2010 Plantaze Vranac "Pro Corde" Lake Skadar, Montenegro
Vranac is an ancient red grape varietal found almost exclusively in the newest European country, the small republic of Montenegro. With only 650,000 inhabitants it has just become independent in 2006. Montenegro is located at the Adriatic Sea on the southern tip of Croatia. While not much is known about the grape's heritage, it is widely assumed that Vranac is a relative of the Dalmatian Plavac Mali, which in turn is the ancestor of the Californian Zinfandel. With both cousins the Vranac shares its dark ruby color and a fairly full body. Vranac tends to be strong and savory, sometimes pretty rustic. The Pro Corde by the Plantaze Winery is a reserve quality example of an extremely well-made Vranac produced with selected grape material of this sizable estate. This crowd pleaser sports a deep, almost purple color and a rich fruit extract. Black berries and supple cherry tones dominate the aromas, bursting into a pleasurable harmonious experience on the palate. Great with BBQ, sausages and, of course, a nice cut of steak.