As the global Covid-19 pandemic rolls on, it only seems appropriate to talk about a winery and winemaker as eccentric and overthetop as the times in which we are living, Movia.
Movia is an estate on the Slovenian-Italian border dating back to 1700. Half of the estate’s 22 hectares are positioned on the Italian side, but the winery itself is located in Slovenia, giving the appellation designation of Brda. In 1820 the estate passed to the Kristančič family and has remained in the family ever since. The winery has survived WWII, been reportedly drunk by Hemingway, and in 1958 became the exclusive suppliers of wine for state protocol events in the former SFR Yugoslavia, all adding to Movia’s lore.
Currently at the helm is Aleš, an eccentric storyteller, an unpredictable, larger-than-life, passionate winemaker. He studied oenology at the University of Padua and also trained in both Bordeaux and Burgundy. What he learned, he brought back to Movia, but his winemaking, however, is far from traditional.
Aleš utilizes organic farming practices, harvests by hand, but also uses extremely long macerations, years in some cases, in Slovenian oak, with no stirring of the lees, nor racking, and no SO2 during the winemaking process, and minimal at bottling. There is a stunning array of reds, whites, oranges, sparkling, and dessert wines produced, all of which are as expressive as their winemaker.
Last night I cracked open a bottle of Movia Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, the current release, to be paired with a NY strip.
Classic dark fruit and spice, with an underlying current of savory herbs on the nose, and a bold, masculine, well structured, and full-bodied palate make this wine particularly well suited to pair with a pepper-crusted, herb-topped steak. Season the meat liberally with salt and pepper, sear in a smoking hot pan, then turn over, top the steak with rosemary and thyme, add a pat of butter and a few crushed garlic cloves to the pan, and finally, bathe the top of the steak with the melting butter before it goes into a hot oven to cook for just a few minutes. Remove the steak from the oven, rest it, and revel in what you’ve created. This pairing is a match made in Brooklyn. Stay safe and enjoy!
(written for The Natural Wine Company 5/17/20)