09-12-2011

Down in Smokvica at Jedinstvo PZ

For the larger part of the 20th century, wine production on Korčula was shuttled through two main collectives. The main one that most people would be familiar with is Pošip Čara. The other, Jedinstvo PZ in Smokvica, is much lesser known and has had something of a troubled past in recent history.

Their enolog had a heart attack in 2004. Then they split with their parent company, Badel 1892. Then there was a devastating hail storm in 2006 that destroyed nearly all the grapes that year. All things considered, it’s quite amazing that they’re still in business, but they are and striving to produce bigger and better wines with the 2007 wines the year that established their comeback.

Their 2006 and later vintages were a marked change, starting with their 2006 Pošip Superior. This is a curious wine as it was a from the few grapes that made it through the devastating storms of 2006. The wine is a late harvest wine. It is best served at room temperature, not chilled. Once opened, it develops a complex nose to it, opening up with sweet pear aromas. The body is even more interesting, because the wine is definitely sweeter than a standard Pošip. But, it is not overly sweet, being very balanced and enjoyable. The sweetness lingers to the point where while this is not a Dessert Wine, it’s recommended to be had at the end of the meal.

Then there is the 2007 Pošip. This is a delightful wine that rivals the best of the Pošips on Korčula. It comes as a surprise seeing as how the soil in Smokvica is much deeper and generally not considered ideal for grape growing. Whatever the case may be, the wine turned out fantastic. Straight from the bottle, it has typical Pošip qualities, with a sweet, floral nose. The body starts out pleasant, but not terribly complex. As the wine gets more air, it opens up beautifully. The nose gains more of a deeper honeysuckle quality. The body gets more pronounced with deep pear flavors supporting a thick and meaty body. The finish is clean and leaves just a touch of sweetness on your palate. A wonderful wine for food or for drinking by itself on a hot afternoon.

Lastly is the 2007 Pošip Centurion. This vintage weighs in heavy with 14.2% alcohol. This is very hot for the region and changes the qualities of the wine a great deal. The nose takes on mineral qualities with a bit of apricot, vanilla, and light floral scents. The body is unsurprisingly quite meaty and strong, while leading in to a finish that is best described as spicy. It’s a quite pleasurable finish. As the wine breaths more, both the body and the finish get a good deal drier. It’s a complex wine that merits slow drinking to admire all its intricacies.

We talk a great deal more about other Croatian wines in our Dalmatian wine guide.

WINES

Álvaro Palacios - L’Ermita 2016
Very light red cherry, raspberry, tea leaves, dried fennel, light touch of anise, bay leaf, dried flowers, touch of fig compote, truffle. Exceptionally light and delicate on the palate, very very fine red fruits, integrated tannins, plush with a slightly buttery, velvety aspect, very long finish.
85% Grenache 14% Carignan 1% "Others" · 15% · 1160EUR
97+ 3 Stars

Ancestral Wine Cellar - Khikhvi 2014
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
95 3 Stars

Álvaro Palacios - Les Aubaguetes 2016
Linear plum and dark cherry notes, powdery cocoa, orange peel and blossom, raspberry at the base along with minor vanilla and dark spice touches. Delicate on the palate, light touches of dark fruit, good wealth of tannins yet held in check, medium plus acidity, very long finish. Needs much more time in the bottle.
77% Grenache 21% Carignan 1% Grenache Blanc 1% Macabeu · 14.5% · 455EUR
95+ 3 Stars

Petriaant Marani - Khikhvi 2015
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
94 3 Stars

Tchotiashvili - Khikhvi 2014
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
93+ 3 Stars

Domaine of the Bee - Cuvée 2015
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
93 2 Stars

Aquila del Torre - Primaluce 2015
Bruised yellow apple, bit of fig compote, chalky mineral notes, and hazelnut. Light oxidized touches that work to embellish the wine. Rich palate that carries lovely texture with the age of the wine.
100% Sauvignon Blanc · 13.5%
93 2 Stars

Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Blanc 2016
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
93 2 Stars

AA Badenhorst - Secateurs Red Blend 2012
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
93 2 Stars

Domaine Treloar - Motus 2015
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
93 2 Stars