Over a summer, two travelers drink their way through the wines of Mediterranean Europe
To distinguish themselves from their very close neighbor, the Dingač winery, Matuško has been putting two donkeys on their label to make them distinct from the one donkey that Dingač uses. The differences aren’t label-deep though, as Matuško is a much smaller winery, producing 500,000 bottles a year that are sourced mainly from their own vines that are nine hectares in size.
Their winery is very friendly and set up to receive tour groups who can get a tasting of all 11 wines that they produce. Additionally, there is a downstairs tasting room with old farming implements and salutes to the donkeys that are no longer needed to carry the grapes over the mountain from the Dingač vineyards now that the Dingač Tunnel exists.
We were told by our host that while we may see donkeys in the region still, they are strictly for the purposes of tourists and then their lives are much easier now. We selected several wines for tasting from their lineup and started with the 2006 Rukatac. This is light white wine, which is also called Maraština in areas such as Konavle, further south from Pelješac. It is a bit different from the typical Maraština though in that it’s a bit less fruity. The nose is still light and there is a slight ‘waffle’ quality to it which is quite pleasing.
While Pošip is only grown on Korčula (where Matuško sources their grapes) we decided to see what they did with those grapes. In the 2004 that we tasted, we found the nose to be more delicate than standard Pošip with a crème dessert aspect to it. The body was a bit noisier than other Pošips though and didn’t have a clear makeup to it. The finish however, was quite smooth.
When starting on the reds, we tried the 2005 Plavac Mali. The wine is rather light at 12.2% alcohol, but the nose is sweet and very tasty. These characteristics carry through to the body and then the finish that despite being a very dry wine makes for a tasty, smooth finish.
Matuško, like Dingač winery, makes a Dingač wine. Theirs is quite different from the Dingač Winery one, which is a characteristic we commonly found in how different all these Dingač were based on just a slight change to their growing angle on the slope of the mountain. The 2004 vintage that we tried was very good and a very distinct wine. There were peach aromas and even a hint of tomato to the nose. Another aroma in there we couldn’t really place a name on other than to say ‘chutney’. But overall, everything, from the nose to the body to the finish was vastly different from other Plavac and other Dingač that we’d had. To describe this wine would really not do it justice, as every person will get a different flavor from it.
Overall, Matuško puts out a good selection of wines that are very representative of Potomje where they are located and of the Pelješac region in general.