The Bangkok Natural Wine Festival at About Eatery last week was nothing short of a success. The festival, which took place over the course of five days, included workshops, tastings, and seminars. The goal was to educate Bangkokians about natural wine. They did not only learn about natural wine, they obviously enjoyed it as well.
Plenty of great wines were present at the event. Unfortunately, we can’t cover them all. We would like to talk about one wine, however, partially because of its intrinsic qualities and partially for its history.
Radikon Jakot Friulano Bianco IGT 2009, made from 100% Tocai Friulano is an orange wine made by Italian producer Stanislao (Stanko) Radikon. Radikon was a hardcore pioneer in natural winemaking. “The godfather of orange wine”, as Ronavish Chulajata from Estella Wine said. Ronavish passionately led a workshop focused on orange wine during the festival, with Radikon in the spotlight.
One might associate the term ‘hardcore’ with motorcycle gangs, S&M practitioners and other pastimes where large amounts of leather come into play. Yet in this case, it feels justified. The Radikon we tasted last week was of an intensity and originality that made it almost incomparable to the standard idea of what wine should be.
The Radikon we tried was golden and orange, almost like brandy, with an intense aroma and palate. When your nose reaches the glass you get hit by a powerful acidic uppercut, which then subsides and is followed by a complex aroma of dried fruits, tangerine, and burnt herbs.
On the palate, there is more tangerine, red apple skin, and iron present. All of this carried by a strong acidic undertone. Its strong personality might be too much at first for the wine lover who likes a more subdued wine but if you give it a try, you’ll notice that it is a layered wine that keeps evolving.
The color of this wine is as interesting as its aroma and palate, a vibrant orange with a hint of cloudiness. Leaving the skins in the must for four months at a temperature of around ten degrees Celsius achieves this. However, this is not done simply to achieve a certain hue. The idea is that the skin contains valuable information that needs to be released into the wine during the maceration, it also eliminates the use of sulphur.
Producers like Radikon paved the way for many natural winemakers who are practicing the art of low-intervention winemaking. To say that most natural wine is similar to Radikon would be wrong. Unlocking the terroir and the grape is key to the uniqueness and diversity that is natural wine. This makes the natural wine world so fascinating to explore. You’ll never drink the same wine twice, even if it comes from the same producer.
We suggest you start exploring, and there’s no better way to do this than with a glass of Radikon. Fortunately About Eatery carries the orange wine along with many other natural wines. To find out more about Radikon go to www.estellawine.com and www.radikon.it
[Article by Alexander Eeckhout]