The traditional masterclass "Malvasia through the different terroirs of Istria", held on the eve of Valentine's Day as part of Vinistra's 11th En Primeur, confirmed the exceptional quality of Istrian wines
When you have behind you a very demanding wine-growing year with a pronounced dry period and excellent young wines of exceptional potential, then you have mastered your craft and are real masters in the cellar. This was confirmed at the Malvasia masterclass from the six terroirs of Istria, traditionally held in mid-February at the Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb as part of Vinistra's En Primeur.
Of the 43 young Malvasia wines that came to be selected for the masterclass, the expert committee chose seven of them from different areas of Istria that best evoke the 2022 vintage. And that was not an easy task at all, pointed out Dr. Kristijan Damijanić from the Agricultural Department in Poreč, Polytechnic in Rijeka, because all the wines were of exceptional quality for such an early stage.
"Since the beginning of the year, rainfall has been 40 to 50 percent less than usual, and some producers irrigated vineyards in an extremely dry period. It wasn't until mid-August that fifty liters of rain fell, which accelerated ripening and reduced losses from the drought. Temperatures were slightly higher than average, without temperature extremes. After flowering, the development of the phenophases was a little earlier than usual, including a slightly earlier harvest," concluded Damijanić.
Very pleasant, balanced, drinkable...
Sommelier Filip Savić pointed out that each of the seven selected young Malvasias is already very pleasant for consumption at this early stage.
"Young Malvasias have a recognizable varietal aroma, they are balanced, with a nice freshness that lasts, they are drinkable, edible with great aging potential," said Savić.
South Istria presented itself with malvasia from Rovinj's Vivoda winery, yellow-green in color, intense floral and fruity aromas with notes of citrus and lime peel, pleasant and long-lasting taste with light and very pleasant bitterness of acacia.
The colors of western Istria were defended by the young malvasias of the large producer Agrolaguna led by Josip Barišić and the young winemaker Ivan Kadum from the vicinity of Poreč. The first is bright yellow in color, thick, full, with the smell of tropical fruit, notes of green apple and coastal herbs, pleasant bitterness, rounded and very drinkable, and the second is citrusy with an aroma of lime, a slight smell of acacia, vineyard peach and aromatic herbs, very complex for the wound phase, nice freshness that lasts, drinkable.
Franković's Malvasia of the 2022 vintage from northern and northwestern Istria is fuller, deeper, smells of ripe fruit, peaches, apples, apricots, bananas... Ripe, intense aroma and taste, rounded, long-lasting, rich, with great aging potential. From the same area is Dešković's young malvasia, greenish-yellow in color, fruity aromas of peach, apple, citrus, herbal notes of mint and rosemary, harmonious taste, pleasant freshness.
Central Istria presented itself with a young Malvasia from the Valenta winery, greenish-yellow in color, with a complex aroma of ripe apple fruit, peach, apricot, fruity harmonious taste, pleasant freshness, while Benazić's Malvasia from the vineyards in Eastern Istria smells of acacia and elderberry with notes of mint and tea tree, it is harmonious taste, well balanced, very pleasant freshness.
Fantastic job done
"Masterclass and the 11th edition of En primeur showed that this year we have great young Malvasias, but also top winemakers who have a lot of games in their legs, so even last year's drought did not affect their exceptional wine quality," concluded Luka Rossi, president of Vinistra, of the association of winegrowers and winemakers of Istria, with congratulations to colleagues on a fantastic job done.
More than sixty winemakers presented themselves at the traditional premier tasting of young Malvasia wines, among them the most famous names of the Istrian wine scene, but also young winemakers whose time is yet to come.