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Hello! Welcome to As Drunk by Exotic Wine Travel, a weekly column where we feature interesting wines that we encourage you to seek out. The reviews featured in this series may be written by either one or the both of us. The featured wines can be from obscure or well-known wine regions. We hope that these wine recommendations will keep you gastronomically curious and your palate invigorated!
Matošević, Grimalda Red 2016
Ivica Matošević was one of the first producers that kickstarted the quality revolution in Istria, Croatia. Like many of the producers in Istria, Matošević focuses on the white grape Malvazija Istarska. The top wines in the portfolio are the Grimalda White and Red – which are essentially the cru wines of the estate. Both wines are made with grapes from vineyards in the hilltop village of Grimalda in central Istria.
We are fans of the Matošević Grimalda White in nearly every vintage, but not the Grimalda Red. Some vintages can be stunning, like 2008, while some can feel a little oaky and heavy-handed. The 2016 vintage is the first step in the new direction for the wine, one that we applaud mightily.
The Matošević Grimalda Red 2016 is a blend of Merlot, Teran, and Cabernet Sauvignon aged in French oak. This is the first vintage in which Cabernet Sauvignon is added to the blend. It comes in at 13% abv and the wine never feels too heavy. This vintage is juicy and dangerously easy to drink. Flavors include sour cherry, mineral, capsicum, and a touch of rusty nail. It’s medium bodied with supple tannins and the finish is slightly spicy.
Fans of Northern Italian reds will find a lot to like here. Good vintages of Grimalda red have a history of aging well if you are patient and the the 2016 should do the same. However, it’s delicious and ready to drink right out of the gate.
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