Nenad Trifunovic

5 Best Buy Croatian Red Wines


If you’re looking for a Best Buy Red wine, that means you’re starting from the lowest-priced wine on the market. The countless labels of mass-produced wines offered to us from supermarket shelves are mostly worth even less than they cost. Something that meets the category of the lowest common denominator to be classified as wine usually does not mean it achieves the synergy we require from a good wine.

We often encounter criticism, which is not without basis, that Croatian wines are expensive. However, as Croatian wines become increasingly available to the global market, their availability becomes a limitation. Many sought-after Croatian wines are conditioned by limited growing and processing conditions, so their price rises.

However, these 5 red wines are mostly constantly available. Also, they are not a one-hit-wonder but continuously achieve enviable quality. These 5 wines achieve value significantly above their price. You can find serious value for money for a euro or two more, but finding 5 better wines for less money is challenging.

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1. Dalmatian Dog Babić

Full ripeness of Babić bathed in the Dalmatian sun, and the sip is quick and easy. Even dynamic, with all the cherry and characteristic fruit profile, but also herbal tannin. A wine that impresses with a balance that is rarely achieved in this price category.

This can be attributed to the relatively large plantations of this variety in the Jadrtovac location near Šibenik, a climate in which this unique variety has prospered since time immemorial. It seems that vinification without the influence of wooden barrels does not at all prevent this variety from showing its character in the most beautiful way.

Photo credit: Vina Laguna

2. Laguna Terra Rossa

Few flowers, few olives, and mostly fruit, but nothing too much. Terra Rossa has been a safe bet for many years. Istrian freshness incorporated into a vital whole of the medium-body wine creates a smooth and easy sip. Optimal ripeness and balance of the blend of Teran, Merlot, and Borgonja, in which a new whole is realized that is more than the sum of its parts.

Dry and drinkable, this low-alcohol Istrian is full of the recognizable character of red wines from the Istrian red soil. Along with the fruity and spicy moment, even that aspect is present.

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3. Rizman Brime Plavac Mali

Brime is a kind of entry label of the prestigious Primus Plavac of the winery Rizman from Komarna Vineyards. Plavac grapes ripened on Komarna have a characteristic aromatic stamp, sage, dark fruit, and herbal. Brime has an excellent balance, ideal fruit maturity with preserved freshness, and relatively tame tannins. It is more approachable in its youth than the more concentrated Primus Plavac and is perfectly versatile at the table.

Photo credit: Vina Ritoša

4. Ritoša Cabernet Sauvignon

Cedarwood and pepperiness are perfectly integrated into a harmonious whole. A dusty cloak of tannins textures the blackcurrants and blackberries as each sip confirms the previous one and gives a glimpse of new depth.

A truly harmonious and convincing wine from a variety that behaves very well on Istrian red soil. Regardless of the affordable price, this wine is already one of the best Cabernet Sauvignons in Croatia.

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5. Plančić Darnekuša

What is it that smells like a soft and fruity young Plavac with just enough medicinal herbs to identify it unmistakably yet has an entirely different structure? 

Incomparably “colder”, with a freshness that extends along the palate. Coloured pulp and juice, real wine juice. Ripe grainy texture and full ripeness of dark fruit, without burdening alcohol.

In this case, the answer is – Darnekuša.

Although this variety is planted next to Plavac on the vineyards of the island of Hvar, few winemakers vinify it separately. Today, when it is easier to find a great wine than a “great little wine”, a wine that has a truly vinous, winey taste, a wine that develops over time in the glass and exposed to the air into something magical… Darnekuša sings to those who can and want to hear.

As noted, for a little something extra, the range broadens. So even reaching for the stars can be affordable. That’s what Wine&more special wine offers are for. Check out the red wine-themed wine boxes:


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