A few weeks ago I tasted an wrote about my first Croatian wine, the Frano Milos Plavac http://acoupleofwines.blogspot.com/2012/11/2008-frano-milos-plavac.html I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of that wine and wondered if it was just one good wine, or if there was something to the relatively unknown wine regions of Croatia. Since then, I tried a few more Croatian reds from producers like Bibich and Dingac, and I'm here to say that Croatia wine is the real deal. The wines are unique and interesting with definite terroir, and there are some winemakers who know what they're doing. If you want to try some Croatian wine, like the Vinarija Dingac Postup that is today's subject, you can order them online at www.bluedanubewine.com
The 2008 Vinarija Dingac Postup is an almost brownish brick red in your glass. The nose brings very nice red berry fruit that is dominated by the distinct smell of fresh, homemade strawberry jam. Underneath the fruit, there is a really nice element of fresh herbs that is reminiscent of the garrigue that comes through in wines from the Rhone Valley. Smelling the rosemary and thyme made me want to go the garden and cut some fresh herbs to cook with. In your mouth, some really interesting things happen with this wine that is made from 100% Plavac Mali grapes. The red berry fruit from the nose still comes through, but it is much more of a background player. When first opened, the wine is almost overwhelmed by flavors of wet rocks. There is also a nice spicy element on the mid palate and then the stony tannins and decent acidity give the wine a subtle but rather long finish. Its also important to note that this wine changed quite a bit over the 90 minutes or so that we drank it. The gravelly element that was so strong when first opened, really calmed down after about an hour and was replaced with some more spice and subtle notes of sour cherry.
Overall, this was a really good and very interesting wine that retails in the mid $20s. Its very food friendly and versatile. It would be perfect with cured meats and cheese, or with slow cooked meats like braised short ribs. I also think its medium body and flavors would go well with pork. If you can find some, give a Croatian Plavac Mali a try. You won't be disappointed.