Unleashing the flavours of Međimurje – Sauvignon Blanc lovers, this one’s for you
The Hortus Croatiae winemakers association of Međimurje sub-region in Upland Croatia presented Sauvignon Blanc wines from the 2022 and 2021 harvests on March 29th, at 3 p.m. in the Sol restaurant in Zagreb.
At a relaxed gathering with the public and local media, 20 new sauvignons from 14 Međimurje wineries were presented. The wine tasting was accompanied by signature dishes designed by the owner and chef of the Sol restaurant, Mate Janković.
The active and united association of Međimurje winemakers again showed representatives of the media, trade, and hospitality industry that the quantity and quality of wine produced in the Međimurje vineyard continues to grow. Furthermore, the presentation coincided with the start of the wild asparagus season to remind the public that this variety is an ideal pairing for dishes based on this favourite spring ingredient.
Sauvignon is currently one of the most popular grape varieties in the world and is increasingly grown all over the planet. However, in Međimurje, Sauvignon has been present for a long time now and is not a passing trend. Sauvignon has been showing exceptional results in that specific region for decades. The first Sauvignon vineyard in Međimurje was planted in 1951 by the father of modern Sauvignon in Croatia, the legendary Franjo Lebar, after which it spread to other Međimurje vineyards and other parts of Croatia.
Today, almost every winemaking family in Međimurje grows Sauvignon, and alongside the local Pušipel, it is the leading grape variety in their vineyard.
The presented Međimurje Sauvignons are characterised by their aromatic, fresh, and elegant qualities. Alcohol levels are low to moderate, which is a refreshment in the era of global warming and the evident rise in alcohol levels in many other popular grape varieties. All of the presented Sauvignons are bone-dry, with a refreshing character, impressive intensity, and lingering finish. Stylistically, Međimurje Sauvignons are in their own category, quite different from other popular regions like Marlborough in New Zealand or the Loire in France. They are dry and lively, with predominantly citrus aromas of lime and grapefruit, followed by a clear herbal note and freshness and a mild floral note in the background. Some are also characterised by a mineral finish, which manifests as a lingering salty aftertaste.
From a gastronomic perspective, Međimurje Sauvignons are a perfect accompaniment to dishes based on asparagus and seafood such as shellfish, prawns, and sea fruit salads, and Japanese cuisine such as sushi and sashimi. They are particularly well-suited to white fish such as sea bass, bream, and salmon. Grilled, fried, or lightly sauced chicken and turkey are also an excellent choice with Međimurje Sauvignons.