"Order my book on the Roussillon wine region (colour paperback) DIRECT FROM ME SAVING £4/€4 (UK & EU only), or Kindle eBook on Amazon UK. Available in the USA from Barnes & Noble in hardcover, paperback or eBook; or Amazon.com. For other countries, tap here." Richard Mark James

Croatia & Slovenia

Including these wineries: Marof, Joannes Protner, Bajnof, Ščurek, Bregar, Reja, Peršolja, Hlebec, Černe, Marjan Simčič, Goriška Brda. Roxanich, Geržinić, Laguna, Matošević, Belje, Iločki, Krauthaker, Daruvar, Bodren, Stina, Zlatan, Svirče. And touring, sightseeing and restaurant tips in both countries.

Church on Lake Bled

I've created a special PDF magazine including this new feature on Slovenia with lots more photos, plus a previous wine and travel report on Croatia posted below. You can buy the PDF supplement emailed to you for just £2 with a debit/credit card or your own Paypal account. Click here to find the PayPal button (underneath 'English wine guide', select which report you want in the drop-down menu).

Slovenia isn't a large country, to state the obvious perhaps, and is one the most forested and mountainous states in Europe (relative to surface area), so not surprisingly there are only about 22,000 hectares (54,000 acres) of vines planted. Wine production is dominated by three-quarters of whites reflecting the country's geography, location and climate; and most of the often steep hillside vineyards lie on or close to its borders with four surrounding winemaking nations: Austria to the north, Hungary to the east, Italy to the west and Croatia to the south, roughly speaking. Logically then, many of Slovenia's wineries are found not too far away from the country's handsome, friendly and very walkable capital city Ljubljana (watch your spelling!), which is found in the middle more or less. There's plenty of history and beautiful architecture and countryside just made for exploring elsewhere too, and I've included a few, slightly cliché perhaps (e.g the shot of Lake Bled above) but nevertheless must-do sightseeing places to go to, contemplate and eat in. There's some more generic wine information on Slovenia (but not much) on their tourist board website: slovenia.info or this one: sloveniavino.com.

This estate was originally owned by a well-to-do Hungarian family for centuries (back in the empire days), who built a wine cellar here in 1905; and the present-day operation has its roots in the newly created Slovenian / Yugoslav state after the First World War. They own 40 hectares (99 acres) of vineyards in the Goričko region in Slovenia's northeastern corner close to the Hungarian and Austrian borders. Vineyard manager and winemaker Uroš Valcl makes a three-tiered range based on French and Austrian varieties. Some of their wines are available from Raeburn Fine Wines in Edinburgh and Wines @ West End in England, Weygandt Metzler Importing in the US (PA) and Cellarhand Wine Imports in Australia (VIC). www.marof.eu

2012 Beli Križ (Welsch Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, 13.5% abv) – lively and aromatic, yeast-lees tones with intense crisp bite on the palate then a rounder finish with attractive nuttier and more savoury flavours. UK £8.99.
2012 Chardonnay (14% abv) – creamy and oaty with nutty and light coconut notes, full-bodied rounded mouth-feel with some savoury development and a little crispness in the end.
2012 Sauvignon blanc (13.5% abv) – crisp and aromatic style with greengage and gooseberry fruit and a bitter twist rounded off by a nice bit of weight too.
2012 Chardonnay Breg (14% abv) – fairly toasted coconut-y on the nose, turning more buttery and softer in the mouth, quite rich and powerful with a toasty finish vs some underlying freshness too. More 'impressive' but I prefer the other one. £15.99
2012 Sauvignon blanc Breg (“very extended skin maceration” and 15 to 20 months lees-stirring!) - very different style, still has some gooseberry fruit vs richer and more concentrated, creamy oat flavours too vs bitter twist and long 'mineral' finish; quite strange but I kinda liked it! £15.99
2011 Blaufränkisch (= Modra Franka, 14% abv) – fairly oaky start yet layered with perfumed cherry fruit, the tannins are quite soft with ripe vs herby fruit profile and hints of savoury development. Attractive style in the end.
2011 Zweigelt (14%) - similar coconut-tinged start with wild cherry fruit notes, grippier mouth-feel with a vanilla coating, then a tad bitter perhaps. Prefer the BF.

This leading small estate winery is located to the east of Maribor (heading towards Austria); their vineyards lie on the Šempeter hills' south-facing slopes overlooking the town of Malečnik and the Drava river (a tributary of the Danube) and circling the owner's house in nearby Vodole. Out of almost 12 hectares, half of this is planted with Riesling which is fairly unusual, winemaker Boštjan Protner told me at the London International Wine Fair: “There's about 15% to 20% Riesling planted in this area against around 5% of overall plantings in Slovenia...” His family does bed & breakfast at the property too by the way. More @ www.joannes.si. US: Sterling Cellars ($ price below) and Suburban Wines & Spirits (both in NY) also lists one of their white blends. UK: Wines @ West End in Surrey (£.££).

2013 Muskat – lively citrus and grape aromas, juicy and fairly easy-going palate with nice fresh aromatic finish. £10.75
2013 Renski Riesling ('Rhine' Riesling) – already showing enticing 'oily' tones vs celery and 'mineral' edges on the palate, steely yet with a touch of richness too, attractive juicy lime fruit vs yeasty and more 'vegetal' on its subtle finish. $25
2010 Renski Riesling – developing ageing aromas and almost creamy actually vs subtle acidity underneath, 'oily' tasty finish, quite complex. €25 Premium Wines of Slovenia.
2009 Renski Riesling – more developed still, oily and creamy with oxidising notes and enticing savoury edges even vs subtle underlying acidity still. £9.95
2011 Pinot Noir – fairly developed nose with subtle sweet/savoury perfumed notes, already fading a little perhaps and lacking a little charm.

This slightly mysterious wine cellar cum farm property is based in Novo Mesto in southeastern Slovenia on the road to Zagreb, so to speak: and that's all I know as www.cvelbar.si isn't much help (Slovenian only). They seem to be quite good at a quirky, low-alcohol and difficult to pronounce rosé style though...

2013 Cviček rosé (9.5% abv) – a mix of red and white actually: very fruity and easy-going style, dry though despite the low alcohol.
Cvičekova Penina (10% abv) - bottle-fermented version of the above: lively raspberry fruit with yeasty edges, again nice quaffing style.
2011 Modra Franka (11.5% abv) – quite light red with juicy cherry fruit and a touch of grip, fruity finish with a tad of coconut and vanilla. Not bad.

Stojan Ščurek's little winery is found in the middle of nowhere between the villages of Medana and Plešivo, right on the western border with Italy, where he has 20 hectares of hillside vineyards including more than half of them lying on “the other side...” I tasted most of their generally comment-worthy range with Tomaž in London (and almost went there when I was in Slovenia last year but ran out of time), who's one of five sons involved in viticulture and winemaking at the estate. The family specialises in certain indigenous varieties as well as making 'international' varietal styles. More info @ www.scurek.com. It doesn't look like these wines are exported much beyond their immediate neighbours (they retail in Slovenia for about €10-€11, mostly, up to €18-€22 for the top ones), although Wines @ West End in England lists a few (£.££ below).

2013 Rumena Rebula = Ribolla Gialla – aromatic nutty Italian-esque character, showing subtle extract and 'chalky' crisp finish. Attractive style. £10.99
2013 Jakot/Sauvignonasse Gredič = Tocai Friuliano – very aromatic zesty and 'chalky' white, lively crisp mouth-feel again with subtle concentration riding through it. £10.99
2013 Pinot Blanc – crisp and steely palate with 'gummy' and 'chalky' undertones, light bitter twist on the finish. Quite intense for a PB.
2011 Stara Brajda white (blend of old vine varieties: 60% Ribolla Gialla, 20% Pikolit, 20% Pika plus some Glera (=Prosecco), Tržarka and Malvasia; aged 1.5 years in acacia and oak barrels) – quite rich and buttery roast-nutty with savoury oat flavours vs refreshing bite and bitter twist; rounded maturing mouth-feel vs still alive and fresh. Unusual, good quality white although dear: £17.95.
2009 Pikolit (4 years in acacia casks) – this was dry, it's usually a sweet style apparently. Fairly deep golden colour, maturing nutty and honeyed notes, toasty and savoury flavours, ready to drink now. Interesting wine but not for everyone...
2010 Merlot/Refosco – herby floral tones vs sweeter black cherry fruit, maturing flavours yet has fresh acidity underneath.
2007 'UP' - 85% Merlot & 15% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 3-4 years in new oak (and it shows...) Quite lush and plummy with toasty backdrop and some grip, has good cooked plum fruit although the oak's a tad charred on the finish. Would be better with less heavy wood treatment.
2012 Cabernet Franc – lightly leafy tones, showing fair depth though with red fruits vs darker 'soy-sauce' flavours, a touch of dry tannin and freshness vs a riper rounder side too. Attractive red.

And here's a selection of various small-producer wines, some of them listed by UK-based Slovenian specialist Blice Wine (and quite expensive it has to be said...), who also runs home wine tasting evenings.

Made by Andrej Srebernič in the Goriška Brda region in the west.
2010 Sauvignon blanc (13% abv) – enticing aged savoury and creamy notes vs crisp green fruit vs mature finish. Slightly odd 'old vs young' style but good with it... £18.98
2010 Malvasia (13.5% abv) – fairly rich and complex with maturing nutty flavours vs still fresh finish, attractive and drinking now. £18.98

Borut Reja is also making wine in Goriška Brda and is a near neighbour to the Ščurek family.
2012 Pinot Grigio 'Blush' – juicy and lively with nutty undertones, intriguing Italian vs Alsace style cross showing a nice bit of character.
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (13% abv, 3 years in oak) – herby cedar-edged Bordeaux-leaning style, still fairly young and structured palate for its age with cassis fruit vs maturing notes on the finish; quite good wine actually although it's pricey: £32.39.

Based in the same village as above...
2004 Cabernet Franc (13.5% abv, 5 years in oak) – mature savoury style, although has surprising hint of freshness underneath still; not for everyone but an attractive mature red. £30

The Hlebec family owns a guesthouse too set among their vineyards on the Jeruzalem (that's right) hills in eastern Slovenia.
2012 Riesling – oily and 'chalky' mix on nose and palate, reasonably delicate, lacks a bit of zip perhaps.
2012 Furmint – nutty and rounded style with a touch of weight and savoury character vs crisp and tight length. Different, like it.
2012 Zweigelt (1/3 barrel-aged) – herby and peppery with a juicier side and elderberry / blackberry fruit mix, has a touch of grip and freshness too although the tannins are a little bitter...

15 hectares of vineyards in Istria on the Milje hills overlooking the coastal town Ankaran, which are mostly planted with the red variety Refosco or Refosk...
2009 Refosk (organic) – chunkier and oakier red with nice spicy fruit, developing savoury flavours yet still structured too; quite good. €15 Premium Wines of Slovenia.
2013 Malvazija (13% abv) – enticingly 'Italian' style, nutty and crisp with juicier sweeter side then a light bitter twist to finish. Enjoyable dry white, especially for €3.95 (Lidl in Ljubljana).

Marjan has become well-known internationally as something of a 'natural'-leaning craft-winegrower/maker, based in the wee village of Ceglo in the Goriška Brda region, which nudges up against north-east Italy (Friuli is on the other side). Here, like other wineries in the area, half of his vineyards are found over the 'border' (a case of history outliving lines on maps and in governments' minds...). His reserve or 'Selekcija' wines come from selected grapes grown in “older vineyards” and are aged “for at least two years” before being released onto the market. Imported by Bancroft wines in London - more on Simčič @ www.simcic.si.

2012 Pinot Grigio – juicy and honeyed vs 'chalky' and nutty mouth-feel, delicate start then showing more depth and hints of savoury character. Enticing style. c. £10
2009 Ribolla Reserve – nutty, creamy and rounded with attractive savoury flavours, mature yet still quite intense on its long finish. £15
2009 Sauvignon Selekcija – quirky green pea and mint notes vs crisp yet fairly developed palate, odd mixture perhaps (odd can be good though...). £10
2011 Chardonnay Selekcija Igor Sotric – lightly creamy and nutty flavours, quite subtle and closed up still or maybe lacking something for its £15 price-tag?
I didn't think much of his Reserve Pinot Noir though by the way...

2013 Quercus Pinot Grigio (13.5% abv) - a Marks & Spencer own-label sourced from the Goriška Brda Winery: more rounded and nutty in style with subtle cooked citrus/pear fruit and oily characters, quite full-bodied then fresher to finish. Good. £9 (on offer for £6.75).

A few other places to go and things to do in Slovenia (when you don't have much time)
Buy the PDF to get the pretty pics!

Predjama Castle - Found less than an hour's drive away south-west of Ljubljana (Trieste direction), this impossibly positioned late 16th century castle is difficult not to be vowed by, wedged in as it is below a sheer rock-face at the entrance to a huge cave.
Lake Bled (Blejsko Jezero) – As I already said, very touristy and over-popular but unmissable nevertheless (see shot on front page): the setting is absolutely beautiful, hemmed in by hills/mountains (part of the Alps lies in the distance), with that irresistible little island keeping a big church above water. You can walk or cycle all the way around it if you like, and go boating or swimming of course: it looked clean enough. Watch out for the enormous river fish though. Only forty minutes to the north-west of the capital towards the Austrian border.
Baza 20 – Lost up in the hills and cool forests of the Kočevski Rog highland plateau not far from the Croatian border, Base 20 was one of the key Yugoslav Resistance bases in the later stages of the Second World War, which apparently was never discovered by the Italians or Nazis. They've recreated a kind of outdoor museum with various wooden barracks that served as living quarters, radio room, newspaper office etc. forming a little makeshift village sprawling through the lush forest (it's estimated there were up to 200 people stationed here at its height). There are several marked-out walking routes heading off and up in different directions to fully enjoy this serene and moving setting.
Ljubljana –
The city's pretty old centre sits watched over by Grajski grič castle on the Ljubljanica river and is fairly compact for easy strolling around. Out of the many touristy places to eat with seating outside (or massive inside on two floors) not far from the main square and Cathedral, you could try Sokol wine bar, restaurant & guesthouse (www.gostilna-sokol.com) which serves very tasty and reasonably priced pork dishes for instance.


As for the main wine producing regions touched on and tasted here, Istria is that huge peninsular forming the northwestern chunk of Croatia lying to the south of Trieste and the Slovenian border and, at a dreamy distance, facing Venice across the Adriatic to the west and the first of Croatia's many beautiful coastal islands to the east. The Istrian red variety Teran, or Terrano, is actually related to Refosco and is found in Croatia, Italy and Slovenia. One of the principal white grapes grown in this area is Malvazija or 'Istrian' Malvasia, which can be transformed into some pretty good and varied-style white wines.
The north-east of Croatia is also home to a concentrated patchwork of vineyards, stretching beyond Zagreb up to the borders with Hungary, Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina. There's a large amount of Graševina planted across this area, which is the same variety as Welschriesling, Riesling Italico, Olaszrizling or Laški Rizling and “unrelated to Rhine Riesling,” according to Wikipedia, whose “descendance is uncertain... However, the Croatian name Graševina suggests that the origin might be somewhere to the east of the Balkans.” I was told Zelenac is the same as Austrian white variety Rotgipfler, but couldn't find anything online to back this up. And Traminac is what Croatians call Gewürztraminer.
The catchy-named Pošip grape is simply Pošip and found grown on the Dalmatian islands south of Split such as Korčula, Brač and Hvar. There are less vineyards along the coast here and between Split (a must-visit city, especially climbing up the scary staircase in the famous old town belltower: me pic. below) and Zadar to the north. And this is mostly red wine country dominated by the local variety Plavac Mali (related to Zinfandel/Primitivo) as well as Merlot, Cab, Syrah/Shiraz etc. although for some reason I didn't try many reds on this particular occasion. My general, perhaps incorrect/incomplete impression, from what I've tried, is that Croatia's whites are better than their reds, so far...
This picturesque coastal stretch typifies how stunning this part of Croatia is with a succession of towns and cities along its very long Mediterranean coastline backing up onto wild hilly land behind. A couple of other places worth visiting include the time-laden 'island' citadel of Trogir, sandwiched between the mainland and the pretty island of Okrug Gornji up the coast a little from Split (although avoidable by car at peak times of year, as there's only one narrow bridge across). And, north of Zadar, the spectacularly set old 'imperial' town of Karlobag, sitting on the sea at the foot of a mini-mountain facing the hypnotically matt-hued island of Pag. I found this site good for finding apartment accommodation by the way: www.adriagate.com.

Mladen Rožanić is a self-confessed member of the “natural wine” camp, who indulges in quirky white winemaking techniques such as sometimes extremely elongated skin maceration - “eight days up to 174 days” - although a mere “four to six weeks” for reds. Their wines also undergo lengthy barrel-ageing, for three to four years usually, with relatively low final sulphite levels of about 50 to 100 mg per litre depending on the wine. Mladen works using “uncertified organic or biodynamic” methods in 23 hectares of vineyards near Višnjana in western Istria, which he and winery partner the Banka family planted between 2004 and 2008. They don't appear to have a US importer, despite mentioning Winebow on www.roxanich.hr (couldn't find the wines on WB's site though), but are available from Pacta Connect in the UK and are big in Germany too.
2008 Antica Malvazija (14% abv) – orangey/golden brown colour, toasty nutty and buttery nose, lively with wild edges, rich hazelnut flavours vs tangy long finish, concentrated and intense.
2008 Milva Chardonnay (13.5% abv) – golden brown hues, rich and volatile nose, intense and nutty with apple/cider vs dried fruits vs creamy hazelnut vs tangy bite, concentrated and wild but it holds together nicely.
2008 Ines u bijelom (“Ines in White” - blend of Verduzzo, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Friulano, Riesling Italico, Glera; 13.5% abv) – more orangey coloured, pretty wild appley vs dried fruit vs nutty nose and palate with intense finish, rich vs mineral, very long and complex flavours. Wow.
2008 SuperIstrian red (40% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Gamay; 13.2% abv) – browning colour with smoky dried fruits, resin and wild herb tones too; nice sweet fruit with cassis damson and a wilder appley side too, again intense finish with a bitter twist.
2007 Teran Re (13.7% abv) – 'soupier' nose but still quite intense on the palate, smoky dried fruits and soft-ish tannins, well balanced.
2007 Merlot (13.5% abv) – similar profile, plummier and lusher perhaps with dried resiny 'tar' fruit and smoky volatile notes, again soft tannins vs a bit of bite, mature vs still alive.

Vina Geržinić
This little family wine estate farms six ha (15 acres) near Vižinada, lying just to the north of Roxanich reviewed above and east of the town of Novigrad, and also grows olives for extra-virgin oil production. Their wines are available from Pacta Connect in the UK. www.gerzinic.com
2011 Malvazija (13.4% abv) – aromatic Muscat-y notes with apricot edges, turning more honeyed and nutty; crisp and 'salty' mouth-feel with nice aromatic fruit finish.
2011 Rosé (Teran, 12%) - light and crisp style with red fruity tones, attractive enough rosé.
2011 Muškat ('yellow' or 'à petits grains' Muscat apparently, 13%) - very Muscat on the nose, grapey and floral, lightly luscious with a hint of sweetness (off dry) vs crisp and steely finish. Nice white again.

Vina Laguna
Based in the town of Poreč on the west coast of Istria, Laguna have vineyards planted in a few different sites around the peninsular from coastal to hillside matched to each variety, they claim, from local Teran and Malvasia to more 'international' Cabernet and Pinot Bianco. vinalaguna.hr
2012 Malvazija – 'Muscat-y' aromas, quite light with yeast-lees notes, crisp bite and subtle finish; easy-going and appealing style.

Ivica Matošević
This red blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Teran is from a vineyard in the Grimalda area in central Istria, south of Buzet, and is aged for 15 months in French oak. matosevic.com
2010 Grimalda red – smoky earthy rustic notes vs nice cassis and dried fruits, soft tannins with 'inky' vs lush texture and a touch of grip; a bit rustic perhaps but not a bad match for a quails egg, pork, sage and tomato nibble...

The North/East

Vina Belje
Belje appears to be a multi-talented co-op style operation that also produces cheese and other dairy produce, cured meats and flour. They have some hillside vineyards in Slavonia between the rivers Danube and Drava heading towards the Hungarian border. More info @ www.belje.hr.
2011 Graševina – green fruits vs yeasty lees edges, has a touch of rich buttery character then a tangier 'saltier' finish; nice style.
2011 Graševina Goldberg – quite rich and creamy vs citrus and peach, attractive mix of zesty and crisp vs more buttery and nutty with coconut edges.

Iločki Podrumi
Their ageing wine cellars apparently date back to 1450 no less and are found in the historic town of Ilok, which is located literally in Croatia's far eastern corner facing (and almost surrounded by) Serbia across the Danube. www.ilocki-podrumi.hr. £ prices taken from the (quite dear) UK online retailer croatianfinewines.com.
2012 Graševina 'selected' – floral green / gooseberry edges vs creamy tones, crisp and nutty vs richer texture, tasty long and fresh finish rounded out with honeyed fruit. Good.
2011 Traminac 'selected' – aromatic grapey and spicy on the nose, hints of lychee vs orange peel on its crisp finish.
2011 Premium Graševina – ripe spicy perfumed almost botrytis honey characters, creamy and lush vs steely 'salty' bite, pretty intense long finish. £12.76
2011 Premium Traminac (15% abv!) - similar spicy lychee nose, more exotic and riper too with full rounded mouth-feel vs very crisp acidity vs a bit of kick. Wow. £15.85
2010 Late Picked Graševina (12.6%) - honeyed dried apricot and sultana notes countered by spicy 'mushroom' tones and nice freshness, not as sweet as the nose suggests on the palate with oxidising nutty flavours, oily/resiny texture and more sultana fruit vs fair 'mineral' bite. Good with goats' cheese.
2009 Late Picked Traminac (13%) - botrytised honey tones with perfumed lychee, sweeter and more caramelised vs tight acid structure, more savoury and oaty too vs sultanas vs citrus peel tang.

Vinarija Krauthaker
Krauthaker is in the Kutjevo wine region lying in Požega valley, and started out as one hectare of vine-land in 1993 growing to 29 hectares (72 acres) now owned by the winery, “with an additional 55 hectares supplied by contracted growers.” Available in the UK from Coe Vintners; and elsewhere in Europe, the US and Australia: more @ www.krauthaker.com.
2012 Graševina (13%) - more aromatic nutty and 'straw' like, gets creamier and fatter on the palate vs 'chalky' and zesty, crisp and dry vs nice sweet gooseberry fruit.
2012 Sauvignon blanc – intense green pepper and 'cat pee' tones, dry crisp and mineral with subtle ripe green fruits, long pure finish.
2010 Chardonnay – toasty and buttery nose, quite rich and creamy with a bit of weight vs crisp steely bite, attractive balanced style.
2009 Zelenac trockenbeerenauslese (14.5%) - exotic and complex nose and mouth with mega raisin/sultana, pineapple, dried fig and apricot; lush sweet and full-bodied vs very crisp acidity running underneath, balanced though. Wow.
2009 Graševina trockenbeerenauslese (12.5%) – showing similar features, more exotic and sweeter perhaps, very rich dried fruits yet intense and long with that fresh acid structure again; very sweet but well made.

Vinarija Daruvar
Located in the town of Daruvar found a good trek east of Zagreb. Shipped by the Blue Danube Wine Company in California.
2011 Graševina Križevci – fuller and nuttier than their straight Gras, oxidising dry 'straw' edges, nice weight vs crisp and tight. $12.95
2011 Traminac Nespeš – light lychee and 'Muscat' fruit, perfumed and crisp vs fuller rounder finish.
2011 Sauvignon blanc Davu (13%) – green bushes and ivy, grassy gooseberry vs riper citrus and greengage; softer weightier and rounder finish vs fresh bite and quite intense too.

Something of a sweet-toothed oddity, this specialist winery only produces ice wines and trockenbeerenauslese styles by the looks of it. Their vineyards lie up on the Hrvatsko Zagorje hills in the far north of Croatia on the Slovenian border. bodren.hr
2011 Pinot Gris ice wine (5.7% abv, 423 g/l residual sugar, 6.1 g/l acidity) – weird burnt green/black olive nose, super lush toffee and toasted pecan nuts with smoky flavours, very rich yet with crisp bite, lingering smoked olive characters! Strange but worth a go.


Catch a boat from Split to Brač and visit Stina winery, which is named after the “beautiful white stone” you find on the island, so I'm told... www.facebook.com/stina.vino
2012 Pošip (14%) - aromatic Muscat-y nose, similar floral grapey fruit on the palate with gummy yeast-lees edges, juicy and 'chalky' with weight vs crisp bite. Different, nice style.
2011 Pošip (50% barrel-fermented with extended lees ageing, 14% abv) - smokier with lightly toasty coconut and yeast-lees notes, rounder creamier mouth-feel with nutty flavours vs crisp and 'salty' bite; perhaps a tad too much oak but it's quite good, and a fair match for a fishy salmon mousse and truffle vol-au-vent (as you do)!

Then on to Hvar, where the Zlatan Otok winery was established by Zlatan Plenković in 1986. The vineyards lie on the island's southern slopes and near Makarska back across on the mainland in the Mount Biokovo foothills, where they mostly grow Plavac Mali and other red varieties although make good whites too. Photo above copied from www.zlatanotok.eu.
2011 Pošip (14%) - mix of aromatic floral grapey and nutty toasty edged, rounded and full-bodied vs nice zesty crisp finish. €10.90
And a red with a difference from vineyards roughly in the middle of elongated Hvar island made by the Svirče co-op winery:
2008 Ivan Dolac Plavac Mali – perfumed elderberry, violet and wild herbs vs darker cherry/berry fruit, quite soft tannins with maturing savoury fruit finish; nice style of sunny aged red.

Good resources on Croatian wine & food:

No comments:

Post a Comment


'Red is for wine, blood, revolution, colour... Time-warped slices of mystery, history, fantasy, crime, art, cinema and love...' Buy the e-book or paperback novel on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com. Click here to view the RED blog!

Send an email


Email *

Message *

Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.