Bibich – Bas de Bas 2013

When in Split, Croatia in 2015 to do a presentation at Dalmacija Expo, I spent a few rewarding nights bopping around the city–something I’ve rarely done in lieu of mainly hanging out in the now very touristic Old Town.

One evening, I did end up in the Old Town at a bar I seem to recall was called Fluid (but which I could easily be remembering incorrectly) where a group of American tourists said to a server, “Give us your best wine!” For those who don’t know, in server-speak this translate to, “Give us your best most expensive wine!” and thus the guy pulled out a bottle of Bibich’s Bas de Bas.

At something like 100€ for the bar price, this was indeed the most expensive bottle in the place which had mostly to do with the fact that at time, the only wine they carried was Alen’s. But even when taken out of this context, it’s one of the most expensive bottles in all of Dalmatia.

What’s curious about this wine is that it’s not Plavac Mali, the general go-to red grape of the region, and is in fact Syrah with a small bit of Merlot. There is a rocky old vineyard a bit inland from the coast that Alen replanted several years ago to craft this wine. Given the age of the vines, the initial bottles were good but perhaps fell a bit short of the top-shelf price placed upon them. With the 2013, there was a significant bump in terms of excellence which shows not only that it was a great year for the region but also that the vines are becoming more mature and thus producing some top-notch juice.

This was one wine in a group of samples I received earlier this year for a Dalmatian wine tasting I led at Monvínic in Barcelona. While I found the wine to be very, very good, there was a visible issue with the cork in terms of some seepage which I feel led in part to it showing a bit of decline. While I’ve noted this as such, I’m more than willing to give the wine the benefit of the doubt as I’ve tasted several vintages over the years and the wine has definitely been on an upward swing.

Bas de Bas 2013
Deep red but just short of inky. Earthy and mossy with crunchy red fruit of mature cherry and raspberry marmalade, dark cedar notes apparent but integrated at this point. Medium and acidity and darker fruits more apparent on the palate, alcohol kicks up a bit in the finish but still a fine, layered wine.

15.4% 85% Syrah, 15% Merlot 75€