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Wines included in a case
Matusko Dingac 2015
Matusko is a well-loved wine tourist destination for travellers to Croatia, and is one of the main representations of the Peljesac peninsula's reputation for complex, sweet interpretations of classic red grapes.
Known for its fabulous, quirky service that makes you feel like you are part of the family, spending time at Matusko is well-worth the trek. But for those of us who can't make it there just yet, the Dingač is the best way to experience the succulent, heart-filled expressions from this Peljesac's family-owned winery. This small region is part of the coastal Primorska region, which is located on southwestern side of the Zabrada mountains, offering rugged terrain with minimal top soil. This, along with its 45 degree slope and ideal number of annual sunlight hours, is part of why this region was the first named protected wine region in Croatia.
Made from the noted Croatian red wine Plavac Mali grape, the Dingač is an exclusive offering by Matusko, which presents a mature, balanced flavour following a full, floral nose.
Dark ruby in colour with hints of purple at its edge. Dusty floral notes, unusual for a Dingač, underscore the full, distinctive and unrestrained nose of this wine. This richly packed wine, with a pleasantly bitter expression, is stylishly restrained with attractive, densely packed layers. Full, round mouthfeel with a harmonious, balanced core that leads to a sweet and appealingly clean, acidic finish. Aged in large oak barrels. Complex floral aromas are greatly enhanced by extended aeration prior to serving to allow its oxidative complexities to fully emerge. Dingač is an EU Protected Designated Origin (PDO).
Zlatan Otok Plavac Barrique 2012
Drunk by Dalmatia’s fishermen and farmers for centuries, Plavac Mali is Croatia’s leading black grape variety and is thought to be related to California’s Zinfandel and Italy’s Primitivo varieties. This superb example is crafted by talented winemaker Zlatan Plenkovic from top quality grapes grown on the sunny island of Hvar. Here the warm summers and cooling sea breezes are ideal for producing complex, ageworthy red wines with a bold flavour profile and well-developed tannins.
Following vinification the wine is aged in new and used oak barrels for 18 months and then matured in the bottle for 6 months before release. On the nose there are rich ripe plum, black cherry and earthy notes which deepen into spicy dark berry and sweet cinnamon on the palate.
The firm structure, bold fruit character and impressively long finish indicate this is a wine which will age gracefully over the next decade or so if kept in cellar conditions. If you don’t have the patience to wait that long, this powerful Plavac Mali is also ideal to serve now alongside hearty and richly-flavoured dishes like beef bourguignon, coq au vin or steak with fries.
Milos Plavac 2017
Hailing from the Pelješac Peninsula on Croatia’s southern Dalmatian coast, this generous and multilayered wine is made from one of the country’s most interesting local varieties, Plavac Mali, which is closely related to Zinfandel. The sunny climate helps to create a rich, full-bodied red which exudes dark berry, plum, and bitter chocolate aromas and flavours along with hints of black olive, smoky tobacco and mint.
The winemaker Frano Miloš is widely regarded as one of Croatia’s most talented enologists and has been making wine on his family’s estate for two decades. Frano’s vision is to craft remarkable wines from his old Plavac Mali vines which are farmed organically and harvested by hand to ensure the grapes arrive at the winery in the best possible condition.
When in the winery the grapes are fermented using wild yeasts in stainless steel tanks to preserve the pure varietal character of the Plavac Mali. The young wine is then matured in large Slavonian oak casks and bottled unfiltered using a minimal quantity of sulphites. This attention to detail creates intense and concentrated red wines which capture the unique essence of the grape variety while also revealing Frano’s immense talent as a winemaker.
Svirce Plavac Mediterano 2016
From its jewel like ruby color and clarity, this Croatian red shines in its native soil. Rich fruity aromas of dried cherry and plum mixed with red raspberry and blackberry. Sweet fruit is offset by a lovely mixture of spices of black cherry and clove, with a hint of fennel seed. On the palate, it opens with strength and virility, with good richness of tannin and strong acidic backbone. Expect cedar and tobacco, mixed with vanilla and coffee. Rich spice and wood is met with dried dates and figs. A powerful body is softened by crushed velvet like tannins.
This complex wine is nicely matched with cheese and cured meats beside olives, as well as rustic rabbit stews or pan roasted salmon.
The Plavac Mali grape is indigenous to the island of Hvar, where the Svirce Vineyard is located, spanning the steep southern facing hillsides of the island. Hvar enjoys the most sunny days in all of Croatia, and between the nearly daily sunshine, and sunlight reflected from the sea and rocky terroir, the grapes get ample heat, resulting in juicy, concentrated fruit. After being well ripened on Hvar, some of the wine was oaked for twelve months before being blended back, creating a wonderfully complex wine.
The unique Plavac Mali from Svirce shows wonderful layering of flavors and versatility in food pairing, making it a must buy. Enjoy now, or for years to come!
Korta Katarina Plavac Mali 2012
Americans Lee and Penny Anderson first fell for Croatia’s gorgeous Dalmatian coast while assisting with humanitarian aid efforts in the aftermath of the devastating Yugoslav wars. They decided to start their own winery, Korta Katarina, on the Peljesac Peninsula close to the small town of Orebic and began purchasing small plots of vines in the region.
Over the decade or so since Korta Katarina released its first vintage, the Andersons have built a solid reputation for crafting delicious wines made with indigenous grape varieties like Plavac Mali which are little-known outside of Croatia. This version is made with 100% Plavac Mali grapes which are sourced from the estate’s vineyards in the Dingac and Postup regions of the Peljesac Peninsula. Here the breezy coastal location, abundant sunshine and well-draining hillsides help to create rounded red wines with a real depth and concentration of aromas and flavours.
Pour out a glass of this wine and you’ll immediately notice the almost opaque deep red hue and the luxurious aromas of crushed wild berries, dried Mediterranean herbs and warm spicy hints from the 9 months of oak ageing. On the palate this is an incredibly smooth red wine with intense dark berry and plum flavours which linger long on the tongue. Try pairing this Plavac Mali with hearty beef stews or a simple steak to complement the wine’s deep and complex flavour profile.
Dubokovic Prije 6009 Godina 2011
Winemaker Ivo Duboković likes to give his wines enigmatic names which evoke the culture and history of his native Croatia. This attractive bottling was called “Before 6009 Years” after an intriguing ancient shard of pottery which bears the oldest depiction of a boat and was found in a Neolithic cave on the island of Hvar where Ivo’s winery is based.
This is one of Ivo’s bolder single varietal Plavac Mali reds, displaying a deep cherry red hue and intense plum, dark berry and smoky tobacco aromas which bring to mind the variety’s famous relative, Zinfandel. Ivo likes to harvesting his grapes late in the season, either in late September or October, to allow them to reach optimal ripeness and create richer, fuller red wines.
The first sip reveals a full body, ripe tannins and powerful flavours of blackcurrants, plum jam, eucalyptus and hints of coconut. The full, concentrated nature of this wine make it a perfect partner for hearty beef or veal dishes. If you have the patience to wait a while, this Plavac Mali will also continue to develop and evolve if cellared in good conditions over the next decade or so.