This past Wednesday in the Crystal Hall of the Westin Hotel in Zagreb the En Primeur 2018 festival took place. It is a presentation of Graševinas and other Croatian white wines from the last harvest, except Malvazijas. This year’s En Primeur saw the participation of almost all important large producers from Slavonia and Baranja, such as Belje, Badel, Feravino, Ilok Cellars and Orahovica, together with leading family winemakers such as Vlado Krauthaker and the best Slavonian boutique wineries Mihalj from Kutjevo and Antunović from Erdut. The Croatian Highlands were represented by the increasingly interesting winery Kopjar, while Stina from Brač attracted the biggest attention of Dalmatian wineries.
The last harvest was marked by extreme weather conditions. After hot summer months followed rains close to floods. Eastern Croatia, especially Baranja, was spared of such torrents, so it is logical that some of the most interesting wines came from the far east. Belje presented a superior Graševina full of strong tastes and firm structure, Mrs Antunović brought a herbal and elegant Graševina, and Ilok Cellars a standard pure and fresh Graševina. The one made by Krauthaker was among the best as usual, Feravino’s Miraz pleasantly surprised us, while the absolutely best impression was left by the late harvests of Branko Mihalj, not meant for a single year life, with plenty of lovely and hedonistic life ahead. In any case, it seems Slavonia and Baranja have had another solid harvest.
Due to an unusual combination of weather conditions, including a late spring frost on the islands, Dalmatia produced significantly less wine than in previous years. Stina thus filled seven thousand bottles of Vugava and around twenty thousand of Pošip. Stina’s Vugava, with plenty of freshness and crunchy texture as well as rich, lavish taste, impressed us the most, while Pošip remains one of the quality standards on the increasingly richer scene of the producer of the most popular Dalmatian white wine.
From other presented wines, we must comment the Daruvar Sauvignon, precise in aromas, with a firm, bitter structure and elegant fruit-herbal taste, which demanded oysters or sushi the moment we tasted it. It is interesting to notice how certain wines we tasted yesterday, which are not Sauvignons, quite obviously smelled of Sauvignons. A more complete picture of the reaches of last year’s harvest will be available after the Malvazija En Primeur, to be held on February 12 in Zagreb’s Esplanade Hotel.
Translated from Plava Kamenica.