Nenad Trifunovic

Croatian Sauvignon Blanc Tasting


Spoiler alert! The victors come from the inland part of Croatia. Yes, we did another blind tasting to make sure we have some good deals to offer; and no, nobody is surprised the finest Sauvignon Blancs come from a cooler continental climate.

But it doesn’t have to be that cool like it was this spring. Therefore, we decided to urgently summon the true heralds of spring, Sauvignon Blancs. 

Nettle, elderberry, freshly cut green grass, hay, asparagus… These are all common aromatic descriptors of a Sauvignon Blanc. However, each bottle we have tried was very different and characterful.

The victorious 2019 Štampar Sauvignon, for example. Brings elderberry at first, later some greener notes of cut grass, and finally nettle and gooseberry, but it was simply the best balanced and also a multilayered wine with a slight saltiness in finish. 

The second best Sauvignon comes from the Danube region. 2019 Josić is a more flowery, floral Sauvignon with elderberry notes, but more fruit forward. As expected from the sunny Danube sub-region, the ripeness of fruit is maximal, borderline bitter but the whole is ideally balanced, gentle, almost soft, well rounded, extremely drinkable and non-intrusive.

More lavish and opulent in comparison is our third pick. 2018 Korak Kamenice Sauvignon is significantly more extracted, richer in body, but not heavy at all. Pollen and nuttiness soften with a bit of vanilla and clear mineral signature in the aftertaste. It was a bit reductive at first, as many complex wines are, but the immediate impact of fully ripe material on the palate builds up and persists.

The fourth place is held by 2018 Saints Hills Frenchie, with pronounced nettle on the nose. A bit lemony acids are very well deployed and the overall impression is very elegant. Despite its firm structure, this is also a delicate interpretation of the Sauvignon Blanc that reveals its layers gradually. Grown in Istria, with a bit of Semillon, so instead of Sancerre as a reference, it could be compared to Bordeaux, for example. Surprisingly successful, in our opinion.

One more notable take is 2019 Bolfan Sauvignon Blanc. Lower alcohol and a refreshing interpretation were expected from this representative of the green Zagorje sub-region. Yet, there is a lot of extract and persistence on the palate. Fresh cut grass and gooseberry dominate the aromatics, while the firm acids in the back just crave the right food pairing. Try this with some oily fish or zucchini or goat cheese and discover bliss.

Now we are facing a huge question! What variety should we taste blind next? 


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