Five Croatian wineries get high marks from Wine Enthusiast
July 6, 2022 – Today, the Croatian Wine Alliance, a group of global teams promoting Croatian wines, reports that Wine Enthusiast, one of America’s top wine publications with international ratings, has awarded five Croatian wineries and 12 wines with scores above 90 points. showcasing the consistent quality of Croatian winemaking. The top three include the highest-ever 97 points for Saints Hills 2016 Ernest Tolj Plavac Mali Dingač, 95 for Saints Hills 2017 St. Lucia Plavac Mali, and 95 points for Volarević 2018 Platinum Plavac Mali.
“Everyone within the Croatian Wine Alliance is delighted that Croatian winemakers are being rewarded for the quality of native varieties, and we encourage wineries to continue submitting their wines to major global rankings and competitions,” said Mirena Bagur. , head of the Croatian Wine Alliance. , and founder of Croatian Premium Wine Imports, Inc., importer and online retailer with over 70 Croatian wines. “Per Wine Enthusiast rules, all wines must be available for purchase in the United States and they ship to most states.”
“We are honored to have our wines recognized by this globally impactful magazine,” said Ernest Tolj, owner of Saints Hills Winery, Croatia. “A few years ago, it was unthinkable for Croatian wines to score more than 91 or 92 points, because the understanding of our native varieties was limited. With persistent work on marketing, promotions and tastings specifically of Plavac Mali which deserves worldwide attention, our St. Roko and Dingač St. Lucia wines started to get 93, 94 and 95 points, which was a sign that things change. Now, with 97 pts for Ernest Tolj Plavac Mali Dingač 2016, the bar is raised. The sky is the limit, and that motivates us even more.
The five wineries rated with over 90 points by Wine Enthusiast in the August/September issue of the Buyer’s Guide are:
- Saints Hills: various names
- Dingač: 97 to 2016 Ernest Tolj Plavac Mali Dingač; 95 to 2017 Saint Lucia Plavac Mali; 93 to 2017 Black Plavac Mali
- Istria: 94 to 2020 Le Numeral Chardonnay; 93 to 2021 Mala Nevina (Malvasia and Chardonnay)
- Volarević Winery, Komarna Appellation: 95 to 2018 Platinum Plavac Mali; 94 to 2016 Gold Edition Plavac Mali; 91 for 2015 Plavac Mali
- Terra Madre Winery, Komarna Appellation: 91 to 2016 Plavac Mali Premium; 91 to 2016 Komarna 7 Plavac Mali; 90 to 2016 Plavac Mali Barrel
- Fakin Wines, Istria: 90 for La Prima Malvasia Istriana 2018
The Plavac Mali variety is grown in the southernmost wine region of Croatia, Dalmatia. Its name means “little blue”, in reference to its appearance, small dark blue berries. As a late-harvest grape growing in harsh conditions, it involves a complicated winemaking process, which is why winemakers have a saying that they have to “tame it”.
“We have conducted three years of scientific research on the influence of harvest date and maceration time on the polyphenolic and sensory characteristics of Plavac Mali, and our 2018 Platinum Plavac Mali is the first commercial vintage produced on the basis of research,” said Josip Volarević, M. Sc. Agriculture, owner and winemaker of Volarević Winery. “I am proud to have obtained 95 points for a young vintage of Plavac Mali, which spent only eight months in oak barrels. The rest of the aging will be done in bottle, so I can only look forward to seeing what the future holds. We have already used the first findings of this methodology during the production of the previous Gold Edition vintage, and this is consistent with obtaining 94 points for this wine, also from the Komarna appellation.
Photo of Croatian Premium Wine: Josip Volarevic, M. Sc. Agriculture, Volarevic Winery with research samples from Plavac Mali.
About Plavac Mali – Croatian Red Native Variety
UC Davis and the University of Zagreb conducted a DNA study of the variety to find that Plavac Mali (vitis vinifera) is a descendant of Zinfandel (aka Tribidrag or Crljenak Kaštelanski) created by a natural hybrid with another native variety, Dobricic. Plavac Mali produces several styles of wine, from medium-bodied, easy-drinking wines, to elegant, robust wines. The aromas of Plavac Mali are mainly dark berries and Mediterranean herbs with expressive tannins and a mineral mouthfeel.
The annual production of Plavac Mali is more than five million bottles per year, or 7.5% of the total Croatian wine production, according to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, and due to its distinct taste and ability to well aging is the most likely red wine. purchased and exported by the wine industry and consumers.
About Wine Enthusiast Companies
Wine Enthusiast magazine is an award-winning print publication and online resource that features wine and food trends, enotravel, and provides over 25,000 ratings and reviews annually. Content ranges from rapidly and constantly changing beverage industry news, to expert analysis and feature stories. Details on all reviews can be found here Wine Enthusiast Companies is comprised of Wine Enthusiast Media and Wine Enthusiast Commerce and is building the Wine Enthusiast Showroom, Education and Tasting Center (or Wine Enthusiast SET Center) at headquarters in New York, building value of lifelong learning and serves as a hub for the long-standing practice of the blind wine tasting business for all ratings.
About the Croatian Wine Alliance – a public-private collaboration
Led by Croatian Premium Wine Imports, Inc., an online store shipping more than 70 native Croatian wines to the United States, the Alliance raises awareness of premium Croatian wines and supports the work of Wines of Croatia within the Chamber of Croatian trade; The Croatian National Tourist Board. The participants are importers and distributors of Croatian wines in the USA, Canada, Australia and Europe, as well as Croatian wineries.
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