Over a summer, two travelers drink their way through the wines of Mediterranean Europe
Barrels in the main cellar area
Hercegovina Produkt is the rather forceful sounding name for a winery that started out as a family-run operation. In 2002 the Barbarić family took their 150 year-old tradition of making wine from being a small affair to being one of the bigger wine producers in the Herzegovina region. While it comes across as a very large company when you come up to the building from the road, there are only seven people running it. One of them is enologist Mirela Gudelj who was nice enough to take some extra time to show us around and give us a taste of their two main wines: Blatina and Žilavka.
Blatina and Žilavka
We started with the 2006 Žilavka which was quite typical of the region. It had nice soft fruit on the nose and was very fresh. The body was similar and gave of a sense of fresh cut vegetables and fruits, pointing to it being good, paired with salads and other appetizers in a meal. There is also a touch of apricot and peach to the body, which leads in to something of a tannic finish on it.
The 2006 Blatina was a tasty bottle. There are these sweet stripes to the nose that get sandwiched between minty, dark aromas. The closest thing I could compare the nose to would be a Dingač, but obviously it is a much, much different wine. All of the sweetness to the nose drops off in the body and you get some good mineral tones to it. This then changes again in to something a bit more dry as it finished off, but then leads out in to a nice smoothness.
While these two wines are but a sample of the greater product line of Herzegovina Produkt, they stand out as good wines produced on a large scale.