The Sokol Cuvée mixture by Marijan Sokolović is quite unusual. Cabernet Sauvignon, 80 percent of it in wine, is from 2015, and the Merlot is one year older. The first grapes grew in one of the foremost Croatian vineyards, the one in Brodski Stupnik, and the second in the neighbourhood of the most ecological Croatian settlement, Nadin near Zadar. The wine was schooled in Samobor so it originates from all three of our wine regions: eastern continental Croatia, western continental and Primorje, which encompasses Istria, Primorje and Dalmatia. Marijan Sokolović nurtured it in stainless steel, but obviously with enough love not to miss the wooden barrel.
A bit of wood is in the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon by Ivica Rozijan, champion among red wines at this year’s rating in Gornja Radgona in Slovenia and the best rated red wine of northwestern Croatia at the 49th wine exhibition of continental Croatia in Sveti Ivan Zelina. And the grapes are from Brodski Stupnik. Rozijan bought 800 kilograms and then let 500 litres of the future wine spend 14 months in four-year-old Pozvek barrels of 225 litres. The rest aged in stainless steel.
Awards were the reason to taste the wines which won gold at the Zagreb County rating and at the one organised by the Samobor wine growing and winemaking association.
“We have gathered to see if the awards were deserving,” said association President Marijan Žganjer whose wine was, in the end, the main star of the tasting although it did not win any awards. It is a ripe Cabernet Sauvignon from 2011 from grapes, again, from Brodski Stupnik vineyards.
We also enjoyed the Rizvanac by Marijan Sokolović, Jelenščak - a mixture of Sauvignon, Riesling and Graševina by Marijan Geušić, a Chardonnay by Marijan Žganjer and Rhine Riesling by Ivica Rozijan and talked of problems of Samobor winemakers and wine growers, mainly small parcels. Only three – Sirovica, Pavlin and Šoštarić – have more than a hectare of vineyards, and the rest make so little wine that only friends can enjoy them. And even those small vineyards are set to be cleared. The golden Rizvanac by Sokolović may be the last one from the vineyard on Giznik, once a famous wine growing position, and today an elite residential area of Samobor beneath the St Ana chapel, so it is giving way to a new villa. It is sad that the most famous Samobor vineyard is neglected, the one around Tito’s villa. In the past year it was cultivated by Mladina, but the Agrokor concern did not feel like starting a marketing ploy with the name of the president of the former state. Question is will there be any grapes there this year. Vines are overgrown, which is not a big issue as it is not a large vineyard. But Mladina’s “real” vineyards are also overgrown, some of them on foremost positions. Asif everyone has given up on the winery that could have given plenty to Jaska and Samobor.
Samobor vineyards are mentioned in the Golden Bull of 122 issued by King Bela IV to declare Samobor a free royal town. There is a charter on the sale of the vineyards on Giznik from 1530, and a list from 1775 of all the areas, hills and localities of the Samobor wine region, with the names of 1.075 wine growers.
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