2006 “Dingač“ Plavac Mali, Grgić – Premium croatian red wine ?

by Oliver Bauer on 25 September 2010 · 3 comments

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All three, the variety (Plavac Mali), the vineyard (Dingač) and the producer (Grgić) are already very popular in Croatia and slowly also more and more foreign wine drinkers are realizing that there’s more than just France, Italy Spain or the new world. Of course I also couldn’t resist to buy during our stay in Croatia some samples of indigenous wines to have a voice in this chapter of wine-growing, too. A big surprise has been for me the fancy prices for croatian wines. Here I think the “tourist-factor” is having a big effect. But let’s have now a closer look to this particular one. Super-premium-price-level ! That’s an announcement ! The first impression of this wine has been a lighter, obvious tarnished, garnet red colour with a distinct brown hue. Also its depot showed lots of bigger, non-crystalline “pieces”. Ripe, Ladies and Gentlemen, a pretty ripe shape concerning the age and I started to be worried. But then we have been relieved again – at least for a little while- because the first impact which hitted the nose has been an incredible strong (almost artificial appearing) smell of black current and raspberries. Very intense and clean, like a liquor (Crème de Cassis”). Wow, what a fruit bomb! This guy offers a big fun factor to people who like something like this. Unfortunatelly this pleasure wasn’t ment to last too long because the wine aged in fast motion. After not even half an hour this extremly fruity nose dissappeared and made room for more mature scents like raisins, haws-marmalade and seabuckthorn. Added to that all those aromas have been prisoned in a very old wooden-cask with an (rusty) iron door. Almost like a Chateau Musar but there is a difference. Musar wines with this characteristics are at least 20 years older ! At the palate in the beginning very smooth and melting with a good pressure and a long aftertaste. If it would have remained in this way, we could have forget about the rather aged nose and the suffering colour. But the taste wanted to draw level with the nose and so its more and more drying out tannins in cooperation with a spiky acidity and a green sensation in the aftertaste spoiled the party. Not even the shortly flashing up sweetness has been able to improve something anymore. If old wines are rising up the last time against their doom, they are having a similar taste. But this wine hasn’t been old and therefore I remained a little bit clueless. Such a young wine in such a shape ? I don’t think it has been because of the poor potential of Plavac Mali grapes. No, either the wine simply wasn’t stabilized to the extend necessary and/or poor storing conditions finished it off. Something like this may happen – wine is something alive – but then you should also remove it from the market because beside the price there has been nothing “super” or “premium”. Just disappointing !

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Marko 26 September 2010 at 18:00

Dingač is supposed to be the best region on the Pelješac peninsula. I am very surprised but there is a chance that this wine hadn’t been kept under proper conditions. I recommend Badel Dingač which is probably among the best Plavacs. And yes the prices of most Croatian wines are fancy!

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Oliver Bauer 27 September 2010 at 6:53

Thanks for the recommendation ;-) ! We will for sure go on exploring the wines of Croatia because the conditions for wine-growing there seemed excellent to me and we also tasted already really good stuff. I agree with you that probably bad storing conditions have been the main problem here and therefore I will give this one another shot. Perhaps together with your recommandation to have a clearer picture. I know those “storing” problems also from Romania. And both, the producers and the clients should not accept dealers, which are asking for a lot of money without offering proper conditions because with this, one side will loose clients and the other side pleasure – and that’s not the idea …

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anto (up on the catwalk) 6 June 2013 at 3:36

Hi Oliver,

The worst, unforgettable wine experience with a croatian wine (and in general they are very good, expecially those produced in Istria). This dalmatian Plavac Mali (2008 vintage) was totally out of balance with tannins uncurbed and waves (not just whiffs) of alcohol both on the nose and on the palate. The fruit is forgotten somewhere else, for sure it’s not in the bottle. A pretentious wine making style, while on the contrary a better focused palate should be the first Grgic goal for the next vintages.

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