Top 10 Wines @ The Judgement of Mostar 2017

What an inspiration one gets after being invited to The Judgement of Mostar 2017, led by sommelier Siniša Lasan and director of sales at Nuić, Ivan Planinić. The organizers, of course, applied a playful tone for the name of the event (in reference to the famous Judgement of Paris ’76), but the wines were surely no laughing matter. We tried over 70 samples from all over the world, but the main focus was on BH wines and, if I may say, without any bullshit sugar-coating, we have witnessed colossal progress of Balkan wines in the last 10 years. Bosnia & Herzegovina, even though small and without big viticultural diversity (microclimates, carefully chosen positions, experimentation with vine training…), is undeniably filled with hidden gems. You will buy top-quality wines at 20-30 EUROS, bring them to your friends’ blind tasting and shout out THIS HAS TO BE SECOND GROWTH BORDEAUX/RIOJA GRAN RESERVA/TOSCANA IGT, only to get slapped in the face (metaphorically, or literally by one of your mates for jumping to conclusions so quickly) by an amazing aged Blatina or an opulent Trnjak or even a blend of those two. Continue reading “Top 10 Wines @ The Judgement of Mostar 2017”

Your Istrian Go-To Winemaker: Trapan Wine Station

Call him the bad-boy of winemaking, the Istrian RocknRolla or the young zealot of Teran. But whatever the name tag is, one cannot dispute the fact that Bruno Trapan is definitely a game changer freshening up the scene with his avant-garde approach and thrilling personality. You may be shocked by his bluntness or click with him immediately, but one thing is certain – you will not leave his winery indifferent. Continue reading “Your Istrian Go-To Winemaker: Trapan Wine Station”

Istria Is Launching Wine to the Moon and It’s Going To Be Epic

Biodynamic production just entered a whole new dimension. Well, sort of. By the end of 2017, Istrian producers of the indigenous Teran should launch their wine(s) to the Moon. The offer for this seemingly insane fantasy came from Google Lunar XPRIZE, a competition worth 30 million dollars. Team Synergy Moon, one of the five finalists, will launch a rocket that Google will fund to travel 500 meters and transmit high resolution video, images and data back to Earth . The team’s rover created just enough room for a bottle of Istrian Teran to make history in outer space. Continue reading “Istria Is Launching Wine to the Moon and It’s Going To Be Epic”

Bucketlist: Wine Regions of Former Yugoslavia

You are sitting in a wine bar with a couple of friends, thinking of what new wine to try and one of them suggests a bottle of Prokupac. Proku what? Most wine drinkers have never heard of this popular Serbian grape variety nor of Vranac, Blatina, Rebula, Teran, etc. for that matter. Even though relatively small, all ex-Yu grape-growing regions (all in all, six of them) have a unique ability to spark up your wanderlust and put you on the first plane to the south-eastern part of Europe. Continue reading “Bucketlist: Wine Regions of Former Yugoslavia”

Wunderkind of Pelješac: Boutique Winery Vicelić

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of these first-winery-epic-greeting moments. Vicelić is a surname to engrave into this category without doubt. Honestly, I haven’t read or heard a lot about this guy up until my visit, but I must admit, eating tuna steak in a vineyard 200 metres above the Adriatic Sea is all the PR I need. A boutique winery humbly producing 20.000 bottles a year, Vicelić is the new kid on the block who you introduce to your friends, tell them you know your stuff, let him show his skills and BOOM, you have a reputation. Definitely a better love story than Twilight.

Mateo and his wife Lucija, together with their 3.5 hectares of vines, are the definition of blue-chip hosts. Along a rocky-limestone path, which is the main culprit for the greatness of Plavac Mali, we experienced a real rally ride to their open air tavern. For six hours we talked, laughed, ate and admired the magic of Pelješac, especially the pureness of the Adriatic Sea near midnight, when all goes numb, giving way for darkness to intoxicate every single pore in the body. You feel no burden, no racing thoughts. Just pure bliss cleansing the spirit. Continue reading “Wunderkind of Pelješac: Boutique Winery Vicelić”

A Paradisal Peninsula: Pelješac, Croatia

If Pelješac is not a pure example of a terroir-driven region, I don’t know what is. A peninsula located in southern Dalmatia, this area fascinates with vineyards everywhere you turn, from Orebić in the northwest all the way down to Ston. Even though the winemakers here have potential to grow many different world-famous grapes such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, etc., they find little sense in that because of the double I Plavac Mali – iconic and indigenous. There are some plantings of Rukatac, Pošip and Crljenjak, but these are either very limited in quantity or are reserved for other sub-regions such as Korčula and Komarna where winemakers are much more dedicated to exclusively these varieties.

Iconic micro-locations, Postup and Dingač, give birth to colossal age-worthy red wines made from Plavac Mali. These wines are deep ruby red, high in alcohol with structured tannins and aromas of red and black fruit with subtle hints of earth and Mediterranean herbs. If aged in oak (happens most of the time), they will be reminiscent of baking spices, black olives, cigar box, dried fig and leather. Everything you’re looking for is in the batch – New World style, fresh, rustic and experimental. Continue reading “A Paradisal Peninsula: Pelješac, Croatia”

Filling in the Blancs: Exotic Wine Travel

You know how most pilot episodes, books or articles are consisted of the author being crazily hyped up, having basically no idea what’s going on, but hoping that his “new thing“ will not fail miserably? Well folks, the first Filling in the Blancs had many candidates lined up, but I’d say this one initially struck the lotto. Matt and Charine are two young wine lovers who have decided to flip over the table and head on a quest of turning their passion for THE drink into a career and call it Exotic Wine Travel. It’s been a bumpy road through lesser-known regions, but step by step, winery after winery, they’re getting closer to their goal. So far, they’ve published two books – Travel Learn Earn: Let the World Be Your Guide to Freedom, as well as Uncorking the Caucasus: Wine from Turkey, Armenia, and Georgia and have appeared on JancisRobinson.com, Wine Folly, Future Travel and Wine Tourist Magazine. Continue reading “Filling in the Blancs: Exotic Wine Travel”

Wine Blown: Château Cantin 2010

Food poisoning is no laughing matter, I’ll tell you that. This week was a bumpy road to an experience any wine lover (or should I say hedonist) hates, dreads, despises – something that restricts him from enjoying his desires to the fullest. For the sake of your enjoyment, I won’t get into details, but I’ll just thank da laaaawd for making this week’s Wine Blown possible in the last moment. And what a better moment than the weekend, so let’s jump right in!

Château Cantin 2010, a Right Bank Bordeaux, is showing a very nice colour here – humongously deep garnet with a chunk of sediment left in the bottle, so, automatically, here’s one more reason to finally invest in that decanter you have been putting off since last Christmas. I like to say that the nose is typical Bordeaux, i.e. that chances are very, very small to get this region wrong on a blind tasting. It’s elegant, smooth, a bit restrained, but leaving out the bullshit completely. Continue reading “Wine Blown: Château Cantin 2010”

10 Great New Zealand Wines to Enjoy in 2017

New Zealand will always be that dream country everybody talks about in the pub after the fifth beer upon realising in what kind of shithole they live in. It stands by its lonesome self in the Pacific Ocean and stretches for 1,600 km from sub-tropical Northland to the world’s most southerly grape growing region Central Otago. It’s a country that’s not too cold and not too hot and it’s famous for iconic wines, LOTR scenery and nice job opportunities. Do you really need anything else?

On the 16th of January, just one day before Liberty Wines’ APT 2017, I attended the exciting Great New Zealand Wine Tasting held at Lindley Hall, London. If the wine flowed for one more day, I swear I’d put “attended a wine marathon” in my CV. At this event, 90+ wineries came to present their best selections, mainly led by Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Pinot Noir, but with some special gems as well (holla to the fans of Viognier & Malbec). Continue reading “10 Great New Zealand Wines to Enjoy in 2017”

Top 10 Wines @ Liberty Wines Annual Portfolio Tasting 2017

Getting a chance to attend the Annual Portfolio Tasting of Liberty Wines in London was a professional beauty in my agenda. The company was founded in 1997 by David Gleave MW as a start-up with just four people working as staff. Today, it employs 130 individuals and has an annual turnover of £45 million. With awards annually pouring in from IWC, Decanter and SWA (On-Trade Supplier of the Year, Merchant of the Year, Wine Educator of the Year…), I honestly don’t see the need to bore you further with data and statistics of what Liberty Wines is in the international market today.

The APT 2017 was held on the 17th of January in the fascinating Kia Oval cricket ground in South London. This is the chief event of the company and gives wine lovers a chance to taste over 600 wines, spirits, beers, ciders and olive oils from over 150 representatives. To be frank, I only tasted around 250 samples. I started off slow and focused on my writing, but after a few hours I figured out how time is soaring by without me trying anything French or Italian. Luckily, eight hours presented a perfect time period to keep me sane and awake (though a lil’ dehydrated), so I cherry-picked the most sophisticated examples in the last 60 minutes. Being a WSET Diploma student, I really can’t complain about the producers selected for this event, because everything I wanted to cover and rehearse for the upcoming Unit 3 exam was there – Barolo, Tuscany, Australia, Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, South Africa, Rioja… Continue reading “Top 10 Wines @ Liberty Wines Annual Portfolio Tasting 2017”

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