off the beaten path

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Tvrtko C.
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Re: off the beaten path

#101 Post by Tvrtko C. »

That's a VERY difficult question. I'll have to think about it a little and then I'll let you know.
C=Cernos

Mikael OB
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Re: off the beaten path

#102 Post by Mikael OB »

Tvrtko C. wrote: January 12th, 2021, 9:05 am
Otto Forsberg wrote: January 12th, 2021, 7:09 amI definitely will! After all, I might be strong in my opinions, but I'm always more than happy to change my opinions, if one produces enough facts or examples to prove me wrong. [cheers.gif]
Just to avoid any misunderstanding, I never meant to suggest that you were "wrong", quite the contrary: I said I found your take intriguing. FWIW, even if I am not sure I would place any of the other versions of Grk currently being made squarely in Croatia's Top 10-15, I myself consider specifically Branimir Cebalo's Grk to be one of Croatia's very best white wines, particularly over the recent run of vintages (i.e., post 2014, more or less). But it's a fast-changing landscape these days, and I very much suspect there are a handful of other white varieties along Croatia's coast which, when done right, might give Grk a run for its money...
Another Grk fan here flirtysmile

Share the belief that Grk probably is the best white variety in Croatia and among the most unique wines anywhere (? Ungrafted, at least by a few of the growers with wines cultivated on the sandy soils of Lumbarda).

Been visiting Lumbarda for the last three years or so excluding this summer. For me the two best wineries for Grk wines are Bartul Cebalo (winery Grk) and Popic, in that order. Have Some 2016-2019 in my storage for “experiment” of how the wines will age over time. Believe there should be potential for positive developments (both acidity and structure there) and hope to find out, if I can keep my hands off the wines that is :)

Also agree with you Tvrtko that Croatian in general has a terrific potential with its 130 or so indigenous grapes, many micro climates and one of the highest biodiversity anywhere in Europe. With the potential far from explored both in terms of varieties as well as winemaking, I am sure it will be a good run.

Had a sensational farmer wine (very small production) a few years back made as his wines always been made, which translates into a somewhat oxidative white wine style with 2-3 days maceration. A field blend of vugava, kotaloska (not sure about the spelling) and believe posip. Tension, salinity and incredibly lively...

Even the sometimes (by foreigners at least) forgotten inland perhaps as well?

Tvrtko C.
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Re: off the beaten path

#103 Post by Tvrtko C. »

Mikael OB wrote: January 12th, 2021, 3:36 pm Another Grk fan here flirtysmile

Share the belief that Grk probably is the best white variety in Croatia and among the most unique wines anywhere (? Ungrafted, at least by a few of the growers with wines cultivated on the sandy soils of Lumbarda).

Been visiting Lumbarda for the last three years or so excluding this summer. For me the two best wineries for Grk wines are Bartul Cebalo (winery Grk) and Popic, in that order. Have Some 2016-2019 in my storage for “experiment” of how the wines will age over time. Believe there should be potential for positive developments (both acidity and structure there) and hope to find out, if I can keep my hands off the wines that is :)

Also agree with you Tvrtko that Croatian in general has a terrific potential with its 130 or so indigenous grapes, many micro climates and one of the highest biodiversity anywhere in Europe. With the potential far from explored both in terms of varieties as well as winemaking, I am sure it will be a good run.

Had a sensational farmer wine (very small production) a few years back made as his wines always been made, which translates into a somewhat oxidative white wine style with 2-3 days maceration. A field blend of vugava, kotaloska (not sure about the spelling) and believe posip. Tension, salinity and incredibly lively...

Even the sometimes (by foreigners at least) forgotten inland perhaps as well?
Yes, yes, and... yes :-). Hence my previous answer to Otto. I had overreached a bit and started talking about Top 10, Top 15, whatever, but, when prompted to specify, I suddenly realised I couldn't do it off the cuff. It's complicated. Also, sounds like we might have passed each other in Lumbarda at some point :-). Agree on Bartul Cebalo, probably my No. 2 Grk, if pressed. As you probably know, these are virtually unobtainable outside Lumbarda itself.

As for the great potential and the fact that it is still to some degree untapped, I think you are spot on on both. In a nutshell, I would say that, although there were a number of stand-outs around throughout, not surprisingly given the broader context, the overall emphasis roughly between 1990 and 2005 was more on making wines that were technically sound and on trying to "respond to the demands of the market". Nonetheless, since cca 2005, an increasing number of winemakers started thinking more in terms of authenticity and terroir expression, taking a more deliberate approach to exploring the potential of the native varieties. So, yes, it's all still very much work in progress, but I think the dynamic is very different these days, with more trends afoot that are indeed very promising.

BTW, the grape variety you reference is normally known as KurtelAshka or KurtelOshka, depending on which side of the small village road you happen to be standing on. To say that no more than microscopic amounts remain kind of feels like putting it lightly. It also seems to be very finicky and difficult to grow, which doesn't exactly help matters. Those fortunate enough to still own some (normally amounting to no more than a few scattered old vines) sometimes use it as a blending agent. Naturally, it follows that the grape's true potential is very difficult to gauge, but, based on what little I've been able to glean, it seems to possess a very unique spiciness and very unusual, intriguing aromatics. On an almost purely anecdotal note, Toni Buncic, a small-scale winemaker on Vis, makes a white blend normally using two or three local varieties (other than Vugava, as he owns none and has access to none). There were one or two vintages over the last ten years that included up to about 40% percent Kurtelashka, IIRC. His white Voshchice is always a unique wine, often impressive, but somehow the best vintages are always those with more Kurtelashka in them :-).
C=Cernos

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