It is almost impossible to find a winemaker or winery in Croatia that makes a good quality wine made of the Debit variety, so it is not surprising that people tend to think that it is impossible to make one at all. However, Alen Bibic, a young winemaker from Plastovo near Skradin has proved everyone wrong by creating several different styles of Debit wine. He is one of the rare Croatian winemakers who exports most of his production, mostly to the US. USA is one of the exceptionally big markets full of potential (it’s the second most important market in the world with the anticipated increase in consumption, and the third country in the world when it comes to imported wine) that becomes more and more demanding, since the culture of table and wine, despite the economic crisis, is on the constant rise. Their education level is constantly increasing, so they have a refined taste. On the other hand, it means that they are prepared to pay extra for some “exotic” country like Croatia is for them, at least when it comes to wines.
Although Debit is mentioned in many places as an authentic variety of central Dalmatia, it was probably imported from the south of Italy. With a very limited production, the ingredients for the Lucica wine (we commend the use of name of vineyards for the wines, something which is quite rare in Croatian winemaking circles) come from the grapevines that are almost 50 years old, which definitely speaks about the tradition of cultivating this variety in Sibenik area. Despite being mostly oriented on export, some of the bottles (luckily) end up on domestic tables, because you should get introduced to this winemaker, although you might not like his wines, in order to create a broader picture, i.e. understand different styles of the same variety.
The wine has a dark gold to amber hue with oxidation tones and extreme depth. The nose is dominated by the intensive vanilla aroma and the sour aromas of yeasts, both a result of the sur lie aging method. Among the fruit aromas, the most prominent are dried fruits (figs, apricots), and jam-like aromas of cantaloupe. Slight hints of ginger provide freshness to the wine. You will notice carob in the background. Moderate 13 percent of alcohol by volume is noticeable through the light warmth in the mouth. It is exceptionally soft and easily slides down the throat. Unfortunately, this softness is caused by somewhat lower acids. Unfortunately, this softness is a consequence of somewhat lower acids. Together with the lack of deliciousness, they are the chief complaints about this wine. The palate is dominated by a spiciness coming from barrique, and this flavor marks the lingering aftertaste.
The rich and strong barrique aromas in this wine are completely different from the individual, massive white wines from the new world that are quickly and cheaply enriched by the burnt oak aroma. Here we have a clearly recognizable sur lie process of aging in American oak barrels that raised the wine’s quality to a higher level during the 23 months – the end result is an interesting, rather deep and complex wine. The oak aromas and flavors have thus become an integral part of the wine as a whole; they are not just a “wooden label” that doesn’t have much to do with the bottle’s content. Also interesting is the choice of oak for fermentation and development of the wine, since French and Slavonian oak is much more present in this area, at least when it comes to barrique barrels and high quality wines.
Alen Bibic’s passion and love towards aromas and flavors in wine probably greatly contributed to its success on the American market, since it is well known that the American are great fans of oak aromas.
Best paired with:
White fish, crabs, lamb, risottos, goose liver
12 to 14ºC
around HRK 135