Nenad Trifunovic

Kabola – A Nickname for quality Istrian Wine

Kabola winery

Mr. Marino “Kabola” Markežić is a man who believes firmly in tradition. The story of winegrowing in the Markežić family began about a century ago with famous Momjan Muscat.

Istrian Wine Renaissance

A handful of winemakers started what is today known as the “Istrian Wine Renaissance”. In the early nineties, there were no more than a dozen winemakers presenting an Istrian wine culture. And an Istrian wine and table culture as we recognize it today probably wouldn’t be as famous or it would look a lot different if it weren’t for these families.

Among them, a distinguished place belongs to the name of Kabola.

The name Kabola is actually a nickname. The family name Markežić has long been associated with good food and good wine and winemaking in the Markezic family started more than a century ago.

Old certificates from times today unimaginable hangs from the walls of Kabola cellar.

Because, there is nothing recent in recognition of Momjan Muscat in Istria, as this part of the World has been home to a characteristic Momjan Muscat for ages.

Momjan Muscat, Malvasia Istriana and Teran

However, since the start of the “Istrian Wine Renaissance”, Kabola had also become famous for its Malvasia Istriana and Teran wines. The Malvasia Istriana has been perfected into four different interpretations with slightly different personalities.

The first Malvasia is the sparkling wine named Re, which is peachy with the apricot aftertaste and crisp, clear bubbles that help reveal a medium-bodied and fresh take on the traditionally dry Malvasia Istriana.

Second, the fresh “Clean & Green” Istrian Malvasia with its characteristic Acacia flower and apple notes. The sweet apple combined with the aromas of the Acacia flower gives this wine a flavor that is best enjoyed on a hot summer day.

Then, Malvasia Unica, which as the name suggests, provides a unique insight into Istrian Malvasia as a wine for ageing. Golden in color and fuller in body, the Malvasia Unica is structurally and aromatically different from the fresh young Malvasia. Dried grass, dried almonds and figs dominate the profile as ripe yellow pear finishes with notes of butter.

Winemaking in Amphoras

Finally, Kabola is the first Croatian winery that introduced Georgian Amphora in making Malvasia Istriana. This ancient process is perfected today so Kabola Malvasia Amfora is truly a harmonious and balanced wine full of flavors. Quince, anise, and herbs persist on the palate, while mineral aspects reveal the complex character of the wine.

Marino Markežić believes making wine in Amphorae is his crown achievement, a pinnacle of winemaking consistent with nature. 

Kabola vineyards are located near Momjan on what is commonly called the “white soil” type. The soil consists mainly of clay and is rich in marl, which helps give the wines their unique characteristics.

Tribute to Superistrian blends

Maybe that is the reason why Kabola Teran is so lovely and subtle, with all the wild character of the Teran grape but so elegantly restrained into cherry flavor medium-bodied age-worthy red wine. Dry, but tender and elegant, with plenty of freshness and long aftertaste.

A few years ago, Kabola started making Teran in Amphorae. Full in body but gentle in tannin structure, Amfora Teran opens with berry notes dominated by blueberry, followed by vanilla and dark chocolate, dust, cedar, and leather, with notes of prune and minerality in the aftertaste.

Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes never dominated in Kabola vineyards, but Cuvee Supremo surely dominates the table as Kabola`s tribute to “Superistrian” blends. It is a Bordeaux blend with an important touch of Teran. Powerful, but balanced, opens up with blackcurrant followed by ground coffee and leather and ending with minerality in the aftertaste. Intensive and long-lasting, with finely grained tannins, melting in the mouth.

Maintaining respect for tradition proved to be the right choice since his family tradition enabled Marino to harvest organically today. Hard work and patience expressed by Marino are engraved in every bottle of today`s esteemed Kabola wines.

Kabola winery

Write a comment