This is a beautiful wine. That’s all I’m gonna say. This is a beautiful wine. People complain that my captions are too long and tedious and I just need to say whether I like it or not. It seems that is good enough for some folks. Not for me. Unless I really know you and have dranken with you. So here’s a softball tonight: This is really beautiful wine. Is that good enough? You just trust me? Many don’t want to get bogged down in how a wine makes you think or how it tastes, I suppose. Just: This is a beautiful wine. End of conversation. Find this wine. Buy it. This is a beautiful wine. Keep scrolling. Oh look: a DOG WITH A HAT.
But for me, and most of the wine1percent, our attention spans are a bit longer than the .03 seconds Instagram has to draw you in (.04 with an elongated pic). That’s why boobs and pretty dresses and huge smiles in the vineyard are so effective. People want wine to make them smile. I don’t. I want wine to make me think. And the last dozen-or-so Plavac Mali’s from Croatia really make you think. Eastern Europe. The frontier. A classic grape only brought to most American’s attention in the past decade. A variety bogged down in decades of discussions of Primitivo and of course California’s *indigenous* variety: Zinfandel. I mean–this is not France. This is not Italy. This might as well be Brazil, or Temecula–in terms of people’s expectations of a clean, well-made, world-class wine. This is a beautiful wine.
Dry. Achingly dry. The clear, unfiltered garnet glows to a deep crimson core. A tad of age and oxidation plump up the nose a bit, but the dark briar and brilliant berry are etched into a granite groove cool and focused. The rich cherry has a voluptuousness to it expressive of warm weather and a chubby variety, and nowhere does Old World funk or cellar interject. This is a beautiful wine. Warm leather and graceful tobacco are beginning to crease the surface. Barely.
In the mouth, this is a beautiful wine. All your supple pie-cherry and pomegranate dreams come true–as frenetic as those dreams can be–but the pure berry and balance in the light of that acrid chaos is the true beauty. Not a speck of flab on it, anywhere. Religiously grating as it shreds your mouth with structure, the fruit basically apologizes for introducing such delirious abrasion. The long yawn of bitter obfuscation in the finish leaves you soul-searching and satisfied, content with berry to spare.
This is a beautiful wine.
2015 VINOGRADI VOLAREVIC Plavac Mali Dalmatia Croatia 16.0