Following my first piece about popular and award-winning Sommeliers who started making their own wine (Frank Massard and David Seijas), I was extremely keen to continue the series and write about another great personality, Slovenian Gasper Carman.
I met Gasper in 2017 at a wine tasting in London and went to visit his winery in Goriska Brda (Slovenia) in summer 2018. It was an incredible experience, not only for the fine wines that I tasted there but also for meeting such a passionate and dedicated wine professional.
Gasper started his career in hospitality when he was only 16, in his family’s fine dining restaurant “Danilo” situated in a beautiful town near Ljubljana. Gasper had always met many wine makers who used to visit the restaurant; falling in love with wine was therefore natural to him. He then started working as a Sommelier and later founded his distribution company eVino, that imports fine international wines. Even today Gasper enjoys helping the restaurant and being on the floor when he can.
Gasper won the Best Sommelier Competition of Slovenia twice, in 2013 and 2015; he consequently participated in both Europe’s and the World’s Best Sommelier Competitions.
Behind Gasper’s charismatic personality and great success there is so much study and hard work, in fact Gasper won many competitions and gained the WSET Diploma in 2012.
I asked Gasper how he, a Sommelier, started making his own wine? For him it grew organically from the restaurant contacts with wine makers, producers and distributors. Gasper always wanted to make his own wine and managed to achieve his dream in 2012, when he was able to join a local cooperative which understood his idea of making wine: that is, the expression of his terroir Goriška Brda and offering great value for money. The label started in 2013 with local consumption only; today they export to almost 20 countries, with UK being the most important export market.
Key to the authenticity of Gasper Wines is that Gasper himself is still very much controlling the whole process, from vineyard to vinification and style.
What’s next for Gasper? He is definitely keen to buy the vineyard and bring his wines to the finest level as there is always room for improvement – he says.
All the grapes are picked by hand and all wines are fermented with controlled temperature in stainless steel.
The entry level wines are aged in stainless steel and with lees contact, whereas the premium selection Selekcija are aged in oak. The grapes come from vines that are at least 50 years old and yields are 30-35 Hl/Ha (these are also the standards yields of a Grand Cru in Burgundy).
In 2019 Gasper’s Cabernet Franc Selekcija 2017 took 97 points and platinum medals at the Decanter World’s Wine Award – a very prestigious Award that some wineries struggles to get even after 30 years of history and hard work.
Here are the tasting notes of 2 wines that I recommend.
Gasper Cabernet Franc 2017.
This is a very classy Cabernet Franc from a single vineyard, whose vines are 50 years old.
Intense with aromas of sour red cherries, black currant, black spices and tobacco leaves.
There is depth, great fruit concentration, fine grained tannins and mineral acidity.
I would recommend this wine to be served at a temperature of 17 – 19 degrees in a Bordeaux glass. Great to match with stewed lamb, with peas and mint puré. The tannins and the acidity of the wine cut through the richness of the dish, while the wine’s aromas complement the lamb flavours.
I also tasted the vintage 2018 from the barrel last year and it was showing extremely well. It is going to be released in June.
Gasper Malvazija 2018
This wine is perfect for the summer with its aromas of ripe apricot and mango, almond and marzipan. The palate is very textured with a refreshing salty finish.
I would recommend serving this wine at a temperature of 8-10 degrees in a white Burgundy glass.
Perfect with roasted cod, served with a creamy sauce. The wine texture stands up well with the meaty texture of the cod. The acidity cleanses the palate from the creamy sauce.