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Dog Days of Summer: Introducing the Black Dalmatian

Black Dalmatian

“Reflecting the nature of a true Dalmatian: sun makes him playful, endless like the sea, and harmonious as a song.”

With International Dog Day celebrated this week on Wednesday, we take a look at a ‘dog-themed’ Dalmatian wine. 

Black is produced by Saints Hill Winery by family Tolj. According to Saints Hills, this is a “postcard from our Dalmatian vineyards.”  This wine is made as a blend of Plavac mali from the Saints Hills’ two Dalmatian vineyards Komarna and Dingač. The wine is drinkable and playful, and it gives the term “Dalmatian black” a whole new dimension of lightness and accessibility.

The Black Dalmatian – “Dalmatinsko Crno”

The play on words is interesting – in Croatia, red wine is actually called black wine. And everyone knows about them Dalmatians. Including the dogs. Some Dalmatians will find it interesting that in the tasting notes the wine is described as having a “very long-lasting, spicy finish.”

Antonija Car, an oenologist at Saints Hills, said that “Black is made of 100% Plavac mali from a blend between two vineyards of Sv. Roko Komarna and Sv.Lucia Dingač. It is matured partially in big wooden vats, partially in concrete, and partially in barriques, and is usually released after 24 months.” 

Antonija Car, describing the Dingač terroir (Photo courtesy of Exotic Wine Travel) 

Antonija was recently in conversation with Charine Tan and Matthew Horkey, of Exotic Wine Travel, wine experts that promote lesser-known wine regions and unique wines who spend a lot of time in Croatia. They wrote a book “Cracking Croatian Wines” available on Amazon, and are currently working on their second series of videos introducing Croatian wineries.

Antonija Car and Matthew Horkey discussing wine production (Photo courtesy of Exotic Wine Travel) 

Black’s Tasting Notes 

The color is intensive ruby red with purple nuances. On the nose, one can find a lot of cherry and plum scents, as well as some Mediterranean spice such as thyme or oregano. And, on the palate, it is a full-bodied fruity red, with notes of wild forest fruit, and some nice vanilla aftertaste. It is well paired with various meat dishes, but also some traditional blue fish grilled dishes.

Black Dalmatian

Black’s older siblings recently obtained a highly desirable rating by Wine Enthusiast: 94 for Dingač and 92 for the Komarna Plavac Mali. 

Saints Hills’ Black, Dingač and St. Roko, and wines from other Croatian wineries are available via an online store for delivery to most US states.  

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