Top Croatian Wines in the USA: Indigenous Grapes Grow Sales

cliff rames

Cliff Rames, founder of Wines of Croatia and sommelier, writes about indigenous Croatian grapes making the most impact in the United States market for Total Croatia.

On January 21, 2016, I asked the top three American importers of Croatian wines to reveal which Croatian wines were best sellers in 2015 and provide clues about what new and exciting developments await in 2016. So grab a glass of your top Croatian wine and check out revelations below, listed alphabetically by producer, with tasting notes and added commentary by the importers about what made the wines successful in the U.S.

Here are the wines we import:

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Bibich R6 2012 (Red)

34% Babić; 33% Lasin; 33% Plavina

“This northern Dalmatia wine shows more smoke and Mediterranean herbs than heavy, overbearing fruit,” observed Eric Danch, Northern California Sales Manager at Blue Danube Wine Company.

“There’s immediate life and levity without compromising its unique character. It’s a wine that can be readily be devoured at a casual dinner party and yet capture the attention of wine professionals.”

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Miloš Plavac 2010 (Red)

100% Plavac Mali

“Plavac Mali has a much thicker skin than any of the three native grapes in the Bibich R6,” noted Danch. “The Miloš Plavac is a wine built to age. Grown in an impossibly terraced limestone amphitheater on the Pelješac peninsula along the Adriatic Sea, it is fermented and aged in Slavonian oak and is richly textured and mineral driven. We often refer to it as ‘Nebbiolo by the sea’for its age-ability, grip and acidity.”

Eric goes on to say this about what to look forward to from Croatia in 2016:

“In 2016 we are excited to offer the 2015 Toreta Pošip from Korčula, a bright, briny and aromatic white wine from a sunbaked island appellation—a beautiful expression of the terroir. We will also present the 2013 Šipun Sansigot from Krk island, produced from grapes planted in pure pink Karst limestone and kept cool by the bura wind. It is a pungent yet light red with low tannins, low alcohol, and truly alluring aromatics—a perfect seafood red! Finally, we are excited to introduce the 2014 Coronica Črno, which is a blend of 80% Teran, 10% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from Istria. Coronica’s Gran Teran reigns as a benchmark red for the region, and the Črno is great introduction to the ferrous flavors of the terra rosa (iron rich red soils) of Istria. Ripe and balanced, this is an ideal jumping off point to explore the vast diversity of Croatian Teran from other producers like Piquentum and Terzolo. What ties all of these wines together is a true sense of place, high quality-to-price ratio, passionate winemaking, great farming, and a focus on native grapes. Croatia is an exciting country to drink!”

Read the whole article here.