Hvar Island – Home of Zlatans Grand Cru

Seaside Tasting Room of the Zlatan Plenkovic Estate on Hvar. (Photo courtesy Leith Steel) A vineyard assistant named Nevin drives us the four hours south from Krk to Split in the rain, where we slog to the catamaran that will take us to Jelsa, on the north side of Hvar island, in 90 minutes. Jelsa is a gorgeous town with a riviera look—there’s obviously plenty of money here, at least in tourist season. We’re on Hvar to visit the single winery in all of Croatia, called Zlatan Otok, that produces a Grand Cru wine. Zlatan Plenkovic, the owner, is not available to us, but his son Marin (who is finishing his studies to take up a position at the winery) takes good care of us for the twenty-odd hours we’re here. He drives us from Jelsa over the top of the island to the south side, where the winery is, via a single-lane tunnel with rough rock walls carved through the mountaintop. Marin pauses about 100 meters into the tunnel and points to a room off to the side where stainless-steel tanks are visible through the doorway—they store some of their white wine here without need for refrigeration (because of … Continue reading Hvar Island – Home of Zlatans Grand Cru

Croatia is bursting on the Scene…

Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV tasting Zlatan Plavac. …says Gary Vaynerchuk of the Wine Library TV after tasting his first Zlatan Plavac Barrique. Gary continued all excited about this find: “This wine is sensational, downright great sensational.” Thanks for your kind words, Gary, you confirm what we and many of our customers already knew: There are excellent wines produced in Croatia today and Zlatan Plenkovic is one of the top producers in the country. For details on Gary’s excitement tune into the third part of the recent edition of the Wine Library TV, episode 553: Wine Library TV, episode 553. And if you like to encounter some really good Croatian Malvasia and Grasevina we recommend the wines made by Kozlovic and Enginji. They rock just like the Zlatan Plavac rocks. Cheers!

New Croatian Classics of Plenković Part II

Over a summer, two travelers drink their way through the wines of Mediterranean Europe Plenković’s wine bar on the Adriatic After an introduction to Zlatan Plenković’s winery in Part 1 we will now continue with tasting notes on some of his wines. ‘Regular’ Plavac But, what about the wines they have now? We tasted them and they are fantastic. We started with the 2006 Zavala, which is a strong white wine at 13% alcohol that we hadn’t tasted before. It has a light fruit to the nose and carries a tad bit of citrus to it. Despite being 40% Pošip, it has a body that is more like Maraština, which is a much smaller part of the blend. Like any good wine, it gets more complex with more air, but retains the citrus tones out through the smooth finish. We then moved to the Zlatan Plavac 2005 ‘regular’. This is the most basic version of their Plavac, although it is not the ‘table wine’ level and is still very much a ‘high quality’ wine as rated by Zagreb. When you first smell the nose, it almost has some dessert wine aromas to it and is dark and sweet. The body … Continue reading New Croatian Classics of Plenković Part II

New Croatian Classics of Plenković Part I

Over a summer, two travelers drink their way through the wines of Mediterranean Europe An hour and a half by ferry from Split, the capital of Dalmatia, lies Hvar island. Called Pharos by the Greeks that occupied the island since the 4th century BC, Hvar is the longest of all Croatian islands, a narrow strip of land stretching for 42 miles. In the last few years it has become a popular touristic destination and is now famous for its lavender (of which we didn’t actually see any), and its Plavac mali wines. Plenkovićs at work While not a household name in the United States, the wines of Zlatan Plenković have gotten extremely well known in wine circles and haven’t stopped receiving international awards and recognition. Based in the little village of Sveta Nedelja on the Southeastern coast of the island, Zlatan Plenković’s first release was just a few years ago in 1999 and he has only been producing since 1996. In that time, his wines have gotten to be in such high demand that they sell out of all their reds three months after bottling. Zlatan Plenković is very unfortunately not in the best of health these days (although that … Continue reading New Croatian Classics of Plenković Part I