Tuesday, 28 December 2021

Wine Talks: Istrian Cossetto Malvasia Tasting Held in Zagreb

December 28, 2021 - A guided vertical and horizontal tasting of Istrian Cossetto Malvasia was held at the Zagreb cafe bar "Naša priča" by Flâneur.

That wonderful Malvasia always cheers up a man! Wine Talks were held with Tomislav Stiplošek in collaboration with "Cheers with You" by Nedeljka Krupljan. It was a guided vertical and horizontal tasting of Malvasia by the Istrian winery Cossetto, held at the Zagreb cafe bar "Naša priča" by Flâneur.

We taste wines of different ages, usually of the same variety, producer, or vineyard, by vertical wine tasting. With horizontal tastings. we taste other wines from the same region and vintages from different vineyards, locations, or technologies - explains wine expert Tomislav Stiplošek.


Slobodan Kadic

On this occasion, Malvasia Rustica Cossetto was tasted, harvested in 2018, 2013, 2011, and 2009. It is a wine whose grapes were first dried on the vine and then macerated for two days. After fermentation, the wine was aged in wooden barrels and then in a bottle. Along with Rustica, Malvasia Cossetto of regular vintages from the same years were tasted.

The Cossetto family winery is located in Kaštelir. The family currently has three oenologists: Alfredo and Melinda Cossetto and their daughter Denis, and are focused on producing premium wines for the discerning market and wine connoisseurs.

"Due to a large number of Malvasia wines on the Istrian market, we wanted our Malvasia to be slightly different from others, i.e., we wanted to produce wine from the indigenous variety that will recognize the typicality, and that this wine can withstand longer aging in the bottle," emphasizes Cossetto.

Did they succeed in that? Malvasia Rustica is proof.

"This tasting showed that aged Malvasia has a great aging potential," said Nedeljka Krupljan, adding: "Malvasia of regular vintages of the Cossetto winery is very interesting; only for the one from 2009, I would say that it is on the wane, while the younger ones are still drinkable, but I still recommend drinking them immediately, within a year or two."

When asked which wine, in her opinion, is the winner of the evening, she replied: "In my opinion, definitely Malvasia Rustica from 2009. It surprised me! On the nose, there is a spectrum of aromas of caramel, honey, vanilla; potential for another two to three years."

The audience's reaction to the tasting was, as expected, excellent. Of course, everyone found their favorite, but in general, we can say that most of them liked Malvasia Rustica from 2013.

There was no lack of accompanying snacks - this time, it was platters with cured meat products and cheeses, with bread from Zagreb's favorite craft bakery Bread Club. The basket included bread with toasted sunflower, flax, pumpkin seeds, pain de campagne (T850 flour and 5% rye flour), and focaccia with olive oil.


Slobodan Kadic

"At the 29th Wine Talks, we got a little out of our comfort zone. Again, we did not host a winemaker but focused on wines, this time on two Malvasias, and vertically monitored their aging. This is something we will do as often as possible in the future to get some results and find out if our wines have the potential for longer aging. Judging by Malvasia Rustica, they certainly have. I was personally impressed by Rustica from 2009 - a perfect wine which, unfortunately, is no more - these were the last bottles," concluded Tomislav Stiplošek.

Nedeljka Krupljan is a sommelier of wine and olive oil, a young, enthusiastic woman who lives and loves what she does. She has launched the project "Cheers With You By Nedeljka Krupljan," in which she wants to present Croatian wines of indigenous varieties through a journey of flavors that she is sure will enchant you. This unique experience provides tourists and other interested wine lovers to explore the wine offer, mainly in Istrian villas. Events are also held in Zagreb, in collaboration with G.E.T. Report and Flâneur catering.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Istrian Winemaker Ivan Damjanic Strengthening Position on Montenegrin Market

December the 7th, 2021 - The very well known Istrian winemaker Ivan Damjanic is set to strengthen his position on the neighbouring Montenegrin market.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, back in mid-November, Istrian winemaker Ivan Damjanic travelled south down to Montenegro as part of the project "Wine Envelope and Measures" which is the promotion of wine in third country markets to acquaint consumers there with their labels.

It's worth mentioning that promotion on the markets of third countries refers to wines with a protected designation of origin, geographical origin and wines with an indication of the grapevine variety produced in Croatia.

Istrian winemaker Ivan Damjanic held four eno-gastro presentations, which included the pairing of various dishes and his wines, and the list of restaurants that hosted Damjanic included Conte in Perast, Cattaro in Kotor and Podgorica's Restaurant 100 manira i Hemera.

The audience included renowned wine connoisseurs, sommeliers, caterers, hoteliers, bloggers, journalists and other wine lovers. While some of the wines, such as Damjanic's Malvazija, are already fairly well known to the Montenegrin audience, some labels of this popular Croatian winery have yet to find a place on that particular market.

The audience thus tasted labels such as Borgonja, Dura Istriana, Clemene blanca, Clemente and Suncerus, which will soon be on the shelves of Montenegrin wine shops. By the way, the winery or perhaps better to say the Damjanic family farm has existed since back in 2004, and their vineyards currently cover 10.5 hectares.

The last investment was in the reconstruction of the vineyard and equipping the winery, also as part of the wine envelope.

"Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, we exported about 25 percent of our production to Montenegro, the United States, Germany, Austria and Poland. This has slowed down a bit at the moment, but the Canadian market has opened up for us in the last two years.

We currently have eleven labels and the most sought after are Malvazija, Borgonja, Clemente and Clemente blanc. We cooperate with many people in the catering industry and hoteliers throughout Croatia, and guests from all over the world come to our tasting room. Most of them are from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Italy,'' Istrian winemaker Ivan Damjanic said.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Sasa Bernobic Employs German Production Skills at Istrian Winery

June the 8th, 2021 - Sasa Bernobic of the Istrian OH Wines winery does things a bit differently than one might expect, and he has put the ever-famed German production skills he was educated in into proper practice.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, although the wine world is often associated with terms such as family business and tradition, OH Wines winery has a completely different story, from the approach, the method of production, to the label and the name itself.

This is a winery in the municipality of Vizinada, in an ideal position between Mediterranean and continental Istria, and Sasa Bernobic produces wines according to the rules of the "German school".

“OH Wines was created back in 2015 on the modern idea of ​​a market accompanied by a different way of producing wine and olive oil, but also a different way of producting the very design itself. I wanted to stand out from a large group of markets by gathering practical and professional experiences from other parts of Europe and from across the rest of the world. So, I adapted my wine production to the German production model, my olive oil to that used by the Italians and the Spaniards, and the design to my own model where I simply reversed the mental circuit in people and did something unusual in design for the world of wine,'' Ssas Bernobic explained.

Bernobic claims that the "German school" of white wine production is the strongest in the world and has no competition, and is based on the accuracy of the data and extremely high "purity" in numbers when we talk about microbiology.

Clean numbers

"It was this precision and accuracy that led me to create a new style of wine that is different from the competition, and with that same new style of wine I stimulated the imaginations of some of the greatest wine lovers. Germany has extremely difficult conditions for wine production, and yet they manage to keep up with the world's largest wines easily.

They succeeded because by choosing the exact date of harvest and treatments in the cellars, they managed to create the perfect wine in a very harsh climate. As far as olive oil is concerned, we're still learning here, we're in constant contact with Italian and Spanish scientists who have introduced me to new methods and styles in production,'' revealed Sasa Bernobic.

Back during the 2020 harvest, they launched the first Croatian branded olive oil produced with a different technique. It's a process which involves technological processing and is called denocciolato, in which the olive is pitted to achieve a higher nutritional value and a fuller taste of the oil. Production is much more expensive, and the amount of the final product is much smaller. The whole process was done in Italy..

“When you’re first getting into some things, it gives you a huge market advantage and the market loves you. That was exactly my goal - to create something new and different. What made me especially happy was that this oil was sold out in advance, mostly going off to the kitchens of private customers, and partly to Michelin restaurants in Austria and Germany,'' stated Sasa Bernobic.

They currently have five hectares of vineyards and 1.5 hectares of olive groves, and offer five wine labels and a limited series of sparkling wine produced by 200 bottles a year of Teran. The winery also has a tasting room, and although about 80 percent of their sales are based on the German and Austrian markets, they're slowly moving towards a goal in which both local Croatian sales and foreign exports are half and half.

An imaginatively created name...

The OH Wines brand name is based on three segments - it boasts the name of the Ohnici microlocality where vineyards and olive groves are located, OH is a carboxyl group of ethanol in the logo of each wine that signifies a modern approach, and the third part refers to the reaction they want to provoke - that OH experience when one tries the taste of something of high quality.

"Our customers are mostly tourists who spend their summers in Istria, and lately we're also becoming more and more interesting to local wine lovers, mostly people from Zagreb. We work with a very small number of restaurants, but hopefully there will be more interest from them in the future. This year we applied for a wine envelope with which we want to completely modernise the cellar and speed up the process of harvesting and processing grapes, and the conversion of vineyards and the renewal of agricultural machinery is also in the works,'' concluded Sasa Bernobic.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Istrian Wines Win 24 Awards at London International Wine Challenge

December 3, 2019 - Istrian wines have ended the year on a high and once again picked up the most Croatian medals in the autumn wine judging round at the prestigious International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London. 

Moreover, Glas Istre writes that of the 40 awards received by Croatian wines in total, the only gold medal was won by the 2018 Graševina from Ilok Cellars. Still, in all other awards, Istrian wines lead over the rest of Croatia. Istrian winemakers thus received four silver medals (other Croatian wineries - 3), 11 bronze medals (other Croatian wineries - 5) and nine recommendations, respectively "commended" (other Croatian wineries - 7), totaling 24 awards for Istrian wines, and 16 for wines from all other Croatian regions.

The silver medals were thus awarded to Benvenuti teran Anno Domini 2016, Fakin malvasia La Prima 2017, Veralda malvasia Ambra 2017, and Degrassi cuvee blanc Terre bianche riserva 2015 (malvasia, sauvignon blanc and viognier). Bronze medals were awarded to Benvenuti malvasia Anno Domini 2017, Benvenuti malvasia 2018, Bertoša malvasia 2018, Giulio Ferenac malvasia 2018, Valenta sauvignon blanc 2018, Fakin teran 2018, Veralda malvasia Xtriana 2018, Vina Laguna Castello Festigia 2016 (merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah), Vina Laguna malvasia riserva Vizinada 2015, Vina Laguna malvasia riserva Vizinada 2016 and Veralda Xtrian Brut 2016 (Teran sparkling wine).

The ‘commended’ labels, which is a kind of consolation prize for those who came close to medals, were awarded to Agris Malvasia 2018, Deklić Familia 2015 (teran, merlot and cabernet sauvignon), Deklić Familia 2016 (teran, merlot and cabernet sauvignon) , Franković malvasia 2018, Lunika pinot sivi Makiništa 2018, Vina Laguna riserva LV 2015 (teran, merlot, cabernet sauvignon), Vina Laguna Castellblanc Festigia 2018. (malvasia, chardonnay, viognier), Vina Laguna cabernet sauvignon Festigia 2016, and Degrassi Terre bianche cuvee rouge riserva 2008 (merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon).

The International Wine Challenge, which was held from November 11 to 15, saw more than 200 of the world’s top wine experts from 23 countries sample and judge thousands of wines from around the world. The results were published on November 28, 2019. 

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page