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Matošević, `Grimalda` Red 2018

The wine has a lovely ruby appearance with hints of spice, black fruit and oak aromas of chocolate and tobacco. On the palate, it is dry with medium acidity and a full body. The flavours of black berries and sour cherries, matched with sweet ripe tannins linger on the long, elegant finish.

Origin:

Istria, Croatia

Grape:

60% Merlot , 30% Teran, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

ABV:

13%

Producer Profile

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.”

Grape

Teran is a red grape and wine variety, in Croatia mostly found in western Istria. It is a traditional variety that has been cultivated in the area for centuries, and still remains the most common red grape variety in Istria. It requires a lot of sun (especially in the late summer, because it’s picked unusually late), not a lot of water and good timing when the grapes are fully ripe. If those conditions are met, what you get is a ruby-red, almost purple wine of a typical, fruity aroma that is easy to recognize, and has hints of berries and pepper, unusually high acidity and high tannins and not too high alcohol content: 12 – 13%.

Region

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 predominantly limestone, marlstone and sandstone.

Viticulture

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.

Vinification

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.

Food matching ideas:

Roasted vegetables, meat stew, charcuterie, braised ribs

Try it with:

Chomelk (Balkan Beef Stew)