Volarević 2018 Plavac Mali Platinum, 95 points, from the youngest Croatian appellation Komarna
November 24, 2022 — The Croatian Wine Alliance, a group of global teams working on global promotion of Croatian wines, announces that Wine Enthusiast, one of the leading American wine publications with international ratings, has published the 100 Best of 2022 list, which includes for the first time the Croatian autochthonous variety – Plavac mali. The Plavac Mali wine chosen is Volarević Plavac Mali Platinum edition 2018.
“All wine professionals from Croatia are aware that Croatian autochthonous varieties are the most important for placing Croatia on the worlds’ wine map, and we are delighted that a globally influential magazine like Wine Enthusiast considered it important to include the indigenous Plavac Mali in the list of 100 Best 2022,” said Mirena Bagur, head of Croatian Wine Alliance and co-founder of Croatian Premium Wine Imports, Inc., an importer and online store with 80+ Croatian wines that ships to most US states. “It is also important to note that Saints Hills’ wine 2020 Le Chiffre, a Chardonnay from Istria, also made the list with 94 points and a description that will likely entice many people to try this international variety grown in Croatia.”
Wine Enthusiast writes “Our judges went in search of discoveries, and this year they were not disappointed. From 21,000 wines blind tasted, reviewed and rated, this list of 100 wines has been selected as the best and most exciting wines of 2022. The wines must be available in the wider US market.”
Plavac mali is grown in the southernmost wine region of Croatia – Dalmatia. As a late-harvest variety that grows in harsh conditions, it requires a complicated winemaking process, which is why winemakers have a saying that it needs to be “tamed”.
“We conducted three years of scientific research on the influence of the harvest period and length of maceration on the polyphenolic composition and sensory properties of plavac mali, and our Platinum Plavac mali 2018 is the first commercial vintage produced on the basis of research,” said Josip Volarević, M.Sc. ing. agr., co-owner and oenologist of Volarević Winery. “I am proud to have received 95 points for a young vintage of Plavac Mal, which spent only eight months in oak barrels. And I am especially honored that Platinum is included in the list of the 100 best wines of 2022. We have already used the early findings of this methodology when producing the previous vintage of Gold Edition, also from the Komarna vineyard, which is in line with the 94 points obtained for this wine at Wine Enthusiast.”
Explanation of the vinification of Volarević 2018 Platinum Plavac Mali – grapes come from the youngest Croatian appellation, Komarna, with 50-80% limestone soil. Steep vineyards with a slope of up to 40% ensure optimal sunlight and warmth for the successful ripening of Plavac mali.
Since it is located in the immediate vicinity of the Adriatic Sea, the lower night temperatures contribute to the freshness and greater aromatic profile of the grapes. Only the ripest berries were selected and picked by hand, while dried berries were removed. Maceration lasted from 12 to 20 days depending on the barrel, after which the wine was blended. The wine was aged for eight months in Croatian, American and French oak barrels of 225 l and 500 l, with 15% new oak, and the rest second, third and fourth filling. For this first commercial year, a total of 4,000 bottles were made.
Croatian wines rated by Wine Enthusiasts are available in the USA at www.CroatianPremiumWine.com.
Wine Enthusiast magazine is an award-winning print publication and online resource that showcases wine and food trends, enotravel, and provides more than 25,000 wine ratings and reviews annually. Content ranges from fast-paced and constantly evolving beverage industry news to expert analysis and reporting. Details on all ratings can be found here. Wine Enthusiast Companies consists of Wine Enthusiast Media and Wine Enthusiast Commerce, and is currently building a Wine Enthusiast Showroom, Education and Tasting Center in the corporate office in New York, reinforcing the mission of continuous learning and serving as the company’s hub for blind wine tasting.
You can find the entry list of 100 Best 2022 HERE.
Croatian Wine Alliance – private-public cooperation
Led by Croatian Premium Wine Imports, Inc., an online store that ships more than 80 autochthonous Croatian wines to the US states, the Alliance raises awareness of premium Croatian wines and supports the work of Vina Croatia, within the framework of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Croatian Tourist Board. The participants are Croatian wine importers and distributors in the USA, Canada, Australia and Europe, as well as Croatian wineries.