko's thinking behind this was that 750mL is never the right amount of wine for two people, let alone four. But 500mL and 1L certainly are. I wish more producers did this.