Federal Wine & Spirits

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Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

Substantial Wines of Croatia

Last week we had a really good time introducing tasters to the wines of Croatia. It is only recently that these have become available over here so for most people these wines were completely new.
February 15, 2017


Dragica King who imports these wines was here to inform, discuss and explain the history. She also knows how to pronounce the names. We can’t pronounce her name either so we call her Dee.

We began with two whites. Both were interesting and had their own unique character. The 2015 Vina Benvenuti Malvasia Istriana had a beautiful floral character, light to medium body and nice balancing acidity. Dee explained that this Malvasia Istriana is not related to any of the world’s other Malvasias and is only grown in this area. The 2014 Zlatan Otok Posip White was quite a bit richer, finely textured with aromas and flavors of nut fruits. It had a floral note as well. This grape variety is also unique to Croatia and is quite rare.

The first three reds were all made with the Plavac Mali grape. This only grown in Croatia and is a cross between Primitivo (Zinfandel) and an ancient high acid red variety. The 2013 Vina Skaramuca Plavac Premium is a good introduction to the varietal. Raspberry and pepper were evident here with full body. Then the 2011 Zlatan Otok Plavac Hvar showed rose petal cherries and plums and a more layered texture. The 2010 Vina Skaramuca Dinjac Reserve had a complex array of various fruit aromas and flavors as well as a nice earthy spice note. Dee said that the number one food choice in Croatia for these Plavac wines is bluefish, although they certainly would do well with lots of other dishes. The last red was the 2012 Vina Benvenuti Teran. Once again we are tasting wine made with a grape variety only grown in Croatia. Teran is a high acid grape that gives a lot of structure and wines that age very well. This kept getting better as the tasting went on.

We want to thank Dee very much for leading us through these very interesting and dynamic wines. A lot of people showed up for this one. As usual with brand new wines, tasters were not real clear about which was their favorite and a lot of you took wines home for further exploration.The consensus was that all of these wines were of interest and high quality.



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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Please pass this on to any friends who are wine enthusiasts!


            - Peter Hemenway


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