Wine Talk

Snooth User: spikedc

Croatian Wine

Posted by spikedc, Sep 10, 2012.

My daughter recently came back from Croatia and brought me back a bottle of 'Tomic Plavac Mali Barrique 2007', I know nothing about Croatian wine but apparently the locals raved about it.

She and her party had a bottle over dinner at their villa one evening and although my daughter doesn't drink wine everyone else thought it was stunning.

She also thought Croatia was a beautiful country very rural and unspoilt and on her many walks she said there were grape vines growing everywhere even in the locals back gardens.

Don't know when I'll open it but I'm looking forward to trying it


Reply by GregT, Sep 10, 2012.

I should think we'll be seeing more of it in the future. That grape is an ancestor of Zinfandel but it doesn't have a lot of similarity that I can see, although maybe it's the few I've had that don't show it. But as Croatia comes out of its recent history, they should be making good wine - it's one of the ancient homes of wine and there's no reason they can excel.  Again, the dominance of the French is relatively recent in world history  - it's political stupidity that kept some of the central and eastern European countries down for so long. Let us know what you think of the wine.

Reply by EMark, Sep 10, 2012.

This is very exciting, Spike.  It is so interesting to hear about wines that are a bit off the very well beaten path that I normally trod.  I hope that after you do open it up and try it that you will come back to us with a report.



Reply by spikedc, Sep 10, 2012.

Hi Emark,  i am also excited to try this wine, I've heard good things about it, especially from my daughters dinner guests in Croatia. Even the cook and the housekeeper looking after their villa raved about it and Croatian wine in general. I only hope after this big build up it doesn't disappoint. Not sure when I'll open it but when I do you guys will be the first to hear my report.  

Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 10, 2012.

Indeed we will be seeing more Croatian wine--my wife picked one up at the wine shop on Sunday, but we didn't buy it.  And then my 9 year old asked what Zinfandel means and where it comes from.  We were drinking something with Ugni Blanc and Petit Manseng, and she knows what petit and blanc mean, but why she asked about Zin, I don't know.  Of course, Zin, its origin and its name, is one of the more convoluted and uncertain stories, right up there with its sometime blend-mate Petite Sirah. 

So I missed my prediction that Canary Island wines were going to be big.  Let's see if GregT is right.  We've had a few posts on Croatia and it has a good climate for wine. It's at the same latitude as Northern Italy, FWIW, and has marine influence as well.  Actually, according to the Wiki for Croatian wine, it's 2 climates. 

Reply by zufrieden, Sep 28, 2012.

I am surprised that I missed this thread.  I was recently in Hrvatska (Croatia) and though I did not have enough time to travel all the backroads, there is good potential in Slavonja and Dalmatia for white and red wine respectively. The country is going through a  tough spell currently - like wide swaths of the USA - but the people are tough and resilient, so expect good results if you are selective.

Plavic Mali is the workhorse red, but try Postup for best results from this variety and look to some of the islands off the Dalmatian coast for small producers. I love Croatia; it is a beautiful country and has the feel of primieval Europe in many locations.

For wines from Slavonja, try some of the Krauthaker inventory - even the Welschriesling is exceptional; supporting my conteniton that most grapes will bend to your wishes if you apply the necessary effort and skill.

Reply by GregT, Sep 28, 2012.

I'm in full agreement Zuf - as a friend once commented, "we've never had a BAD  Olazrizling." I think it's a fine grape that's disparaged in its home countries because of it's ubiquity, and unknown elsewhere. But almost any grape can make something decent, and most can produce something really good, if planted in the right places and given the proper treatment.

Spike - one other thing - Croatia may be the origin of Viognier as well.  That's not clear tho. So how's the wine already?

Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 29, 2012.

Great report, Zuf.  Now I have to add that to my list of Baroli from GdP and Brunelli from Eric Guido.  Oh, and sneak it all past the exchequer.  Which bodes better for Croatia than higher priced Italian wine.

Reply by spikedc, Sep 29, 2012.

Greg - Still in my rack at the moment , not sure when I'll get round to drinking it yet, soon as I do you guys will be the first to hear.

According to my daughter and friends they enjoyed a very good white made with the Zlahtina grape variety which they also had over dinner and went down very well, the wine was called Zlahtina Katunar ' lowish in alcohol, fresh fruity and very flowery' were some of the comments they made.


Reply by zufrieden, Sep 30, 2012.

Yes, I have to agree that Olazrizling (or Welschriesling) and other variants such as Laski Riesling (or Italian Riesling) all produce good wine under the right conditions with attention to detail in the vineyard and winery.  Even some French Hybrids can, and often do, produce quaffable tipples.  For early consumption and easy drinking over the campfire or barbeque, I can enjoy Marechal Foch or Chancellor and sometimes these grapes have risen above this day-to-day vin ordinaire distinction.

Unfortunately, we may never know what some grapes can do because there is no market force driving the winemaker to inject the necessary effort.

Reply by JonDerry, Oct 1, 2012.

Yeah, noticed Blue Danube also heavily imports Croatian wine (from 9 producers) in addition to Slovenia, Montenegro, Hungary, Austria, and Bosnia. Wonder what the deal is with Serbia, is the climate that much worse than the surrounding countries or is it more with the stability of the country, or industry?

Reply by Vinologue, Oct 3, 2012.

@GregT, Plavac Mali is not the ancestor of Zinfandel.  Plavac is a cross of Crljenak (Zinfandel) and Dobričić.  That would be why you don't see similarities.  That and where Plavac is grown has no resemblance to the prominent Californian regions where Zinfandel is grown.

Read up on our Dalmatian wine guide

Reply by spikedc, Dec 28, 2012.

Hi guys, hope you all had a good Christmas,

Finally opened the Plavac Mali..........

For me this had the WOW ! factor, it may not be the best wine i've tasted but it certainly hit the spot as did it with guests around the table.

Lightish in colour, very dry, first thing that strikes is how elegant it feels in the mouth, extreme ripe dark fruitiness, if a little tart but with quite a spicy kick. Apparently it's aged in a mixture of French, Slovanian and American Barriques which seemed to give it a pronounced smokey ash vanilla flavour counteracting that slight sourness.

Overall, we all agreed this was very nice wine, it just seemed to have that elegance about it even if it was a  little on the expensive side (around £30).

Must admit i've been pretty impressed with the Croatian Wines tasted lately !

Reply by amour, Dec 29, 2012.

Always lovely to see a Croatia wine thread (and a bottle too!).

Have any of you Croatia fans visited Grgich Winery with its superb wines?

I have enjoyed both Slovenia and Croatian wines.

VASIJA VASUDEVA, a Snooth poster, gave good Croatian wine suggestions in a previous OCENAUS CRNKO and DRAZNA COTAR

How about BABIC?  Is it very good?

Reply by Vinologue, Jan 2, 2013.

We've been to both the Grgich winery in Napa as well as the Grgić winery on the Pelješac Peninsula in Croatia.  The Napa winery has solid wines.  The one in Croatia is hit and miss.  Past vintages were apparently sold off in bulk, but the recent ones have been decent.  The don't however match the prices that they're asking for them.

We've had "a" Črnko from Slovenia.  Don't know if it's the same one you're referring to, but it was well, an acquired taste.  There are other Slovenian whites that we enjoy a great deal more such as those from Batič and Kabaj.

Haven't tasted the Babić family wines any time recently to pass judgment on them, unless of course you were referring to the grape varietal of the same name?

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