60% Merlot, 30 % Teran – a native dark-skinned variety – and 10 % Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes come from low-yielding vines grown on terraces, at 300 meters above sea level and on steep slopes (25% and 35%), in the Grimalda vineyards of central Istria. Chalky soil. The vineyards are in the process of being certified organic.
All three varieties are aged separately for 15 months in in Allier and Tronçais French oak barrels. The wine is then blended. Complex nose with notes of blackberry, black currant, plum, cinnamon and allspice. Just enough oak, with a lovely mineral core, a satiny texture, fresh and juicy fruit, plump acidity and a mineral lift that carries into the long finish. 13.4% alcohol.
About the Producer
Istrian wine growing sites are located in the northernmost part of the Mediterranean, and enjoy an ideal exposure to sunlight. Matošević winery is at the 45th parallel, just like some of the most renowned wine growing regions in the world.
Ivica Matošević (I-vitsa mah-TOSH-eh-vich) is considered one of the superstars of the Croatian wine world, and the leading light of Istrian winemaking today, producing high quality wines from indigenous varieties. He established his winery in 1996, starting from scratch, without a long standing family tradition. His motives were pure passion, curiosity and love of wine. After his formal education in Italy, his first attempts and successes with wine took place in the village of Kruncici, Istria. One of the first to experiment with aging Malvasia in acacia rather than oak, Matošević focuses mainly on Malvasia and Chardonnay, but his single red wine is also superb.
His grapes come from two vineyard locations, Buje in northwest Istria and Grimalda in central Istria. In Buje, Matošević buys grapes from three long-term suppliers who have worked under his direction since the early 1990's. Their 15 ha of vineyards provide high quality fruit, that make both fresh and age worthy white wines, particularly from Malvasia, sold under the label "Alba". In the other location, near the village of Grimalda, Matošević own 10 ha (that account for about 50% of the total production), from which he makes two "Grimalda" wines, a white and a red, both blends. Both locations have long been recognized as top-quality areas. The wines from Buje have won numerous awards. As for the vineyards in Grimalda, they may be young, but they show uniqueness and surprising complexity.
Farming practices: For the Alba wines: manuring, no herbicides, no insecticides and just necessary fungicides, mostly those allowed under organic practices. The Grimalda wines are from organic vineyards, in the process of being certified.