Dubokovic & Barbic
As an authentic variety of Hvar, Plavac mali is best suited to the southern side of the island among the beaches of Hvar, from Medvid bod, over Ivan Dolca all the way to Jagodna. The steep vineyards climb there from the very coast, all he way to 250 to 300 meters above sea level. On the Medvid bod site, the vineyards rising from the carst gravel are under constant sun, exactly what this variety needs the most. In dry years, such as 2003 and 2007, Plavac mali is at its best as an authentic variety. We are not going to enter here in the recent discussion in the media about the price for a bottle of high quality Plavac mali, that was in a way symbolically opened by Duboković's 2003 Medvid with a retail price of over 500 kuna. Where there's demand, there'll be supply. Wine, just like any other product, is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
We decided to try the 2004 Dubokovic & Barbic Medvid we purchase in Pantheon, wine boutique in Zagreb. 2004 was not so exceptional for Plavac like 2003, however it is still one of the finest and most authentic Plavac mali wines on the Croatian market, despite it being categorized as table wine. Wine matured for 18 months in French, American and Slavonian barrique. Only 1.500 bottles of it were made (vintage 2003 had even a more limited edition - only 700!).
It has a vivid, ruby garnet hue. Its smell will fill up the room as you pour it into the decanter. After an hour in the decanter, we poured it into glasses. Nice viscosity and a well developed deep, warm, permanent smell hinting bottled plums, currant, dried figs, Mediterranean brush and sweet spices (vanilla, cinnamon...), complete with certain balsamic aromas. Overripe and dried berries, so called “suhvice” are a secret to any high quality Plavac. Here, they are present in aroma notes that entered the tertiary phase, lingering throughout the sip. In the mouth, this wine is impeccably clean, well balanced and full. The tannins are ripe and finely granulated, but they will get even more silky structure as they age. The wine is hot, warmed by 14,3 percent of alcohol by volume, with a strong spine, well concentrated, multi-layered and potent. The aftertaste reveals delicacy due to high ethanol and glycerol levels and oak staves. The finish is lingering, warming and ending in spice notes. A truly magical wine! One glass calls for another.
Best paired with:
we had this wine at the family table for Easter, with veal knuckle and turkey under the lid. An excellent combination.