Some varieties take to skin maceration like a duck to water. Malvasia Istriana is one of those, and there are a handful of producers in Croatia’s “Northern Tuscany” who are exploiting this quite delightfully -Giorgio Clai, Kabola and Benvenuti are the ones I’ve discovered so far.
Branko Čotar has a very straightforward answer for me when I ask when he started using extended skin macerations for his white wines: “I’ve macerated my wines for 40 years – it’s the tradition here (in the Slovenian Kras region)”.
This wine is one of relatively few standard bearers for the extended skin contact revival that’s not from Collio or Slovenian Brda. La Stoppa are based in Emilia Romagna, home to a rich, meaty cuisine and of course Lambrusco. Elena Pantaleoni makes this blend of Malvasia di Candia Aromatic, Ortugo and Trebbiano in honour of the estate’s founder Giancarlo Ageno.
Decanter magazine’s September 2014 issue features my regional profile of Istria, arguably Croatia’s finest wine region – an area deserving a lot more attention than it currently gets. The wines and producers recommended in that article were necessarily constrained by what was available on the UK retail market at the time of writing. Here’s a more […]
This week, my favourite mild-mannered winemaking genius Sandi Skerk was in London, at a stellar tasting organised by Italian specialist importer Passione Vino. I’d previously tasted many of the Skerk wines at the vineyard as barrel samples, so it was great to compare that with the final bottlings – in this case all from the 2009 vintage. The […]
Winemakers can be a tricksy bunch. There are the natural showmen and marketeers, keen to show you their “icon” wines and boast about how much new oak is used for the premium cuvees. Then there are the quiet taciturn types who, you suspect, would rather be out in the fields than talking to you. Somewhere […]
I’ve had some wonderful encounters with Croatian wines over the years – the muscular reds from Dalmatia, on a visit to Dubrovnik back in 2003, and more recently an excellent Istrian expression of Malvasia. In a few weeks time I’ll be visiting classic Dalmatian wine country again. Staying on that theme, here is a review […]
It’s not every day you get the opportunity to try a Croatian white wine, without troubling the budget airlines. There is no shortage of high quality wine to be found throughout Dalmatia and Istria, but close to nothing reaches the UK. Therefore, when I saw the Matošević Alba Barrique 2008 on sale at Cartwright Brothers […]