They are alike, but each is special. Its own. Such are the labels on bottles of 2015 Kraljevina by six Zelina winemakers with motives of fairies from local hills. The design was inspired by legends and characters of fairies and elves who rule forests and meadows of Kingdom Zelina. They are crowned by meadow flowers growing next to vineyards of Zelina winemakers and depict the ease of living, says the description of the new Kingdom labels. The right to use the labels was gained by six Zelina winemakers who met the strict criteria of the Kingdom of Zelina society.
Their wines are also similar, but special. Their own. All six were presented last weekend at the Cheese bar in midtown Zagreb.
My personal favorite was the Kingdom of Željko Kos, mostly because of the pronounced, but very tast acids giving the wine a unique freshness. Quite similar are the wines from the Puhelek-Purek and Jarec-Kure families. Wines of the Kos-Jurišić, Žigorvić and Ljubekov gaj families have more suppressed acids. Branimir Žigrović, who sells most of his wine in his bar in Zelina, says that such wine is preferred by his guests.
The Kingdom may be the most typical summer wine in Croatia. This means it needs to have low alcohol, fine and pleasant acids, and not overly pronounced aromas. Strong, full bodied and aromatic wines are hard to consume in high temperatures.
The Kingdom is often named as the indigenous sort of the Zelina region, where it is most common, but is grown in all of northwestern Croatia as well as in the Drava and Sava rivers regions in Slovenia. In Zelina it is called Imbrina or Brina, and by the color of the grapes they differ in red, green and spotted. There is also the fragrant kind.
Due to these different variants a clone selection was started in 2003 encompassing 15.000 vines. 192 were chosen and 9 were turned into wine. Four clones were presented last year which gave the best wines and their seedlings proliferated. They are expected, one of the project leaders dr. Edi Maletić said, to yield valuable wines.