Vinarija Čitluk Keeps Aging

Over a summer, two travelers drink their way through the wines of Mediterranean Europe

A few of Čitluk’s top quality wines

Čitluk is a smallish town in Herzegovina that has a surprising number of wineries in it. The biggest one is naturally the one that was the former collective for the area under Communism called, Vinarija Čitluk. While the name and the drab building aren’t the most exciting things in the world, they do produce a good number of wines of good quality. This is no small feat considering that they buy grapes from a massive area of 400 hectares in Herzegovina. They first fired up the barrels in 1960 and currently have 85 employees and a capacity of 11 million liters, although they produced a “mere” five million in 2006.

Tihomir Prusina led us through a tasting of a few of their wines, starting with the 2005 Blatina. It had good fruit in the nose, but was rather light overall. The body was very dry and had a bit of sharpness to it. This did clear out though in the finish as well as with a bit more air in it.

Main processing tanks

We also had the 2005 Blatina Barrique, which apparently spends a minimum of a year in the bottle before they sell it. This does seem to make a difference, as it is quite a good wine. There are a lot of deep berries and sweet aromas to the nose. A hint of mint, spice, as well as the oak of the barrels comes out in the nose as well. This then transfers in to a deep, meaty body that is great on the palate. There is buttery smoothness to the finish that lets out something of a blue cheese flavor and is very, very tasty.

While Vinarija Čitluk produces a great number of other wines and spirits, we only got to taste these two. They pointed to a good level of quality in the wines, which many of these former collectives don’t usually have and we appreciated that a good deal.