Stone Fort is a vineyard from a area that’s new to me: Kosovo. The Balkan operation has been producing wines right here within the Rahovec Valley since 1953, although lots of its varietal decisions are inclined to run towards choices that American drinkers might discover fairly acquainted. Let’s style three new releases.
2018 Stone Fort Chardonnay Reserve – Uncommon notes of inexperienced melon and burnt grass kick off this unusual chardonnay, which rapidly segues to intense notes of lavender and potpourri, neither of which I’ve ever related to chardonnay. The wine turns into more and more floral because it develops in glass, nearly taking up a soapy high quality on the end. Happily there’s ample lemony citrus to maintain issues in test — however it solely will get you thus far. B- / $20
2017 Stone Fort Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve – Hearty and weighty with earth, this wine pulls no punches because it takes you down a street that exudes forest flooring, roasted mushroom, and barbecued pork, all topped with candy currant jam and a twig of inexperienced herbs. Thick with tannin plus a notice of charred wooden and toasted bread, the expertise is daunting and hard… till you lastly attain the cinnamon notes on the unique, lingering end. It’s an absolute should to pair this with a meal that may stand as much as it. B / $20
2017 Stone Fort Gecaj Property Proprietor’s Selection – The vineyard’s secondary title is extra seen on this bottling, referred to as “Gecaj Property.” It’s a 50/50 mix of cabernet sauvignon and merlot (aged in Hungarian oak) that might give Napa’s large boys a run for his or her cash. Plump notes of plums, currants, blueberries, warming Christmas spices, and darkish chocolate all give the wine an opulent opening, with notice of graphite and mild forest flooring notes including brooding, wintry nuance. The spice endures particularly on the prolonged end, the place a contact of mint lingers on the fade-out. A / $80