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K&L Staff Recommendations
This is a Plavac Mali from Dingac Winery, Croatia, which bears some resemblance to its cousin, California Zinfandel. That's because Plavac is a hybrid of Crljenak kastelanski, which is the direct ancestor of Zinfandel--its DNA is identical, in fact. Plavac Mali, or "little blue grape," is a different wine, however, and fascinating to taste and compare. From importer Blue Danube: "Near constant sunshine beating down on local herbs like rosemary, thyme and oregano imparts a sweet menthol like herbaceousness to Plavac grown along the Dalmatian Coast. 'Plava... Read More »
From the importer: "Moreno Coronica's Malvazija Istarska is considered a bench mark example of this indigenous variety. It represents almost 2/3rds of his entire production. Vinified in stainless steel with selected neutral yeast it spent approximately 6 months on the lees. Freshly opened, it smells of peppery citrus and sea shells, bright but gentle with its typical note of salt. It is unbeatable with fresh grilled shellfish doused in Istrian olive oil. Enjoyed over the course of a few days it blossoms, becoming fuller, softer and more candied aromatica... Read More »
Fresh, floral white with orchard fruit notes, from this grape varietal (Bogdanjusa, which means, "a godsend,") native to the Island of Hvar, Croatia. Might be just that, on a warm Friday evening as an aperitif.
This is winemaker Alen Bibic's homage to his grandfather, sourced fron a single vineyard of old growth Debit that his grandfather planted. From Blue Danube, Alen's importer: "Fermented and nurtured in American oak for more than a year, flavors are concentrated, it’s warm without being hot, and impossibly unique. Once fully opened, the perfume of desert flowers, scorched rocks and candied citrus demand equally full flavored foods like fig stuffed pork loin or squid ink risotto. Will age very well and best served at cellar temperature."
Jancis Robinson: "Their entry-level wine. Two years in big old oak, one in bottle. Smells of violets and a bit of glue (VA?). A commanding presence of dark sweet-and-bitter fruit – damson, sloe – in a mesh of dry tannins. Tangy. Tobacco leaf and cigar. Very Croatian and distinctive. (TC)" (10/2013) Wine Enthusiast: "This garnet-colored wine conveys aromas of cranberry, black cherry and bramble. Flavors of dark cherry, cranberry and black plum have a strong acidic backbone and a long finish." (7/2014) K&L Notes: Plavac is a grape varietal that is a crossing of Zinfandel (native to Croatia) and another red... Read More »
The Teran grape isn't known for its delicacy, but in the hands of Moreno Coronica, from his vineyards in Istria, a peninsula in the Adriatic, the grape's harsh acidity is tamed. Made in barrique, the wine is ink-dark, with an herbaceous, blue-fruited wine that has a fresh mid-palate, grounding tannins and abundant, but not overpowering, spice. Give it a decant, and pair it with smoky or gamy meat dishes.
100% Zlahtina, producer: Sipun (pronouned "shee-poon"), appellation: Otok Krk (pronounced Oh-talk Kirk), Karst limestone soil. From the importer's website: "For thousands of years, humans have relaxed on the Mediterranean island paradise of Krk, and drank its wines. Once planted to 250,000 hectares of vineyards, today there are just 250; 95% of which are planted to the native white varietal Zlahtina. Vigneron Ivica Dobincic is the biggest champion of this grape, and is actively re-introducing other varietals as well." The bright red rose on the label is ... Read More »
Made from 100% Plavac Mali from the Peljesac Peninsula in Croatia, in a rustic, traditional style. This shows spicy berry and earth aromas and flavors, with smoky mineral undertones and developing notes of savory complexity. Medium-bodied, with firm, chewy tannins, this is just starting to come together and soften at the edges. Decant to enjoy in the near term with hearty beef or game dish, or lay away another half decade for further evolution in bottle. From the importer: "On the beautiful mountainous peninsula of Peljesac, just outside the ancient town... Read More »
From the importer: "A light bodied, low alcohol wine with acidity built for the Istrski pršut (Istrian Prosciutto) that happens to hang from the ceiling of the winery.While Refošk is in the Refosco family, it differs in that it ripens later and often has more pronounced ripe fruit. Historically, Refošk was given to woman after childbirth to combat anemia due to the rich iron content. A great pairing with charcuterie, oily cured fish, fish stews, and blood sausage. Locals make “Istarska supa,” a slightly warmed broth of wine, toasted country bread, olive ... Read More »