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Istrian Authenticity: 15 Malvazija and Teran wines to try

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Malvazija vines with Istria’s hilltop town Motovun in the background.

If there is one country’s wine quality evolution to follow at the Decanter World Wine Awards, it might well be Croatia.

In just two years, the country has more than tripled its Gold medal count at the international competition. But what’s more, its indigenous varieties have featured in the realm of quality improvement.

Divided into four major wine regions, Istria, the largest peninsula in the Adriatic, is marked by its proud producers, determined to make a name for their region’s staple varieties: the white Malvazija (locally Malvazija Istarska) and red Teran.

For the ambitious winemaker and adventurous wine enthusiast, Malvazija is remarkably varied. It can be produced and enjoyed in a light, fresh style, but its intrigue comes from time maturing on lees, in oak, on skins or aged in bottle.


Scroll down to discover 15 Istrian wines to try from DWWA 2023


With the region’s red mainstay Teran, producers have found ways to thoughtfully cultivate, vinify and harness the full potential of this local variety, embracing and fine tuning its tannins to produce fruity, elegant reds which can, and have proven to, compete on the world stage.

The authenticity inherent in Istria is skilfully mirrored by the adeptness of its producers. Aware that quality starts in the vineyard, they intrinsically understand Istria’s distinctive red, white, grey and black soils and how each influences their indigenous varieties and the subsequent wines produced.

‘This is a country with incredible diversity,’ commented Caroline Gilby MW, DWWA Regional Chair. ‘Each region has a strong story and distinctive identity; there’s always something new to discover.’

Below explore 15 regional standouts from the 2023 competition, with more to seek out at awards.decanter.com

Istrian Authenticity: 15 Malvazija and Teran wines to try

Malvazija

Kabola, Unica 2019


Gold, 96 points 

kabola.hr
Concentrated and full of flavour, this has a distinct definition and pleasant aromas of ripe pear and Mirabelle plum. Intense fruit on the palate accompanied by poached plum notes, with a long mineral finish. Alcohol 14%

Vinarija Rossi, Malvazija Istarska 2022


Value Gold, 95 points
vinarossi.com
Wonderfully crafted, boasting a delightful honeyed and floral aroma and flavour. Its refreshing acidity and distinctive, lingering finish make it truly exceptional. A superb choice for any occasion. Alc 12.5%

Vivoda, St Euphemia Malvazija 2019

Gold, 95 points
vina-vivoda.hr
Beautiful complexity with rich and elegant oaky flavours, complemented perfectly by zippy acidity. It’s full-bodied and finishes with delightful notes of peach and nectarine that linger. Lovely. Alc 13.8%

Eli?o Pilato, Malvazija Sur Lie 2019

Silver, 94 points
£34.80 (2015) Croatian Fine Wines, Novel Wines
Salted citrus, camomile and candied pineapple aromatics – glorious. Sleek and supple on the palate with crisp acidity and a floral complexity. Long on the finish. Alc 13.5%

Roberto Terzolo, Campi del Bosco 2022


Silver, 94 points
@vinaterzolo
Classic nose of green melon, apple and camomile. Medium-bodied with moderate acidity and lively notes of spice and minerals. Long, floral finish. Alc 13%

Damjani?, Akacija 2020


Silver, 93 points
£21-£25 (2016) Croatian Fine Wines, Novel Wines
Good depth of colour with creamy complexity and aromas of hay and peach. Lovely fruit intensity on the honeyed, layered, delicate palate. Long finish. Alc 13.5%

Ivan Kadum, Malvazija 2022


Silver, 93 points
kadumwines.com
Youthful apple blossom nose. Fresh, zesty, vivid and pure in the mouth with juicy acidity. A good expression with a long finish. Alc 13%

Fakin, Amfora Malvazija Istarska 2020


Silver, 92 points
fakinwines.com
Floral, pineapple and saline nose. Serious complexity on the long, intense palate. Long, warming finish. One to enjoy with food. Alc 14.5%

Poletti, Classica Malvazija Istarska 2020


Silver, 92 points
vina-poletti.hr
Rich…

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Source : https://www.decanter.com/decanter-world-wine-awards/istrian-authenticity-15-malvazija-and-teran-wines-to-try-525069/