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WINES OF ILLYRIA - BLATINA 13%ALC

BOSNIA

This wine is made of 100% Blatina, an indigenous grape of the Herzegovina region. It is comparable to Chianti Clasicco, Malbec or full-bodied, warm climate Pinot Noir. Blatina is unique and very hard to cultivate. It does not grow anywhere outside of Neretva river valley. Blatina is fickle, has a functional female flower, rendering it auto-sterile, meaning it requires other varieties to be planted nearby in order to pollinate and allow fruits.  Trnjak (TER-njak) variety is used to pollinate our Blatina.

This wine exhibits a glowing ruby red color with garnet reflections. It opens gradually on the nose with soft aromas of black currant and elderberry and a hint of licorice. The palate reveals full, fresh notes of red and black currant, traces of dried figs, roasted almonds, ripe plums, and chocolate with an undertone of minerality and a savory dash of salt. Delicious freshness highlights the well-integrated acidity. A perfect wine with any spicy meal or as a cocktail wine.

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WINES OF ILLYRIA - BLATINA ROSE 13%ALC

BOSNIA

Wines of Illyria Carski Blatina Rose  2019 is a premium quality  (Vrhunsko), dry rosé wine made of Blatina (BLAH-tee-nah) grapes, a native variety of the Herzegovina (Her-tsuh-GOH-vee-nuh) wine region. Salmon color, subtle tastes of citrus, and underlying notes of Mediterranean stone   fruits: peaches and apricots.

In   order to retain freshness and acidity, grapes are handpicked at dawn from the southern part of the Imperial Vineyards, 15 to 20 days before the main harvest. Made by spontaneous fermentation in a stainless-steel tank, with just a few hours of maceration, the wine is aged in a bottle for 4 months before served.

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WINES OF ILLYRIA - PLAVAC MALI 14%ALC

BOSNIA

This indigenous grape of Dalmatian islands thrives in Herzegovina  (Her-tsuh-GOH-vee-nuh)  and produces a dark red wine with blue reflections, rendering a purple color reminiscent of the royal robes of ancient Rome. The smell is pronounced, lasting and very complex; it reveals aromas of plums, figs and almonds, Mediterranean herbs and spices. Aged in Bosnian oak barrels for two years, aromas are further infused with wood scents. This wine exhibits softness, drinkability and complexity, and pairs well with red meats and spicy dishes. All Italian restaurants pair it with red sauce pastas. Vegan wine.

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WINES OF ILLYRIA - VRANAC 13%ALC

BOSNIA

This full-bodied, dry, red wine is made of 100% Vranac, a kingpin grape of Southeastern Europe, closely related to Zinfandel and Primitivo. This is a very serious and seductive wine with fresh acidity and discreet fruitiness; light scents of violet and a hint of wisteria mark the nose. Soft currant and elderberry flavors are accompanied by an undertone of rose hip. An elegant, minerally wine with notes of plum, blackberry and a pinch of saltiness. Fresh, balanced and pleasant for everyday drinking.

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WINES IF ILLYRIA

BLATINA 187ML/13%ALC

BOSNIA

This wine is made of 100% Blatina, an indigenous grape of the Herzegovina region. It is comparable to Chianti Clasicco, Malbec or full-bodied, warm climate Pinot Noir. Blatina is unique and very hard to cultivate. It does not grow anywhere outside of Neretva river valley. Blatina is fickle, has a functional female flower, rendering it auto-sterile, meaning it requires other varieties to be planted nearby in order to pollinate and allow fruits.  Trnjak (TER-njak) variety is used to pollinate our Blatina.

This wine exhibits a glowing ruby red color with garnet reflections. It opens gradually on the nose with soft aromas of black currant and elderberry and a hint of licorice. The palate reveals full, fresh notes of red and black currant, traces of dried figs, roasted almonds, ripe plums, and chocolate with an undertone of minerality and a savory dash of salt. Delicious freshness highlights the well-integrated acidity. A perfect wine with any spicy meal or as a cocktail wine.

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WINES OF ILLYRIA- STONE CUVEE 187ML/13%ALC

BOSNIA

This wine is made of 90% ZILAVKA (Zhi-LAV-kuh) and 10% BENA (BEN-na), indigenous grapes from the sun-washed Herzegovina region. Similar to a mix of Verdicchio and Vermentino or Burgundy whites from Meursault region. Light yellowish green color and crystal clear. Clean and refreshing, expressing elegance and flavors of green apples, lychee and honey, scents of chamomile and verbena with a slight mineral and nutty tone. The ripe, warm flavors of apricot, star fruit and a hint of anise are coddled by juicy acidity, Fine minerality and a long herbal-toned finish. Best paired with light white meat dishes and seafood. Try it with chicken marsala, chicken pakora or pork. IB recommended it with any fried food like soft shell crab, chicken tenders, fries or Sloppy Joe, served with honey mustard.

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WINES OF ILLYRIA- VERNAC

187ML/13%ALC

BOSNIA

This full-bodied, dry, red wine is made of 100% Vranac, a kingpin grape of Southeastern Europe, closely related to Zinfandel and Primitivo. This is a very serious and seductive wine with fresh acidity and discreet fruitiness; light scents of violet and a hint of wisteria mark the nose. Soft currant and elderberry flavors are accompanied by an undertone of rose hip. An elegant, minerally wine with notes of plum, blackberry and a pinch of saltiness. Fresh, balanced and pleasant for everyday drinking.

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Grbinich Wines and Spirits is proud to add Vina Laguna Wines from CROATIA to our selection.

Vina Laguna has nurtured the tradition of continuous wine production since 1934, when the Cantina Sociale di Parenzo wine cellar was founded and constructed. The focus has been solely on the production of wines of controlled geographical indication. In this small part of Istria, there is a combination of Mediterranean and sub Mediterranean climate with a clear impact of the continental climate. Its 600 hectares of vineyards, on Istrian red soil (Terra Rossa), as well as white soil on flysch (Terra Bianca), spread from the coast to the hills up to 300 meters above the sea level.

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CABERNET SAUVIGNON

If you find classic claret too dry and New World cabernets too big and broody, here is a fresh alternative, with all the black fruit you could want but without the headaches. Here on this northerly Adriatic peninsula, where Alpine and Mediterranean climates meet in harmony, cabernet sauvignon grapes ripen beautifully without producing excessive alcohol. Try it with simpled grilled lamb or even sea bass, and discover the lightness of being Istria: all the pleasure and no pain.

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FESTIGIA CASTELLO

Deep, dark ruby color, fruity and spicy aroma of blackberries, blueberry, coffee, vanilla, and caramel open. Soft and warm Merlot, fresh, elegant with specific aroma Syrah, firm structured Cabernet Sauvignon are perfectly blended in this Cuvee. On the palate, Castello is very elegant, soft, and still fresh wine with sweet medium tannins and typical Istrian juicy acidity.

Best served chilled at 18 – 20 °C with cold cuts, meat sauces, various roasts, and mature cheeses.

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CHARDONNAY

If you have ever found yourself muttering “anything but chardonnay”, expecting another over-weight, over-oaked specimen, think again. Here on this northerly Adriatic peninsula, where Alpine and Mediterranean climates meet in harmony, Vina Laguna suggests chardonnay can be cool again: cool climate, cool fermentation, and not a trace of oak. A great summer meant ripe grapes and full fruit flavours but with a freshness that most New World chardonnays can only dream about. Serve it cool at 10-12 C with a seafood pasta and discover the lightness of being Istria.

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FESTIGIA MALVAZIJA

Crystal clear, of greenish yellow colour,
characteristic floral-fruit aromas, citrus, tropical and bony fruits, characteristic floral aromas on acacia, the taste is pure, dry, with medium pronounced acids, medium body and pleasantly fresh, recognizably salty and mineral, more permanent fruity flavour on citrus and tropical fruits, of a characteristic, slightly bitter with a medium-long finish.

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MALVAZIJA

This is a wine that truly defines the ease of being in Istria. Here where the Alpine and Mediterranean climates harmoniously permeate, it is home to the Malvasia Istriana grape variety, although it is also located along the Italian border. Many species (or clones) of this variety are grown, especially not the Mediterranean, but here, on the northernmost Adriatic peninsula, Malvasia is at its peak: clean, clear, fresh and fragrant. In 2011, the summer was warm and ripe berries were picked by hand early, and then immediately cooled to preserve the true fruity and floral aroma of Malvasia at its peak, with the end on honey acacia in bloom. Dry, yet rounded and long-lasting, it is perfectly served at 10-12 Celsius, with fresh seafood and nothing more than a drop of lemon juice and a little fine Istrian olive oil.

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MERLOT

In vineyards close to Istria’s west, the Merlot grape thrives like nowhere else. Closer to coastal breezes than most New World Merlots, fruit is to the fore, not alcohol. With fresh Spring showers and soil well drained, the wine is fresher than in Bordeaux. Even in 2010, a year of mixed weather, Istrian vines produced ruby-red wine, soft, full and long, under 13% alcohol, with black berry fruits on nose and finish. At lunch or later, this is wine of the Istrian table. Lakoca! (To lightness, as we say in Istria.)

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MUSKAT ZUTI

On the hills of Vižinada, overlooking the famous Istrian town of Motovun, grapes grow in ideal microclimate conditions for aromatic white wines – on white soil cooled by a constant breeze. This magical place gives sweet and semi-sweet wines that are nothing like their relatives from the bright sun-heated vineyards of hot southern France or central Italy. Never sticky or too hot, this semi-sweet Muscat Yellow pairs well with fruit desserts. Surrender to its wildflower aroma and know the ease of being in Istria.

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PINOT SIVI

The French call it Pinot Gris, and Croats call it Pinot Grey, but it is known all over the world as Pinot Grigio, perhaps recognized for its own good: the higher the production, the more you will find boring, uncharacteristic wines without freshness and long-term finish that pinot Grigio should be singled out for.

Here in the golden Istrian summer of 2011, the grapes ripened early, so we picked early, due to the abundant aroma on apple and pear, which is due to the freshness thanks to the northern position and the cold breezes.

Try it as an aperitif, with a couple of olives and discover the classic flavors of the unique Pinot Grigio wine as it should be – and also the ease of being in Istria.

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Rosé

Every summer, the world falls in love with rosé, at least in part because of its charming color. Now they tell us, especially in Provence, that rosé should be pale to be interesting, and this indicates a fresher summer wine. In Istria, we disagree. Where the alpine and Mediterranean climates harmoniously permeate, cabernet suvignon, thanks to our sun, ripens early, while our cold breezes are responsible for the freshness. So rosé looks just as fruity as it tastes, yet fresh and light. Wine with which you will easily master summer lunch, from seafood to forest fruits, and it is as beautiful as any pink wine from Provence – it is the lightness of being in Istria.

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TERAN

This is an authentic Istrian red wine, a kind of secret that is revealed to those who explore this mystical land.

It was an ordinary people's wine – there is a teran-based soup that has nurtured workers in vineyards, but has now been discovered by wine researchers, especially journalists, who love its crunchy taste in the mouth, fruit and acidity, as a refreshing change from international grape varieties.

Unusually for red grapes, it is suited to cold summers or protected vineyard locations such as those on the magical hills of Vižinada, and this is by far the best place to enjoy this wine – with a plate of prosciutto and homemade cheese, under clear skies, in love with the ease of being in Istria.

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TERRA ROSSA

On a fertile peninsula where the tradition of the vine is older than memory, the best red wines come from red soil. Let this light, drinkable and versatile wine flow into your glass from our red country, the soul of Istrian winemaking. Three harmoniously combined grape varieties show all the strength and tenderness of red Istria. Teran brings freshness and unmistakable Istrian signature, Borgonja ensures minerality and flowering, and merlot offers its fruitiness and softness. Terra Rossa is a grateful accompaniment with good food and good company, for every day.

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