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This Week's Tasting

Substantial Wines of Croatia
February 15, 2017

Croatia is known for its beautiful beaches and hundreds of islands along the northern Adriatic Sea. The Croats have also produced fine table wines for all of its thousands of years history. Stylistically, the whites are aromatic, fruity and mineral in character. The reds tend to be richer and have complementary structure.



Tonight we will introduce you to two whites and four reds from Croatia and let you see if these wines, as we think, are worth getting to know. We will begin with the 2015 Vina Benvenuti Malvasia Istriana. The vineyards are located on the high coastal hills in Istria on white calcerous soil. Fresh, mineral, full bodied, fruity and very drinkable are apt descriptors here. The second white is made with Posip, another native Croation varietal. The 2014 Zlatan Otok Posip is from vineyards along the Dalmation coast. The wine is lush, with apricot, peach and citrus notes and a long finish.

For the reds we will feature three made with the Plavac Mali grape. This grape is the child of an ancient Croation grape variety and Primitivo (or Zinfandel). The 2013 Vina Skaramuca Plavac Premium is what you would expect. The wine is dry with a dark ruby red color has a lot of peppery dark fruit with a full bodied finish. These guys also make a reserve style Plavac Mali and we will taste the 2010 Vina Skaramuca Dingac Reserve. Dingac is the best vineyard area on the Peljesac peninsula. In addition to the rich dark berry fruit character, the wine shows a silky tannic structure which leads to harmonious full bodied finish.

Then from vineyards on the island of Hvar, we will taste the 2011 Zlatan Otok Plavac Hvar. This is also dark red with a rich structure and has notes of balsam in the long finish. Then, since we’ve had enough Plavac Mali, we will taste the 2012 Benvenuti Teran. Teran is the most important Istrian red grape variety. The wine is fresh and complex with rich fruit and balancing structure and acidity which promises a fine aging potential.


2015 Vina Benvenuti Malvasia Istriana: Bright straw. Peach and tropical fruit aromas. Full bodied with balancing acidity and mineral character. Very Good Plus 15.99; Mixed Case, 14.39; Case, 13.59

2014 Zlatan Otok Posip White: Bright straw gold. Apricot, peach and citrus aromas and flavors with a lush texture. Floral notes in the long finish. Very Good Plus 21; Mixed Case, 18.90; Case, 17.85



2013 Vina Skaramuca Plavac Premium: Dark ruby red. Raspberry, pepper in a strong flavor format with full body . Very Good Plus 15.99; Mixed Case, 14.39; Case, 13.59

2010 Vina Skaramuca Dinjac Reserve: Deep ruby red. Clear and subtle varietal aromas with various berry fruits, spice and earth. Good Structure. Very Good Plus Plus 24.99; Mixed Case, 22.49; Case, 21.24

2011 Zlatan Otok Plavac Hvar: Dark red. Black raspberry, pepper and forest floor balsam with rich structure and a long finish. Very Good Plus Plus 26.99; Mixed Case, 24.29; Case, 22.94

2012 Vina Benvenuti Teran: Dark ruby. Mineral driven dark red fruit. Complex and harmonious structure with vanilla and spice. Long balanced finish. Very Good Plus to Excellent 32; Mixed Case, 28.80; Case, 27.20

Croatian Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $233

Croatian Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $123


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           - Peter Hemenway


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