with our wine correspondent Cormac Power, proprietor of The Fat Angel Restaurant, Cathedral Square, Waterford
CROATIA had arrived a long time ago in the wine world but it was mainly the Croatians that knew about it. Through the new generation of holiday makers Croatian wines are now a lot more familiar and loved by a lot more people. A recent present of wine has led me to investigate further. There are of course plenty of examples of Cabernet, Merlot, and Chardonnay but what of the native grapes that make discovering wine regions like Croatia so exciting.
One such grape and the one I am currently sampling is Plavac Mali. Mostly planted along the Croatian coast and
on many of the dotted islands, Plavac Mali mainly produces full bodied dense red wines that achieve good ripeness. It is compared to Zinfandel in style. The structure of winemaking in Croatia is mainly small, family owned wineries so travelling to Croatia is a must if you want to truly experience the full range of wines on offer. Soils along the coast are sandy, which the Plavac Mali loves and thrives on. Along the Dalmatian coast donkeys were used to carry the crates of grapes to the winery and are remembered today by being pictured on the wine labels. A nice nod to the past.
Wine of the Week:
Matusko Dingac Plavac Mali Croatia: Their Dingac Reserva exudes unusual floral notes and dense layers of ripe dark fruits, dried Mediterranean herbs and baking spices from the oak ageing. This interpretation of Plavac Mali is full bodied and rich yet balanced by a distinctive bitterness. Will age well.