AOC, AVA, DO, DOC, and now: HV
For those who enjoy digging a bit deeper on wines, the following terms will be rather familiar to you: AOC, AVA, DO, and DOC. These are of course controlled wine regions in France, the US, Spain, and Italy. Overall, they work rather well to certify that a wine is from the region that it claims to be. Yes, they have their flaws (especially the American AVA system which is something of a mess currently) but if nothing else, they’re a good starting point.
I will posit that it’s actually problematic not to have region certifications in a country as it can lead to large-production wine that’s cheaper to make and blend from multiple regions as opposed to having small, craft wine from specific regions. This is why a countries like Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina are at something of a crucial point. They still have their small wineries, but with the current domestic and international economic factors, one has to wonder, “For how long?”
While the European Union PDO might be of use to Croatia when they join 2013, it lacks the granularity of their own, domestic wine region system and it certainly won’t help Bosnia & Herzegovina which many put at entering the EU in 10-20 years.
I’ve pored over the 2003 Zakon o Vinu (Croatian Wine Act) that established a great many elements to Croatian wine, but it didn’t go terribly far in establishing a system like the French AOC or Spanish DO. But, among all the talk of “vinogradi” (wineries) and “vinogradara” (winegrowers) there are “vinogorje”. This term literally means “wine hills” in Croatian and while it doesn’t hold any legal bearing the way DO Empordà does, it’s a pretty decent start and we’ll be using the term “Hrvatsko vinogorje” (HV) to describe such areas as Dingač HV or Postup HV. Who knows, maybe down the road we’ll have an official a system to fit in with how the rest of the EU, US, and other great wine areas in the world do it.
If anything, it helps to distinguish between Dingač HV the growing region and Vinarija Dingač the winery.
We talk more about the Hrvatsko vinogorje, Dingač & Postup regions, as well as provide maps in our Dalmatia enotourism guide.
Ancestral Wine Cellar - Khikhvi 2014 95
First harvest of Khikhvi. Light apricot notes, peach skin, lemon peel. Citric in the mouth, fresh, lively acidity, vibrant. Very holistic, full and deliciously good.
100% Khikhvi · 12% · 30GEL
Petriaant Marani - Khikhvi 2015 94
Bruised red apple, touch of lemon peel, limestone minerality, and some white pepper notes at the back of it. High acidity and full in the mouth. Luscious, involving, elegant wine.
100% Khikhvi · 14% · 25GEL
Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Blanc 2016 93
Lemon and white peach, strong kick of salinity, and toasted notes. Very fleshy and full on the palate, peach notes more prominent as well as Meyer lemon, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish.
100% Grenache Gris · 14.5% · 20EUR
AA Badenhorst - Secateurs Red Blend 2012 93
Forest bramble with ripe red fruit, touches of cherry, ripe red plum, tiny bit of prune, cumin, anise, black licorice, wet cement mineral note, underlying fig jam. Crisp medium plus acidity, medium tannins, medium plus length, medium alcohol, overall medium plus body that’s ripe and lively but super fresh and balanced at the same time. Bit of rugged wildness to it but doesn’t get out of hand. Easy to drink but with just enough underlying complexity so that it stays interesting.
56% Syrah 27% Cinsaut 6% Grenache 4% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% "Others" · 13.5% · 12EUR
Domaine Treloar - Motus 2015 93
Dark ruby, minor rim. Big, mighty bouquet of red cherry and other brambly forest fruit, vanilla, almond blossom, orange peel, and cocoa. Rich and full on the palate with a wealth of tannins still integrating, leading into a crunchy, lingering finish.
80% Mourvèdre 10% Syrah 10% Grenache · 14% · 14EUR
Domaine of the Bee - Cuvée 2015 93
Ruby with minor garnet rim. Rich red fruits with an underpinning of ripe plum, orange peel, licorice, cocoa. Broad, round tannins with a touch of toast and sweet cocoa in a long finish. Manages to stay very light on the palate despite the higher alcohol.
50% Grenache 50% Carignan · 15% · 25EUR
Tchotiashvili - Khikhvi 2014 93
Apricot, yellow peach, orange peel, and a touch of honey. Quite complex aromatically. Orchard fruit much more prevalent in the mouth with young apricot notes. Rich and elegant, touch of astringency in the finish.
100% Khikhvi · 13.1% · 28GEL
Domaine Fontanel - Prieuré 2014 92
Dense ruby with brick flecks. Crisp red fruits, lifted by a waft of volatility making for a light nose with a spicy licorice and leather component. Crisp and lively with red cherry fruit in the mouth and a nudge over medium acidity. Nice, lingering finish.
50% Syrah 25% Grenache 25% Mourvèdre · 14.5%
Cave Abbé Rous - Cornet & Cie Blanc 2016 92
Peach, orange peel & blossom, honey, dried apricot, and a hint of green apple. Very nicely balance in the mouth, green apple notes more prevalent, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish. Fresh, lively, very pleasing wine to drink.
60% Grenache Gris 25% Grenache Blanc 5% Marsanne 5% Roussanne 5% Vermentino · 14.5%
Clos Henri - Petit Clos Pinot Noir 2016 92
Earthy, red cherries, young, crisp cranberry, light herbal notes, leafy, minor chalk. Medium tannins and medium plus acidity as well as length. Light sweetness on the palate but with a very pleasant, lingering structure and lightness to it.
100% Pinot Noir · 13.5% · 16.50EUR