At the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Zagreb, wine workshops are being held this weekend in advance of the Vinart Grand Tasting, one of the most significant Croatian wine fairs, taking place March 2-3 in the Lauba Gallery On Saturday evening we participated in the vertical tasting of Ivan Dolac wines by the Svirče Agricultural Cooperative from Hvar Island, part of the Badel 1862 Company. The tasting was led by Darko Lugarić, Agava Restaurant’s sommelier and one of the leading experts on Croatian wines. It is interesting the hall on the second floor of the Hilton saw some fifty people on a cold evening, enthusiastically interested in tastes and aromas of aged Plavac from Hvar.
The wine was named after the vine growing position, with five harvests from 2003 to 2010 available at this tasting. The first and youngest wine, and the only currently on the market, seems quite young still, fresh, moderately fruity, without tertiary notes, but also without green tannins, which is quite unusual for a rainy year. The 2007 harvest, a favourite with many of those present, possesses quite a dramatic bouquet which blends typical island Plavac aromas, such as plums and dark berry fruits, with the specific scent of hot summer soil, usually characteristic of the best Pelješac Plavac wines.
Ivan Dolac from 2007 is among the wines which easily get high grades at blind tastings, as their intensity separates them from other wines. We preferred the 2005 harvest more. It was characterized by Lugarić as a ‘normal’ harvest (unlike the rainy 2010 and extremely hot 2003) and is an elegant and rounded wine, hose elements are in nearly perfect balance. It is smooth, with finely granulated ripe tannins, a discrete but recognizable elements of chocolate, smoke and dark fruits, and with a lovely freshness which gives this Ivan Dolac at least another five to six years of good life. Maybe even more.
The 2004 harvest associates of 2005, but with less intensity and character. The last wine we tasted was from 2003. It has taken on strong balsamic notes, as well as some aromas characteristic of Prosecco (dry carobs, dry figs, dark chocolate). We feel this fifteen year old Plavac would finely mix with not overly sweet chocolate desserts, or with cigars. This vertical tasting from the first decade of this century has shown that Ivan Dolac holds a medium-long potential for successful aging. Some of these wines from the Svirče archive, especially 2005 and 2007, should be back on the market.
Translated from Plava Kamenica.