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Champion Vintage French

Champion Vintage French

Bottoms Up! Top 3 Croatian Winevenje…bibich… Matošević…

Author: Scott Taylor

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What in the world do all of these wild words have in common?No, they’re not ways to swear in Croatian! But, they do share a unique bond.


They are all incredible wines and vineyards in Croatia – an emergent connoisseurs’ destination that has actually long been a producer of the finest wines in the world.


With its rich soils and temperate climate, each region of Croatia – from Istria to Slavonia to Dalmatia – has been releasing amazing wines for centuries, largely under the radar of the international community. Long having taken a backseat to the French, Italian, and Spanish wine dynasties, Croatia is making its mark on the international scene with the finest wines found anywhere on the planet.


Just like its booming real estate market that has become one of the best in the world after declaring independence a decade and quickly establishing itself as one of the best places in the world to invest, the Croatian wine industry is benefiting and experiencing a renaissance as well. From the center of the wine revolution in Slavonia to the upstarts in Istria and all along the Dalmatian Coast, Croatia is home to the world’s best wine makers, wines, and established and up-and-coming brands.

With so many great wines to choose from, the problem for the wine aficionado and the newbie alike becomes not “How can I find the best Croatian wine,” but where should I even start? To help you make your way through the Adriatic Sea of choices, let’s take a look at three all-time favorites.


3. Sangreal Shiraz Limited Edition – 2004 – from Bibi? vineyards in Dalmatia


Characteristics: dry, dark, spicy, fruity with a hint of mint and green pepper


Located near Skradin in northern Dalmatia, the Bibli? vineyards, owned by Alen Bibi?, creates a wide range of delicious wines that are emblematic of the long history of northern Dalmatia and the Dalmatian hinterland wines. This dry, dark red wine created from syrah grapes is Alan’s favorite and the pinnacle of the entire collection. With grapes that have been harvested from 40-year-old vines in the decadently rich vineyards of Nadin near Zadara along the coast. After being aged in French oak for 18 months, this exquisite, award-winning wine is an aromatically raucous event filled with spices, green pepper, peppermint and dark berry fruits and ridiculously strong and appealing tannins. A charming addition to any collection, this wine – suitable to age for decades – pairs delightfully with lamb, game, spicy sauces and even aged cheeses.


2.Anima 2003 – from Vina MatoÅ¡evi? d.o.o. in Istria


Characteristics: dry, unmistakably bold


If you’re looking for a run-of-the-mill wine from Ivica Matoševi? or his award-winning winery, keep on moving. The Anima chardonnayis characteristic of all the wines produced in this boutique vineyard. Low yields, cold fermentation, the barrique standard for all his white wines, this winery is charting new territory in the western Istria region.

Long known for its wines within the country, Matoševi? is understood to be the revolutionary who single-handedly resuscitated the entire Istrian wine industry and allowed it to begin challenging the ‘big boys’ of other commercial European wines.


This, the winery’s best vintage, is a singularly distinct chardonnay that redefines white wines across the world. If you are a white wine connoisseur or a red-wine-loving skeptic, this wine will undoubtedly change the way you think about white wines, Croatia, and the possibilities of palatial tantalization… yes, it’s that yummy!

1. Venje – from Enjingi Vineyards in Slavonia


Characteristics: fruity, honey, vanilla, flowery, sweet spice with buttered finish


Slavonia is the birthplace of all private wine production in Croatia, so it only makes sense that Ivo Enjingi and his Venje masterpieces have been awarded more medals than most of the wines in Croatia combined. His Venje is the absolute pinnacle of this award-winning collection.


This is the holy grail of all white wines… with a general appeal that has such sophistication it bears glass after glass to study (and enjoy) its complexity that is disguised in a simplicity that is simply blissful. A party with the most exclusive guest list of flavors, Venje dances from tropical fruits to barrique tones and smoky elegance. It’s a wine with a significant 14.3 alcohol by volume, but that has a lingering full, soft, and pleasing caress. If anything, it’s a little sparse on acidity, but all in all, it’s a wine that can’t be missed when taking a tour through the Croatian countryside. Definitely a champion in any way, shape, or form!


As you can quickly see, the Croatian wine revolution is in full swing – a rich variety of varietals that is unmatched anywhere in the world. With its fascinating history, the Croatian wine story is one that can’t be missed. When you swish, swirl, and drink any of the above wines, you’ll know that you’ve found a new favorite in all things Croatian.


About the Author:

Originally from San Diego, California, Scott Taylor is a world traveler, and international real estate expert and investor living and working in Panama City, Panama. With years of experience investing in countries around the globe, Scott has a particular affection for the land, people, and—of course—real estate of Croatia. He’s invested in everything from cosmopolitan apartments to beachfront property and everything in between. Scott loves helping others realize their dreams of living and investing in Croatia and has dedicated his time to creating the informational resources to allow people to discover the possibilities which can be found at his site:

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Champion Vintage French

Champion Vintage French