It is too early to rate Solum Blanc de Blancs. It was disgorged only recently, so yeasts and CO2 are unavoidably felt most on the nose. But, it is not too early to conclude it is a precisely made sparkling with a serious possibility of aging in the bottle. In fact, Solum Blanc de Blancs of the Solum winery left a stronger impression than almost all Međimurje sparklings we have tasted so far, and could be listed in the exclusive premier league of Croatian sparkling wines.
Here is why.
First of all, Solum Blanc de Blancs is crystal clear: it has no edges or additional elements which cloud the taste of sparkling wine, so characteristic for at least eighty percent of the Croatian sparkling wine industry. Secondly, it possesses that strong, emphasised wine taste typical for fine sparkling wines. Thirdly, Solum pearls especially intensively and long, but with very small bubbles, so visually it reminds of champagne. And fourthly, it is exceptionally fresh, but not overly bitter. Although almost without any sugars, 7.2 grams of acids is finely balanced with some 12 percent of alcohol.
Since it has been on yeasts for nine months so far, it will be more than interesting to see how Solum will develop in the next year. Considering the bottle we tasted yesterday, we are quite optimistic. Solum Blanc de Blancs was made by Zagreb author and journalist Robert Naprta, from the Chardonnay grown in his vineyard in Međimurje.
Naprta has already positioned himself as one of the prestigious Chardonnay producers in Croatia. His Solum from the difficult 2014 proved an excellent orange, while previous wines skilfully balanced between a large body and freshness typical of vineyards in north-western Croatia. Naprta’s first sparkling is not in any way a hobby or test project. Solum Blanc de Blancs was produced in some 3.800 bottles. Thus it is a commercial product, helped in its development by the Slovenian consulting firm Enologija, whose expertise and professionalism was eloquently praised by Mr Naprta.
In the past several years in Croatia, everyone, including those who can and who really cannot (due to climate limitations), is trying to produce sparkling wines. Naprta’s Solum Blanc de Blancs, from a climate optimal for sparkling production, could become one of the truly rare valuable examples of a suddenly awoken Croatian passion for sparkling wines.
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