Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their May 2019 "Spurrier's Fine Winer World" (see blue link below).
Described by Steven Spurrier as “Croatia’s best winemaker”, Ivica Matošević has established himself as a force of nature in the country’s burgeoning wine industry. This is due to his unbridled passion, which led him to divert his career from a PhD in agriculture, to winemaking. This passion is reflected both in his wines, which are exuberant, fresh and true to their nature, and in what he has achieved for the reputation of Croatian wine. Widely recognised as one of the leaders of the quality revolution amongst his peers, he was instrumental in setting up the Istrian appellation and establishing the wildly popular annual wine fair which takes place there to promote the wines. We believe that Ivica’s view on his personal journey is reflected in his wine: “[I am a] better man today, more honest and common, more natural and more savage, all due to changes in my life circumstances.”
The grapes are sourced from the Brdo vineyard in Central Istria. The vineyard is afforded exceptional conditions – a Mediterranean climate, close proximity to Lake Butoniga and lots of sun. The steep southern slopes, at altitudes of 260-300 metres above sea level, are elevated away from the threat of frost. The soil composition of the vineyards is pseudogley on flysch. It is Matošević’s goal to slowly cut off the use of any chemicals by using a minimum of pesticides and no herbicides. Instead, mechanical cultivation is applied, as well as mulching between the rows. Only organic fertiliser is used to restore the soil’s balance. Strict pruning maintains low yields.
The 2016 vintage saw favourable weather conditions and temperatures within the seasonable norm. There was a healthy amount of rainfall which helped replenish the deep water reserves and prevented hydric distress. The good weather allowed the grapes to mature and allowed the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon for the first time as the vineyard, which was planted in 2010, started to reach optimal maturity.The grapes were harvested between16th and 27th September.
Before processing, the grapes were manually sorted before destemming, crushing and fermentation on the skins for up to two weeks. This was followed by a period of 15 months of ageing in French oak barrels. The wine was then further blended and aged in stainless steel vats prior to bottle ageing.
This wine has been made using 60% Merlot, 30% Teran, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The wine has a lovely ruby complexion with hints of spice, black fruit and oak aromas on the nose. On the palate, it is dry with medium acidity and a full body. The flavours of red berries, sour cherries and chocolate bring this wine to life.