2009 Coronica Gran Malvasia Istria Croatia
This is voluptous and floral on the nose and palate, with loads of sweet, ripe peach and melon flavors. Bright lemon-lime acidity and a shimmer of salinity help to keep this full-bodied wine from becoming overbearing.
Coronica was established in 1992 by Moreno Coronica after the fall of communist Yugoslavia. Istria is sparsely populated, colourfully green, hilly unspoiled countryside. Away from the popular coastline on the Mediterranean, where houses spill down slopes towards the vast smooth bay that lies between the peninsula and the mainland, stone farmhouses and villages sit in a rural landscape dotted with oak, olive and blue splashes of lavender, with pretty, hilltop towns and houses clustered around the obligatory towering Roman Catholic church spire. Much of it reminds you of central and coastal Italy. Malvazsia flourishes here as a crisp dry white, a Croatian answer to Spain’s Albarino or Austria’s Grüner Veltliner, not quite like one or the other, but occasionally resembling them, or Loire chenin blanc, especially in their refreshing dry flavours and their affinity with the local seafood and shellfish. It’s a vigorous variety so for the best results come from low-yielding vineyards such as these.