No this wine is NOT paying tribute to COVID-19.
Instead, it’s paying tribute to the euphemistic Moreno Coronica. He is renowned for crisp dry wine from Malvasia Istrauka. He takes offense to stereotypes of wine produced from varietals that express nothing of the land they came from. His family lived in the village of Koroneiki ( Coronica) for over 600 years. The region suffered due to the World Wars and under the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia. After the fall of the communist Yugoslavia in 1992, his winery was rooted. Coronica, among many others in the region, exhibited extensive rehabilitation of quality over quantity. Illustrated by his skill to persistently deliver the character of the vintage and smoothly integrate oak in his “Gran Teran” and “Gran Malvasia” bottlings, they are among the most ageable wines and this bottle is no exception.
There are many different clones of Malvasia and there are 30 known types from the Mediterranean. This wine is made from Malvazija Istarska.
(Malvasia Istriana), one of the oldest and best known indigenous grape varieties in Croatia. It’s grown mostly in Istria and the northern section of the Croatian coastline. Malvasia is typically vinified for off-dry or sweet wines because the grape ripens with high sugar levels with generous perfume. Some tasters compare its bouquet as a cross between Albarino and Gruner Veltliner.
Istria is faintly populated on a rugged countryside, away from the coastline on the Mediterranean. It’s the largest peninsula in the Adriatic, and it is Croatia’s westernmost region bordering both Italy and Slovenia. The vineyards are located 1-hour drive south of Trieste, Italia, just outside of the port town Umag. The climate is maritime/Mediterranean, influenced by Mistral winds that operate as a coolant and keeps the atmosphere clean and dry. His vines are planted on 75 acres of extremely diverse terrain allowing for a multitude of microclimates. In addition to these factors, the soils are composed of Terra Rossa calcareous limestone that in turn gives his wines extreme complexity, acid retention, and age.
Terra Rossa Italian for red soil is a well-drained, reddish, clayey to silty clayey soil with neutral pH conditions and is typical of the Mediterranean region.
Grapes are meticulously hand-harvested, minimal vineyard intervention, cultured yeast aromas, 6 months on the yeast, controlled temperature fermentation in stainless steel tanks. All of these components sum up a wine made without a recipe and maintains the integrity of the vintage along with the characteristic of Malvasia.
This wine is illuminating pale yellow with slight petillance in the core. On the nose, the intensity is high with ripe orchard fruit, of apples, orange peach, zesty orange rind acacia, honeysuckle, crushed seashells and rocks, almond butter, fresh spiced ginger, white peppercorns, and vanilla bean. On the palate dry, medium+ acid, medium alcohol, full-body, creamy texture, high intensity with juicy ripe tree fruits, apples, peaches, apricots, orange oil and zest, yellow flowers, peppered biscuits, with roasted salted almonds, seaweed, exotic spices, and long finish. This wine is outstanding. It’s an example of how a wine can produce heightened flavors and aromas and maintain lively acid. It is polished balanced with ripe fruit and yet dry. The concentration is immediate on the front, carries through the midpalate, blanketing it, releasing a garden of aromas. The finish is sharp and lavish, beckoning the palate for more. This wine will age gracefully developing into fuller softer, candied fruit fruitcake, Christmas spices, saffron, and dried mushroom. I think it’s slowly developing now!
Croatian wines are underestimated, relatively unknown, and yet produced provocative wines with class. If you are tired of reaching for a bottle of its well-known neighbor Italia, begin with wines made from Moreno Coronica. MAY GOD BLESS our globe while healing through the Covid-19 crises.
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