For some time, I’ve known the Matošević wines. A well known name up in Istria and generally an easier Croatia wine to find abroad, they’ve been producing what I consider to be solid and delicious takes on the local varietals. I had a chance to catch up at the Zagreb “Wine Insanity Weekend” a couple of months ago and update my tasting notes on all their wines. Especially interesting was their new Grimalda line of wines.

These are named after the region where the vineyards are, in the center of Istria. It provides a rather different character for the grapes and the fact that they are blends is interesting in and of itself given that Croatian winemakers tend to stick to single varietal wines.

Grimalda Bijelo 2009 blends 50% Chardonnay, 25% Malvazija, and 25% Sauvignon Blanc. Two successive tastings have brought me to conclusion that I’d like to taste each of the varietals separately before blended as the Chardonnay feels like its throwing its weight around too much and trouncing the other two grapes, stopping short of full integration in the blend. Even still, it’s a wine with a rich, warm grapefruit nose and a hint of minerality. The body has a downplayed acidity and a calm finish. As it decants a touch of almond comes in to play as well. 13.3% 15€

Grimalda Crno 2009 is 85% Merlot and 15% Teran. These two grapes, in the percentages provided have come together well. Tobacco and pine elements come in to the nose and the body lets the well-structured acidity of the Merlot come through. It would work well for food pairings but is strong enough in the body, with enough of an edge from the Teran to enjoy on its own due to the reasonably low alcohol. This bottle speaks well as to the direction of where they want to take this line. 13% 15€


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