Our popular virtual “Wine Wednesday” events continue with a 4-week visit to a country often overlooked – Croatia.
Croatia punches above its small size, being ranked 32nd in total wine output with 760m HL. This figure is well down on its historical maximum as it transitions from its Yugoslavian past where the focus was on volume to a more quality-orientated output.
With over 300 distinct wine regions and over 100 indigenous varieties, many with names that are “challenging” to pronounce (plus international varieties such as Merlot and Chardonnay), there is much to interest the curious wine lover here.
Week 1 – Wednesday 5th April
We start our Croatian wine journey with two classic indigenous varieties.
Graševina is the most widely planted grape in Croatia. If you have not tasted Graševina before, this regular award-winning wine will not disappoint and will allure you quickly into its charms with its pale lemon colour and green reflections in the glass. It has an inviting aroma of green apple and other white fruits on the nose, which are followed through on tasting and a light bitterness on the palate, which is very typical for this variety which is balanced by a lovely round finish.
Our second wine is from the Teran grape, indigenous to Istria in NW Croatia. Its intense aroma is reminiscent of berries and tobacco, with dry, long lasting tannic taste, but softened by light oaking. Relatively high content of acids and a slight note of tartness, together with high extract, adds to this wine a typical taste of a full, strong and robust but at the same time pleasantly crafted wine.
Week 2 – Wednesday 12th April
Next up is a wine made from indigenous white Pošip. Its bouquet is dominated by aromas of fresh citrus, stone fruit yellow flowers and Mediterranean herbs. It is dry, medium-bodied, of fine freshness, with pronounced minerality, moderate alcohol content and with a pleasant finish.
This week’s red is from one of Croatia’s best-known grapes - Plavac Mali. This wine is a dark purple red colour with blue reflections. On the nose, the typical dusty aromas of the Plavac Mali variety is combined with dark cherry and vanilla aromas. On the palate it has medium-high acidity, with flavours of dark cherries, forest fruits, vanilla and dark chocolate, with well-integrated tannins.
Week 3 – Wednesday 19th April
Our first wine this week is a medium-sweet Muskat. It has an expressive combination of aromas of oriental spices, nutmeg, and cardamom. This elegant, medium sweet Muskat, has a soft, well-balanced cleanness that’s easy-drinking in style and isn’t cloying. Lightly grapey and floral, with vibrant fruity flavours of dry apricots.
The second wine is a red from the Babic variety with lively ruby colour and a scent of sour cherry and aromatic herbs. The taste is fruity with a vibrant and fresh medium body.
Week 4 – Wednesday 26th April
Our final pair of wines feature grapes that are more widely known. Our first is a blend of three different forms of Malvasia from Istria. The wine has a lovely greenish-yellow colour, it is crystal clear and has medium body. The nose opens with acacia flower, notes of fresh apple, lime peel and mint leaves. The wine is dry, partly warm and partly soft, while retaining a refined freshness, pleasant minerality and medium body. It is exceptionally balanced, with an intense flavour and lovely finish. The wine is flavourful, harmonious and highly drinkable, with notes of peach in the aftertaste.
Our final wine is from a variety that is one of my personal favourites – Cabernet Franc, also from Istria. This elegant red wine is aged in large oak barrels. It has a dark fruit flavour infused with hints of herbal spices. The taste is dry and lively, rounded with a slightly bitter finish.
As ever, this course will be delivered via “Zoom” for an hour or so on consecutive Wednesday evenings.
We have partnered with Croatian Fine Wines for this very specialist range and all 8 wines can be bought directly from them by following this link for £152.06. To qualify for free delivery, please enter SWSCFW at the checkout.
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