In December of 2017 we started selling Croatian wine on our online wine store Topochines Vino Wine Store. In a few short months we sold out our entire inventory of Croatian wines, most of them produced from indigenous grapes but a few stellar labels using international varietals. Sadly, we sold out our last couple of bottles right before the commencement of the World Cup and did not have any supply to help our Croatian-American friends celebrate Croatia’s improbable and inspiring run to the Finals. Today, our warehouse is bursting with Croatian wines – some of the favorites from our initial shipment, but we have expanded our offering to include a number of new varietals, styles (e.g.,we now have several sparkling wines), and some classic Croatian wine producers.
Below is a breakdown of our shipment, “by the numbers”:
- 24 – unique Croatian wines
- 17 – red wines
- 13 – different varietals
- 12 – unique wineries
- 12 – wines under $30
- 10 – different wines featuring Croatia’s “national” red grape, Plavac Mali.
- 5 – white wines
- 4 – new wineries not previously on ours site
- 4 – wines priced at $20 or under
- 2 – sparkling wines
- 2 – offerings of “Original Zin,” ie, the wine proven to be the original source of Zinfandel
- 1 – wine aged under the Adriatic sea
For those already familiar with Croatian wines, this portfolio will contain many known producers and some traditional wine styles and varietals. As noted above, we have 10 different Plavac Mali selections available from multiple vineyard locations and appellations. Croatian wine newbies would do well to start with any of these Plavac Mali wines as this varietal is as close to a “national” wine as you can get in Croatia.
For those that prefer white wine, we have several wines made from Croatia’s indigenous Posip grape, one of our favorite varietals because it produces such an aromatic, full-bodied wine.
While we have great appreciation for classic varietals and more well-known wineries, we have to admit to having a soft spot for unique blends, creative wine-making styles, and downright batshit crazy inventions. Our latest shipment covers this entire gamut; here are some highlights:
Griffin Sparkling Rosé – $29.00
Okay, you’re thinking, what’s so unique or creative about a sparkling Rosé wine? Well, that’s not the interesting part. What makes this wine stand out from the crowd is the underlying varietal: Portugiser. This varietal is very aromatic and has lots of fruit flavor on the palate. In many white wines, aroma and flavor are lost during the fermentation process and it can be difficult to enjoy the varietal’s characteristics. However, winemaker Krešimir Ivančić uses cryogenic maceration prior to fermentation to slow the process and preserve color, aroma and flavor. We haven’t had a sparkling Rosé like this one – it’s delicious!
Griffin Dark Side Sparkling – $33
This is by far the darkest sparkling wine we have ever seen, let alone consumed. When we first tried it in The Basement Wine Bar in Zagreb, Croatia, it was described as “Black Champagne.” Also made from the Portugiser grape, this sparkling wine is ridiculously aromatic and retains the flavor characteristics of the varietal almost as if it were a still wine. Cryogenic maceration prior to fermentation is also used with this sparking wine.
2017 Feravino “Dika” Graševina – $15
Chances are you’ve never had a wine from this obscure varietal before, even though it accounts for about a quarter of every wine bottles sold in Croatia. At $15 a bottle, what are you waiting for? If you knew how much it cost for us to transport this wine (a) by truck from the winery, (b) to a consolidator’s warehouse in Italy, (c) to be placed on a large container vessel, (d) to cross the ocean to New York City, (e) to get on another truck to cross the United States and (f) arrive in our Napa warehouse – well, you’d wonder how we only charge $15. Suffice it to say we’re just about giving this wine away. Feravino’s take on this varietal is crisp, refreshing, a nice blend of fruit and acidity. This is a very aromatic wine with lots of fruit and flower on the nose.
2015 Feravino “Miraz” Frankovka – $17
We expect that Frankovka will also be a new varietal to most people, although extreme wine geeks may know it by its other name, Blaufränkisch. This is a rich and powerful wine.
Okay, these wines are unique, right? Are you ready for “batshit crazy”? How about a wine that ages under the Adriatic sea and has to be deposited and collected by scuba divers?
2012 Edivo Plavac Mali “Navis” – $149
You probably have some questions about this wine. Like, what’s that on the bottle? It’s what you would expect to be on a bottle that has been under the sea aging for a couple of years – barnacles and other sea stuff. You might wonder if this wine tastes salty. Because this wine is not cheap, we only allowed ourselves to “steal” one bottle out of our inventory, but I swear I could smell and taste salinity when the bottle was opened. After decanting this sensation dissipated and the wine was truly exceptional. This is a bottle for real wine geeks who want to try something 100% unique.
We hope this gives you a sense for some of the really interesting wines we have for sale and whets your appetite to go to the website and try some. Readers of this post can purchase any of the Croatian wines at a 10% discount by entering “Wine10” at checkout. This discount code will apply to wines from any other country as well. Cheers!
August 20, 2018