Described by Steven Spurrier as â€œCroatia's best winemaker"ï¿½, Ivica MatoÃ…Â¡eviÃ„â€¡ has established himself as a force of nature in the country's burgeoning wine industry. This is due to his unbridled passion, which led him to divert his career from a PhD in agriculture, to winemaking. This passion is reflected both in his wines, which are exuberant, fresh and true to their nature, and in what he has achieved for the reputation of Croatian wine. Widely recognised as one of the leaders of the quality revolution amongst his peers, he was instrumental in setting up the Istrian appellation and establishing the wildly popular annual wine fair which takes place there to promote the wines. We believe that Ivica's view on his personal journey is reflected in his wine: â€œ[I am a] better man today, more honest and common, more natural and more savage, all due to changes in my life circumstances."ï¿½
Vineyards are located at 250-300 metres above sea level on limestone, marlstone and sandstone soils. The area is characterised by a Mediterranean climate, with mild and rainy winters followed by dry, hot summers. It is MatoÃ…Â¡eviÃ„â€¡"â€žÂ¢s goal to slowly cut off the use of any chemicals, by using minimal pesticides and no herbicides. Instead, mechanical cultivation inside the rows is applied as well as mulching between the rows.
After manual sorting and destemming, the must was gently pressed in a pneumatic press for three hours. It was then fermented in stainless-steel vats. Grapes from specific sites were fermented separately with their indigenous microflora, to highlight the expression of varietal aromas. The wine was aged on fine lees until January to develop complexity. Blending of single-vineyard vats took place in March. This wine saw no oak or malolactic fermentation.
The wine has aromas of elderflower, acacia, lime zest, quince, pear, apricot and ripe nectarine. An incredibly crisp acidity balances the concentration of flavours beautifully. It has a medium body and a long finish, marked by lovely minerality.