Croatian Winemakers - Franković Winery: From Good Potential to Great Wines

By , 12 Jan 2018, 18:11 PM Croatian Wine Producers
Croatian Winemakers - Franković Winery: From Good Potential to Great Wines Source: Franković vina

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Wines which only had potential just a year or two before had grown into truly excellent, great wines

The Buje area is richer with another wine name worthy of attention. It is the Franković Winery from Buje itself. Their vineyards are mostly on the Santa Lucia position, from Buje towards Brtonigla, previously made famous by the Kozlović winery with their same name labels from Malvazija and red Bordeaux varieties
We noticed the Franković name for the first time in 2013, when we were handed a light and flaunting, and very fine Sauvignon from 2012. Interested in the quality, we sought out other wines from their production, the Malvazija, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Teran and Momjan Muscat. The quality varied, but the red wines proved to be potent. Two years later we met their wines again and the quality was much more balanced, with their impressive Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 standing out, next to a solid Sauvignon and a fine basic Malvazija, Jutarnji List published on January 8, 2018.

That made us start to expect more from this then anonymous winery. Two years later at a repeat tasting of their entire arsenal we were left speechless. Wines which only had potential just a year or two before had grown into truly excellent, great wines. Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 awed us above all and took its place as the winery’s panache, but not far behind were the aged Malvazija and the basic Malvazija, while the sweet Muscat also shined. Impressed with the quality we published some reviews of their wines in February of 2017 and announced a solid future for the winery. Future came with express speed as already at competitions in April at Vinistra, and then London at DWWA, the same wines earned the Franković Winery excellent results. Our favourite Cabernet Sauvignon took gold and title of the best rated Cabernet Sauvignon at Vinistra. Muscat Luna d’Oro is the best rated Muscat of all varietal categories at Vinistra with a gold medal, but at DWWA it also took gold and a huge 95 points.

The aged Malvazija Korona 2015 won gold at Vinistra and a high 90 points at DWWA. Teran 2015 and a fresh Malvazija2016 were also gold at Vinistra. Confirmation of quality came from all around and various commissions, which means the Franković Winery is undoubtedly on the right track and should be focused in the coming period. The Istrian Buje region is already home to some of the most significant names of the wine present: Kozlović, Kabola, Clai, Degrassi, Cattunar, Coronica, Capo, Veralda and other important winemakers. The Franković Winery is on the path to join that mighty bunch and make the incredible concentration of quality even more dense and compact, and the Istrian wine scene even richer.

An impressive wine. It also impressed the rating commission at Vinistra where it took gold and title of the best rated Cabernet Sauvignon. Unlike the slightly more elegant and “Bordeauxish” previous 2013 harvest (they skipped 2014), this wine breathes concentration and ripeness and its style reminds of the top class of Australian Coonaware or prestigious Chilean cuvees. It is a class of finest red wines from Bordeaux varieties in Croatia, with dark cherry, black currant and a heap of Cabernet herbal aromas. Ripe, developed and rich taste with a full body and high alcohol. Twice, or even many times cheaper than competitors of the same quality. With mighty and abundant meals based on red meats in strong sauces.

A Malvazija which reminds of early Coronica products under the Gran Malvazija label, when the sweet spices of vanilla tones were equal to the Malvazija pit fruit. Full body, quite rich in the mouth and on the nose, very ripe in expression, almost massive, feels like it came from slightly overly ripe grapes like in late harvests. After fermentation it spent ten months in French oak barrels where it rounded up to the current form. Deep yellow-gold colour which points to some maceration and aging in wood. Scent is especially rich and combines flower, fruit, honey and vanilla tones. Excellent balance in the mouth as the richness and concentration are not overly pronounced, but well balanced with freshness and warmth. Long lasting, some savour at the end, with a potential of keeping another five years.

Sweet and scented desert wine with a full and strong body made through an Italian style of drying after harvest. Not on the vines in the vineyard where it is subjected to mould, but in an aired and ventilated room for three months. Such shrivelled grapes gave a wine of immensely high concentration, and the long fermentation and aging gave it fine oxidising tones which remind of caramel on the nose, and the aftertaste of walnuts. From other aromas there is a generous amount of raisins and equally present candied fruit, especially citruses. Produced in extremely small quantity of only several hundred 0.375 litre bottles. Especially sweet wine which can last for decades and as such a great gift. To be consumed on its own, in small desert wine glasses.

Translated from Jutarnji List.

Croatian Winemakers


There are more than 2,600 registered winemakers in Croatia, a phenomenal number for such a small country. The majority of these are not commercial, and produce for their own needs, but more than 500 winemakers are registered to sell their wines. The range of winemaker in Croatia is as diverse as the grape selection - from large coopertives to small family producers - and the personalities are egos provide many a colourful story.

No proper database of Croatian exists in the public domain sadly, and the various wine databases we have had access to have been inaccurate and incomplete. Above is our attempt to rectify that, an ongoing process, and if you see any inaccurate information or a winemaker missing, please contact us on [email protected] and we will rectify things.

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