Croatia has been producing wines as far back as the fifth century B.C. My first visit was in 2009. In preparation for this inaugural trip, I did a sweeping analysis of their current wine scene. In this assessment I discovered that Robert Parker had dubbed Croatia as the next up-and-coming wine country. Shortly thereafter, Parker published his first-ever review of Croatian wines. His team scored 3 Croatian wines in the 90’s. Below are the comments:
- From North Croatia, this Chardonnay (50%) sweetie is blended with local varieties from the Plesivica region. It has a fine minerally nose with limestone, orange-blossom, lychee and gooseberry. Good definition. Ripe on the entry with touches of butterscotch, vanilla pod and frangipane. Intriguing.
- This Malvasia from Istria has a light nose of honey, melted butter and nutmeg, succinct and well defined. A touch of dried honey on the entry, waxy texture, hints of lanolin and hazelnut, leading to weighty, dried fruit, nectarine and smoke tinged finish. Excellent.
- Another excellent wine from this Istrian producer, light and floral on the well-defined nose: green apple, white flowers, watermelon and a touch of apricot. The palate has a ripe entry, lovely balanced and poise with well-judged acidity on the finish. This is a sophisticated, very well-crafted Croatian wine from Bruno Trapan. One to watch!
Since that time, Croatian wines have won numerous international awards and have received accolades from other top wine writers such as Jancis Robinson of the U.K. In 2014 Wine-Knows is heading to Croatia where we’ll be visiting the crème de la crème producers. The trip is perfectly timed for the grape harvest as well as the white and black truffle season.