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Wines included in a case
Matosevic Grimalda White 2016
Unlike many of Croatia’s top winemakers, Ivica Matošević did not come from a local winemaking family. While studying for his PhD at the Faculty of Agriculture he was bitten by the enology bug and set out on the long journey to crafting his own wines. Initially he worked in Friuli in Italy before setting out on his own with purchased grapes from relatives. Eventually he was able to acquire his own estate in Brdo in central Istria and in 1996 he proudly bottled his first wines which soon drew the attention of international wine critics.
Ivica’s Grimalda white is a stunning blend of Chardonnay, Istrian Malvasia and Sauvignon Blanc which demonstrates the remarkable quality of Ivica’s grapes and his inspired approach to winemaking. Ivica sources the grapes for this wine from his sunny south-facing terraces which provide very low yields and ferments and ages the wine in French oak barrels for 12 months.
The result is a rich, creamy white wine which exudes tropical and citrus notes overlaid with hints of buttercream, toasted nuts and honey. The first sip reveals a vibrant freshness, full body, and well-rounded texture with zingy citrus flavours that linger long on the tongue. This unique blend is a stellar gastronomic wine, combining well even with foods which are more difficult to pair with wine like asparagus, olives, and artichokes.
Bibich Debit 2017
Croatian winemaker Alen Bibić is on a mission to share his country’s treasure trove of unique indigenous grape varieties with the world. Set in the hills above the town of Skradin in northern Dalmatia, Alen’s winery is credited with putting this region on the map and reinvigorating the wine industry here after the devastating Yugoslav wars in the 90s.
One of Alen’s favourite grapes to work with is the Debit variety that he uses in this single varietal dry white wine. According to local legend, the wine takes its name from its popularity with Napoleon who would demand a payment or “debit” from the winemakers to guarantee his protection. Alen sources the Debit grapes from old vines planted in a vineyard which has been in his family for generations. Come harvest time the grapes are collected by hand and vinified in stainless steel tanks to preserve the natural fresh and fruity character of the Debit variety.
Green apples, lemon zest and a certain flinty minerality characterise the nose, while the palate offers a racy acidity, medium body and hints of sweet almonds, dried herbs and quince. The Bibich Debit is a very versatile wine that will pair well with pan-fried fish, fresh seafood or simply a generous platter of cheeses and charcuterie.
Stina Vugava 2018
Named after the brilliant white stone found all over the island of Brac, Stina winery was founded in 2009 by local vintner Jako Vino. The winery occupies a stunning setting right on the waterfront in Bol in the building formerly used as the island’s cooperative winery. Since founding the winery Jako has succeeded in making Stina a reference point for indigenous Dalmatian wines using classic local varieties like Posip and Plavac Mali.
This unusual bottling is crafted from the Vugava grape which is virtually unknown outside of Croatia. Jako is leading efforts to experiment with and unlock the potential of this grape which boasts excellent balance and fragrance on the nose. Jako sources his grapes for this wine from prime vineyards in the interior of the nearby island of Vis. To preserve freshness and the natural character of the grapes they are harvested early in the morning by hand.
Currently the only commercial producer of Vugava, Stina have succeeded in creating a delicious white which is somewhat reminiscent of Viognier. Apricot, apples, citrus fruit and subtle hints of white flowers characterise the flavour profile while the palate offers a rich texture, striking acidity and a pure and clean finish.
Kozlovic Santa Lucia Malvazija 2016
The Kozlovic family founded their winery in Istria in 1904 and it is today run by Gianfranco and Antonella Kozlovic who look after around 25 hectares of estate vineyards planted with local varieties. The couple continually strive to produce the very best wines possible while respecting the heritage and history of their land. They combine traditional winemaking techniques with modern equipment and knowhow to produce characterful wines which are very popular in Croatia and beyond.
This mouthwatering white wine is crafted from Malvazija, the local name for the Malvasia grape variety. Grapes are exclusively sourced from the Santa Lucia single vineyard which was planted in 1962 on top quality limestone and clay soils. The family attentively harvest their grapes by hand with fermentation and maturation taking place in 32 hectolitre wooden barrels. The young wine spends 12 months ageing in these casks before transferring to neutral tanks prior to bottling. The final step is another 12 months spent ageing in the bottle before release.
The result is a very complex white wine which has excellent potential for ageing thanks to the lengthy maturation process. On the nose there are intense floral notes along with ripe peaches, apricots and caramel. The first sip reveals a bright acidity, medium body, and smooth, well-rounded texture with rich tropical fruit flavours which linger on the tongue.
Krauthaker Chardonnay Rosenberg 2018
Ideally drink until 2025.
Decanting time: Enjoy upon opening.
This delightfully dry Chardonnay encapsulates a lot of freshness and full, round fruitiness with a bit of an attitude. The wine is lighter in colour than the average glass from this varietal, with a crisp straw-yellow colour enhanced by soft, green hues. Soft and unsuspecting on the nose, the bouquet hints at the white stone fruits local to this part of Croatia along with vanilla, lemon zest and pink grapefruit carried by undertones of oak and smoke. Lively mouthfeel, good acidity and some creamy round sweetness, and the minerality is restrained yet appealing. A strong finish with lingering woody and smoky notes.
Grown in Kutjevo, on the southern slopes of Krndija, the Kruathaker Chardonnay vineyards range in altitude between 240 and 300 metres. The wine is aged mostly in used wood barriques in order to achieve a nuanced approach and then the fresh fruitiness is captured with the final stage in stainless steel containers.
This selection is very enjoyable to sip on its own or with any range of light fare, including oven baked fish, salmon steak or pasta. A refreshing, unfiltered Croatian Chardonnay from Krauthaker that is immensely popular in restaurants, because of its versatile pairings and overall accessibility. Serve in a larger glass at 13 to 14 degrees Celcius.The liveliness of this Kruathaker Chardonnay is meant to be enjoyed and not stored too long. Drink within the first five years. This is a lovely choice, especially for the price.
Matusko Posip 2018
The family-owned Matusko winery is run by a quirky local biker and occupies a remarkable site on breathtaking steep cliffs facing the azure Adriatic sea on the Peljesac Peninsula. Although not yet well known outside of Croatia, this boutique winery has built a solid reputation for producing sensational dusky reds and bright whites which express the essence of the local terroir.
The Posip grape is an indigenous variety found almost exclusively in Croatia and tends to make balanced, elegant wines like this example from Matusko. The winery sources the Posip grapes for this wine from the variety’s homeland, the nearby island of Korčula, and then vinifies them onsite.
The result is a bright and lively white which opens with hints of lemon zest, honeysuckle, green apples, and pears. The first sip reveals a vibrant acidity, light body, and attractive flavour profile with notes of white peaches, citrus, grapefruit, and caramel which linger long on the tongue. The fresh character makes this wine ideal to enjoy as an aperitif or to serve alongside leafy summer salads, creamy risottos, or simple pan-fried fish dishes. It would also make an excellent partner for fresh seafood such as prawns, oysters, and scallops.