Leading and most professional wine festival in Croatia, Vinart Grand Tasting, as every year organised 4 intensive days of wine tasting workshops and two days of publicly open wine festival. We have attended good deal of workshop and a day of festival and immersed in lot of wine talks and here are some highlights of tasting:
Jakončić, Carolina select, 2006
Jakončič is known as one of leading Slovenian winemakers, lesser known in average wine circles compared to his colleagues, but definitely with steeper price tag high quality driven wines.
Vertical of Carolina brought us few different vintages of white blends as well as red (Merlot driven) Carolina Select. Unfortunately we didn’t taste Decanter awarded 2015. red one but we have to leave something for future tastings. Of all wines presented, absolute star was Carolina Select red 2006., big red in every way – leathery smoky, and above everything else ready to drink now wine. Unfortunately for everyone there are just few bottles left and you can contact winemaker to try to negotiate, but prepare to dive in quite deep into your pocket.
Agrolaguna, Malvazija Riserva Vižinada, 2011
Agrolaguna is Croatian Istra’s leading mass wine producer, part of bigger conglomerate of Croatian agro companies,and probably most successful of the bunch. All of this is mostly up to their lead enologist Milan Budinski, whose lineup of Vižinada we had chance to try all the way back to 2011. Through all vintages we could see development of winemaking technique but but one that shined most in the end was hist first one 2011. That vintage brought exceptional ripeness of the fruit and balance with nice mineral finish which helped to make it shine trough out all of these years.
Also this wine comes out of one of most picturesque vineyard positions in Croatia.
As biggest surprise of all wine workshops for me personally was Grabovac winery, even though i have tested all of their major wines some time ago, development which happened in this winery is hard not to notice. Starting with basic Kujunđuša 2019, indigenous grape variety of Imotski area, which in its latest rendition brings so much needed minerality with nice and subtle fruits and freshness.
What followed was even bigger surprise of Pošip Selekcija 2019, this massive Pošip brings so mu
ch needed freshness that often lacks in wines made on other positions of Dalmacija, and exceptionally ones coming from home island Korčula itself and all brought together with nice dose of minerality thanks to nice terroir.
Another surprise came out with another indigenous red grape variety Trnjak Riserva 2016, interpretation which stays true to what this sort can deliver a nice light and easy drinking wine but with all expression the fruit of the grape that is exceptionally balanced and ready to drink now without further waiting.