It was a full house. On Monday, February 13, 2012 over 400 wine lovers and advocates, sommeliers, wine buyers, restaurateurs and chefs gathered in the elegant Regent Esplanade hotel in Croatia’s capital Zagreb for the first-ever “en primeur” degustation of malvasia istriana (malvazija istarska) wines from the 2011 vintage.
The malvasia en primeur tasting served as the inaugural event in an ongoing program over the next three months that will culminate with the 19th annual Vinistra (Association of Winegrowers and Winemakers of Istria) wine expo in May 2012.
In his assessment, Ivica Matošević, president of Vinistra, observed that the packed tasting room at the Esplanade “tells us that the first Croatian en primeur event was a smash hit. We wanted to do something different, something modeled after our global colleagues, and something that would showcase this truly great vintage in Istria.”
Among the many guests at the event were Croatian Minister of Tourism, Veljko Ostojić; Assistant to the Minister of Commerce, Darko Lorencin; Administrator of the County of Istria, Ivan Jakovčić; President of the Tourism Board of Istria, Denis Ivošević; and Sandi Paris from the Croatian Sommelier Club, who spoke to the guests about the characteristics of the hot but excellent 2011 vintage and the range of complex aromas that are beginning to manifest themselves in the wines, ranging from floral to herbals to richly fruit-driven notes.
Thirty-six Istrian wineries were on hand to pour their 2011 malvasia and other select wines from their cellars, including Agrolaguna, Agroprodukt, Franc Arman, Marijan Arman, Benvenuti, Capo, Cattunar, Commot, Coronica, Cossetto, Damijanić Robi, Damjanić Ivan, De Valentinis, Degrassi, Ferenac, Geržinić, Kabola, Kalavojna, Kozlović, Legovina-obitelj Legović, Matić, Matošević, Meneghetti, Pilato, Poletti, Prodan, Radovan, Ritoša, San Tommaso, Sirotić Dario, Tercolo, Tomaz, Trapan, Vino P&P, VINobile and Vivoda.
The mission of the en primeur tasting was to show potential buyers and consumers the high quality of the 2011 malvasia istriana vintage and help facilitate investment in the wines and placement on wine lists both domestically and abroad. Vinistra hoped to also further raise the profile and credibility of the Association as a leader of innovative and creative programs that showcase the region’s best wines, terroir and lifestyle.
By the look of all the happy people with glasses full with golden malvasia, Vinistra achieved its goal. 🙂
(All photos courtesy of Vinistra)