Friday, July 24, 2009
Wow...I really like this wine. Sarah liked it too (enough to have two glasses of it). I first had it in April at Providence, where it was paired with veal. (By the way, if you can afford it, you owe it to yourself to check out Providence. It's off the chain and the sommelier has lots of esoteric pairings, like this one. The only problem is that it's expensive...) It was perhaps a bit more on the restrained side when I had it there, but I liked it enough to pick up a bottle at K&L for 16$. Last night, I was looking for something to drink with chicken smothered in olive tapenade, almost went with a Cotes du Rhone, but decided that this might go well with it. This wine is from Croatia, which is just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. It's pretty much parallel to Tuscany. A blend of Babich, Plavina, and Lasin, which are all native to Croatia, and are related to Zinfandel. I like that you can say that this wine is Babich by Bibich...it's like a tongue twister.
Dried fruit (dried cherries specifically), and spice. Reminds me a lot of an Amarone or a ripasso Valpolicella like "La Grola" from Allegrini. Juicy fruit that is well balanced by nice acidity. Low alcohol--12.2%. This is a great food wine; it stood up very well to a flavorful dish and would work with many other things. Drinks well on it's own; there is nice poise, ripe fruit, and structure. Interesting to drink and relatively cheap for the quality. Plus, let's face it, Croatia isn't on a lot of people's radar, so it's inexpensive, and K&L still has a lot of inventory. An insider buy if you will. I don't get why people aren't more open to trying new stuff. Let's face it--how many mediocre wines has everyone had at this price point from established areas like California, Bordeaux, et al?? It's not like if you get a mediocre wine from Croatia it's much different than getting a mediocre California wine (except maybe you're more educated after the fact with Croatia). Going off the beaten path can have some good results, and since a lot of places aren't stocking a lot of Croatian wine, if they're stocking something, it's probably pretty good. This is definitely worth picking up. A