Zeljko Brocilovic – Carlos
Photo by: Mario Toni Belamaric
It’s not that the glass of divine nectar itself prompted me to think, but it somehow helped my thoughts to wander and for me to sink deep into thought. Romantic or beautiful...perhaps both...I am thinking of what it feels like when you, in the late evening hours, sit with your grandson and retell, for the umpteenth time, that particular story of yours – perhaps of the family history or an adventure from your youth. It is nice when one has something to boast, to be proud of your own deeds and the deeds of your family, stating that the ˝right˝ path has been chosen, the path that leads to the fulfillment of planned goals and provides that blessed feeling of being satisfied with yourself.
To reach this ˝right path˝, wishes and ideas are not enough – willpower, faith and strength are necessary, as is, often, dignity. In today’s time, the age in which the world is ruled by marketing and PR companies and almost nothing can be even conceived without a ˝campaign˝, it is difficult to believe my story, the cloud to which my thoughts drifted...but, I have the proof, and it is in my glass.
This proof is about the success of a family, the success of a young winemaker. Not so long ago, they were among the first Croatian winemakers to store their wine in wine bottles, telling their very own tale based on tradition and a love of nature, without much heeding to marketing whims and market movements. Somewhat stubborn, but humble and honest, these people created their own style by looking for their role models amongst the world’s best, and doing all of this ˝quietly˝, in a way. I have the feeling that striving for their own happiness and pleasure was always at the forefront for them, as was loving what they did and believing in their products. Success...without expensive promotions, marketing agencies or questionable praise.
Before us stands a young man, and behind him, his family. All of them work together, believe in what they do and are happy, living the life of peasants nearby to Zagreb, where the gigantic buildings of shopping malls give way to the steep, and yet tame hills of Plešivica. Tomislav Tomac literally lives his life cultivating a 5-6 acre vineyard. What his great-grandfather initiated and his father continues is today in his hands, his vision is becoming true and he can tell tales of his success with pride.
So now, while spinning a liquid the color of old gold in my glass, I am trying to imagine ˝Tomek˝, his eyes alive with an incredible gleam while talking with great passion and enthusiasm about his vines, his vineyards, his wine. The first time I tried the Amfora, his wine made in the traditional manner, in Georgian amphorae and following the philosophy of the famed Joško Gravner, I had the impression that he was on the wrong path, that the wine would never mature and that it would not give the pleasure expected from it. However, I was wrong, and thus I publicly ask for forgiveness.
A Symphony in a Glass
The wine I am spinning in my glass has thoroughly changed in the past year – it has settled, matured. Clear in the nose, with tertiary tones dominating at first, it appears, young, intense and complex. It opens slowly, changing characteristics from moment to moment! It is fruity with an incredibly pronounced aroma of fresh grapes and peaches, a lasting and intense scent. Citruses and tropical fruits (pineapple, passion fruit) can also be sensed, topped of with a refined spicy and floral tone and a very light whiff of mint and marzipan...superb...fresh and dry in the mouth, a medium body, somewhat intense and lasting. A bit weaker than on the nose, I would say, very drinkable and with a somewhat stronger tannic structure that reveals its production style and methods. A fruity aroma appears in the mouth, while a light vegetative tone with the domination of mint is also very nicely felt retro nasally. The wine is elegant and mineral, with a lightly bitter but pleasant finale.
I put down the glass with a smile on my face, perhaps I have praised it too much...or have I?
It is up to you to ˝hop over˝ to Plešivica and visit Tomac, you will certainly be surprised by these brilliant people, while the wine will speak for itself.