We do not often see wines from Croatia at liquor board stores but here is a very tasty white at a good price. Grasevina is the Slovenian name for the Welschriesling grape. Medium straw in colour, it offers a lightly floral grapefruit nose with a touch of spice. It is medium-bodied, dry, with minerally, ripe apple and grapefruit flavours and an enticing note of bitterness on the finish. Makes an ideal aperitif wine.
From the Dalmatian coast, this is a blend of local grape Plavac Mali, along with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The addition of international grapes is the winery's attempt to reach a broader audience, though I, amongst many I'm sure, would be keener to try Plavac Mali, a cross between Crljenak Kaštelanski (ancestral Zinfandel) and Dobričić, solo. Oh well, perhaps another day. This is dusty plum, cassis and branch, dark mulberry and dried cherry. Tannins are rustic though the palate remains supple and friendly at 13%. Stina Winery opened on Brac Island in 2009 when Jako Vino rented a building from the Agricultural Cooperative of Bol. Wine had been made in the building, “The First Dalmatian Wine Cooperative,” since 1901.
Ever had Croatian wine before? Then chances are you haven't tried the grapes Pošip and Vugava either, the main varieties in this Dalmatian coast blend (alongside 10% Chardonnay). Stein is one of Croatia's top wineries, and based on the island of Brač. Young vines on limestone-led soils were aged 6 months in stainless, and display creamy pear, ripe cantaloupe, lemon and green fig in a moderate 12% frame. A plump, gently honeyed cushion on the palate supports, while frisky acidity lifts. This is a natural with scallops or succulent spot prawns.
Graševina is what the Croatians call Welschriesling which — just to confuse you — has nothing to do with Wales; the grape is also known as Riesling Italico. The wine is bright straw in colour with a greenish tint. It has a grassy, minerally nose of grapefruit and comes on rather like a well-balanced, cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc.
A blend of indigenous Pošip and Vugava varieties together with 10% Chardonnay, this aromatic white offers floral and lightly perfumed yellow fruit with mild apricot flavours and distinctive stony mineral. Different but charming wine, well worth a try.
This is the essence of luscious green fruit, showing aromatic, deeply flavoured and concentrated green plum in a limpid, smooth-bodied package. Supported by distinctive mineral, unique to the local terroir, it finishes with refreshing but not overbearing acidity.