NB: it's not that we don't have a photo of the bottle. As you can see here, this really is how the producer label their bottles!
The 2017 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their July 2019 article on Slovenia and Croatia (see blue link below).
The beautiful Croatian island of Brač is famous for its white stone, which is known locally as Stina and was the inspiration behind the name of this stunning collection of Jako Vino wines. The Stina project was founded in 2009 when Jako Andabak invested in a cellar along the waterfront in Bol. After much renovation, he designed a contemporary cellar perfect for production and tastings. Simultaneous investment was made in the vineyards, which are planted with local varieties such as Pošip and Vugava. Although grape vines have been cultivated on the island for centuries - the vineyard at Stipančić dates back to the 15th century, most needed either replanting or restoring to return them to their former glory. Winemaker Rikard Petric showcases these glorious indigenous varieties in a collection of fruit focused wines, full of Croatian charm.
The vineyard is cooled by sea breezes and the warm sunny days are often windy, with cooler nights. The diurnal temperature differences promote a long ripening period, encouraging concentrated flavours and varietal characteristic in the grapes, while preserving balancing acidity. The vines are dry-farmed in old vineyards with a rocky, limestone soil. The vines are meticulously managed; pruning is four to six spurs per vine, with an average of six to eight buds in order to keep the yields low. The grapes are manually harvested.
The grapes were cooled prior to vinification and protected from oxygenation throughout. Two thirds of the grapes were gently pressed; the remaining third was left to macerate on the skins for six hours. 80% of the fermentation took place with selected yeasts in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures; 20% took place in wooden vats, imparting subtle oak complexity to the wine. The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks for six months.
A superb example of Dalmatia’s renowned indigenous white variety, Pošip. Intense citrus, passion fruit and peach flavours are lifted by a refreshing minerality, creating an exotic, elegant style with a textured palate and a persistent finish. Intriguingly packaged with an understated label.
ABV = 13.0%.
English-born Jo Ahearne MW has been making wine on the Dalmatian island of Hvar in Croatia since 2014. In 1998, she completed her oenology degree in Australia where she worked a vintage at Charles Melton in the Barossa. After some years spent consulting across Australia and Europe, Jo decided to make her own wine in Croatia in 2014. She saw huge potential in Hvar’s top vineyard sites and moved there fulltime in 2016. Jo describes the island as one of the most beautiful places on earth, with a wealth of old vines, indigenous varieties and fantastic soils. Croatia has 130 indigenous grape varieties and Hvar itself has a number of varieties which only grow on the island. Jo shines a light on Hvar’s potential by using these local grape varieties and employing lowintervention winemaking. The fruit is sourced from local growers, with a focus on varieties unique to Hvar.
Wild Skins is a blend of three varieties found on the island of Hvar - Kuc, Bogdanuša and Pošip. The Bogdanuša and Kuc vineyards are situated on the cooler northern side of the island on the Unesco protected Ager plain. Whilst the Pošip vines are situated on the southern side of the island just outside the town of Hvar. The soils are predominantly red and the vines are north facing on shallow slopes. They are all trained in the double Guyot method.
The 2017 vintage saw favourable weather conditions and temperatures, which were within the seasonable norm. There was a little rain during the middle of September just before the fruit was ready to be harvested, but due to good drainage this did not cause any damage to the fruit.
Each variety was fermented using the wild yeasts found naturally occurring on the vines. The time the must was in contact with the skin varied from 10 to 340 days. Each parcel underwent natural malolatic fermentation and a small portion was kept on its lees for 21 months to add a toasty autolysis character to the wine. Each ferment was cooled if temperatures rose above 30°C to avoid any overt volatile acidity. All the varieties were fermented separately and kept sur lie for eight months with regular bâtonnage to build texture.
40% Bogdanuša, 40% Kuc, 20% Pošip.
The Wild Skins has a lovely pale golden hue with aromas of wild sage, fennel and rosemary. On the palate, there are hints of honey quince alongside pear and green fruit with fresh acidity and a hint of the minerality. Underlying texture also supports the crunchy phenolic character.
ABV = 12.0%.
The 2017 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 feature, Weekday Wines (see blue link below).
The Kozlović family have been making wine in the Istrian region of Croatia since 1904. The region borders Friuli and the wines, food and people have a real connection with their Italian neighbours. The winery is run by Gianfranco and Antonella Kozlović and they currently cultivate 25 hectares of vineyard. Gianfranco is a perfectionist and he is constantly striving to improve his wine. He takes a modern approach to winemaking and produces seriously good wines.
The vineyard is located in Santa Lucia in Western Istria at altitudes of between 200 to 240 metres above sea level. The age of the vines varies from nine to 54 years, but all are planted with a south to south-westerly orientation to maximise their exposure to the sun. The soils are made up of flysch, limestone and clay.
The grapes were manually harvested and carefully selected by hand. The berries were then cold macerated for 24 hours in stainless steel, extracting the aromas and flavours from the Malvazija berries. The grapes were then pressed and the must was fermented in stainless steel, preserving the freshness and the integrity of the primary aromas, followed by maturation for a minimum of seven months in stainless steel prior to bottling.
100% Malvazija Istriana.
A crisp, zesty, mineral rich wine with a complex nose of lemon, apple with apricot, peach, pineapple and delicate hints of spice. Dry and opulent on the palate with the fruit characters from the nose echoed on the palate, combined with a mineral complexity. The finish has a touch of characteristic saltiness and spice making it very food-friendly. A versatile wine, this makes the perfect pairing with risottos, fresh scallops, delicate white fish, poultry dishes served in a creamy sauce and grilled vegetables.
ABV = 13.0%.
Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their July 2019 article on Slovenia and Croatia (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.”
Vineyards are located at 250-300 metres above sea level and the soil composition is pseudogley on flysch. The area is characterised by a Mediterranean climate, with mild and rainy winters followed by dry, hot summers. It is Matošević’s goal to slowly cut off the use of any chemicals, by using minimal pesticides and no herbicides. Instead, mechanical cultivation inside the rows is applied as well as mulching between the rows.
2015 was a good vintage in Istria. Overall, the year was sunny with well distributed rainfall throughout to ensure the soil moisture content was sufficient to keep the vines healthy in the hot weather. Favourable conditions through the growing cycle lead to strong canopy growth.
The grapes are manually sorted before crushing and destemming. The grapes are fermented on the skin for several days, followed by ageing on the lees in French oak and acacia barrels for 30 months.
100% Malvasia Istriana.
The wine is a straw yellow colour. The nose is floral and fruity, with spicy aromas. On the palate, this wine is dry with balancing acidity and a rich body. Acacia flowers and acacia honey flavours are complemented by clean minerality.
ABV = 13.0%.