Our tasting panel recently had the opportunity to taste some Croatian wines. I hope that you get to enjoy these wines as much as we did.
Volarevic Plavac Mali Syrtis
The Volarevic Plavac Mali Syrtis is a wine that embodies the essence of the region where the grapes are grown, showcasing the meticulous care and passion with which it is crafted in the family cellar. With its medium-bold profile, somewhat tannic nature, medium dryness, and high acidity, this wine offers a distinct and captivating drinking experience. Upon pouring a glass, the wine releases a dry and alluring aroma of overripe maraska cherry, accompanied by notes of dry plum and dark chocolate. These enticing scents set the stage for a sensory journey that unfolds on the palate. The medium tannins provide a gentle grip, lending structure to the wine. As it dances on the taste buds, it reveals an earthy and spicy character, with the richness of dark chocolate taking center stage. The wine boasts a full-bodied nature, leaving a long and satisfying aftertaste that lingers, inviting further enjoyment. The Volarevic Plavac Mali Syrtis is a versatile wine that pairs well with an array of dishes. Its medium-bold nature and robust flavors make it an excellent companion for beef and lamb, amplifying its savory qualities. It also complements fatty fish like salmon, offering a vibrant and contrasting flavor experience. Additionally, this wine harmonizes beautifully with hard cheese and cured meat, creating a delightful interplay of tastes. The Plavac Mali Syrtis exhibits a characteristic ruby-red color in the glass, conveying depth and intensity. Its thick, almost opaque consistency adds to its visual appeal, while the dark blue hue that colors the side of the wine glass pays homage to its name, Plavac Mali, which translates to “Little Blue.
Overall, the Volarevic Plavac Mali Syrtis is a wine that captures the medium-boldness, somewhat tannic nature, medium dryness, and high acidity that make it distinctive. With its dry, overripe maraska cherry and dry plum aroma, earthy and spicy palate with dark chocolate undertones, full-bodied nature, and long aftertaste, it offers a rich and captivating drinking experience. Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with a range of hearty dishes, this Plavac Mali wine exemplifies the craftsmanship and passion behind its creation.
Komarna 7 Croatia Plavac Mali 2016
The Komarna 7 Croatia Plavac Mali is an exceptional wine showcasing seven wineries’ collaboration within the Komarna appellation. With its medium-bold profile, high tannins, dryness, and acidity, this wine offers a remarkable and robust drinking experience. As you approach this wine, its excellence becomes evident. The first sniff reveals intriguing blackberry, plum, pepper, and dark chocolate aromas, captivating the senses and hinting at the depth within. Upon the first sip, you are greeted with a burst of juicy fruit flavors that are complemented by a textured mouthfeel and heady tannins. The wine boasts a full-bodied nature that commands attention, enveloping the palate with its richness and complexity. Silky tannins with a touch of vanilla provide a smooth and elegant experience. After a few minutes, the wine opens up further, revealing the jammy raisin flavor that is characteristic of Plavac Mali. Aging in oak barrels for 24 months imparts additional layers of flavor, including sweet tobacco with hints of vanilla. The Komarna 7 Croatia Plavac Mali pairs exceptionally well with robust cheeses, venison, and steaks. Its bold and robust character stands up to the rich flavors of these dishes, enhancing the overall dining experience.
It is exclusively produced for Croatian Premium Wine Imports and is available only in the US, making it a special find for wine enthusiasts. The aging process in a mix of Croatian, American, and French oak barrels for 24 months contributes to its nuanced flavors and adds a touch of elegance. Overall, the Komarna 7 Croatia Plavac Mali is an excellent wine that impresses with its juicy fruit, textured mouthfeel, and heady tannins. Its full-bodied and robust nature, along with its complex flavor profile, make it a standout choice. Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with hearty dishes, this Plavac Mali showcases the craftsmanship and collaboration of the wineries involved, offering a truly exceptional drinking experience.
Rizman Slivno Plavac Mali 2015 South Dalmatia Croatia
The Rizman Slivno Plavac Mali 2015 is a wine that showcases the true essence of the Plavac Mali grape, the most famous local variety in South Dalmatia, Croatia. Sourced from the finest plots of organic vineyards in the Komarna wine-growing area, this wine reflects the unique terroir of the vineyards, situated on south-facing slopes with a significant incline and altitudes ranging from 50 to 250 meters, providing the ideal conditions for cultivating high-quality grapes. The karst-like soil, predominantly limestone with a small content of soil, contributes to the distinctive character of the wine. With a relatively low yield of 18 to 27 hectoliters per hectare, the concentration of fruitiness and freshness is heightened, resulting in a truly special wine. Irrigation is sparingly employed only in cases of exceptional drought, further emphasizing the organic and sustainable practices upheld by the winery. The winemaking process begins with the careful hand-picking of grapes, followed by a personal selection by the owners themselves to ensure that only the best grapes are chosen for further processing. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation takes place in controlled conditions within tanks, allowing for optimal development of flavors and aromas. The wine is then aged under professional supervision in new barrique barrels crafted from French and American oak for a period of 12 months. After bottling, it undergoes a minimum of 6 months of additional aging before being released to the market.
In the glass, the Rizman Slivno Plavac Mali 2015 exhibits a delicate garnet hue, indicating its maturity. The aromas are vibrant, complex, and alluring, featuring notes of dark fruits, sage, fresh meat, and wild berries. On the palate, it is dry, offering a harmonious combination of ripe and juicy fruits alongside elegant sweet spices. This wine stands as one of the finest examples from the estate, providing immediate pleasure while also possessing the potential for further aging. It presents a generous fruit profile reminiscent of a high-quality Barolo, offering a unique expression of the Plavac Mali grape.
When it comes to food pairing, this powerful wine is well-equipped to complement robust and flavorful dishes. It can easily withstand strong flavors and pairs exceptionally well with red meat dishes, roasts, and various meat stews. Additionally, it harmonizes beautifully with hard cheeses, offering a delightful contrast of flavors.
Overall, the Rizman Slivno Plavac Mali 2015 is a wine that embodies the excellence of the Plavac Mali grape and the unique terroir of South Dalmatia. With its mature color, vibrant aromas, and complex flavor profile, it is a wine that brings pleasure in the present while promising the potential for further aging. Whether enjoyed with hearty meat dishes or paired with robust cheeses, this wine is a testament to the craftsmanship and dedication of the winery.
Terra Madre Plavac Mali Premium Komarna 2016
The Plavac Mali Barrique 2016 is a delightful medium-bodied wine that offers a complex and nuanced drinking experience. With its pronounced fruitiness, soft tannins, and elegant flavors, this wine showcases the best qualities of the Plavac Mali grape, complemented by the addition of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The wine is somewhat bold on the palate with medium-high tannins, creating a satisfying structure. The dry and somewhat acidic profile adds a refreshing and vibrant character to the overall taste. It opens up with notes of fully ripe cherry and plum fruits, which are beautifully intertwined with subtle hints of strawberry, rose petal, tar, and thyme. These diverse flavors create a layered, intriguing palate, showcasing the wine’s complexity.
The ruby red color of this Plavac Mali Barrique is visually appealing, setting the stage for an enjoyable sensory experience. The aromas are inviting, with the scent of ripe fruits wafting from the glass and a delicate floral undertone.
This wine pairs exceptionally well with a range of dishes. Its medium-bodied quality makes it a versatile companion for various culinary delights. It harmonizes beautifully with beef and lamb, bringing out the richness of these meats. It also complements fatty fish like salmon, adding a burst of flavor to the seafood. Additionally, the wine’s robustness and structure make it an excellent choice to pair with hard cheese and cured meats, enhancing its savory qualities.
The Plavac Mali Barrique 2016 originates from the Komarna vineyard in the Dalmatia region of Croatia. The grapes used in its production are cultivated using organic and sustainable farming methods, showcasing a commitment to environmental stewardship. Fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks, this wine retains the true essence of the grapes and the terroir. The aging process in oak barrels for 12 months adds depth and complexity, while the subsequent 12 months of bottle aging further enhances its character and maturity.
With an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 13.5%, the Plavac Mali Barrique 2016 perfectly balances fruitiness and elegance. It delivers a delightful drinking experience that is sure to please wine enthusiasts seeking a medium-bodied red wine with a touch of sophistication.
Overall, the Plavac Mali Barrique 2016 is a medium-bodied wine that impresses with its fruity, floral, and complex characteristics. Its delicate yet firm tannins and enticing notes of strawberry, rose petal, tar, and thyme make it a wine worth savoring. Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with a range of dishes, this Plavac Mali offers a delightful journey for the senses, showcasing the beauty of Croatian winemaking.
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