Wine: Stagnum, Milos Winery
Tasting: August 2019
Variety: Plavac Mali
Stagnum is one of the most important brands in the world of Croatian winemaking. It is the name of a hillside position on Peljesac Peninsula, where the cooling effect of the sea breeze coming from the cove of Prapratno brings a breath of life to rocky soil baking under hot sun. Here, renowned winemaking family Milos has their organic vineyards from which they get top quality Plavac Mali grapes. They produce wine with hallmarks of classical Old World winemaking. Stagnum is made with minimum intervention in the winery and released on the market after 10 years of aging.
Colour of Stagnum shows plenty of brownish tones revealing the age of the wine like those pesky grey streaks in one’s hair. However, at the age of 10, this wine is far from being “over the hill”.
On the nose as well as on the palate it will display typical Plavac Mali primary aromas like sour cherry and plum jam alongside raisins, while going further you will quickly be able to identify sun dried fig, carob, coffee, cocoa, leather, hints of dried leaves, etc.
On the palate is where you will truly be able to testify to the strength of Stagnum and the reason for its consistently high ratings. Powerful Plavac Mali tannins have been smoothed out and refined and create an imposing structure Stagnum needs to balance the wealth of aromas, high alcohol content (15% for this vintage), and decent acidity. Aromas will linger long after the wine has left your mouth and you will be left with a moment or two of pure Zen before getting ready for the next sip.
Stagnum is wonderfully paired with strong food with plenty of protein and fat, but honestly, it doesn’t need food at all. It is perhaps the best on its own, being such an interesting and rewarding companion, it leaves little need for additional input.
Being an organic wine Stagnum does change significantly vintage to vintage. 2009 is quite bold and boasts ripe and dried fruity aromas that manage to dominate over those of herbs and spices. All in all, it is an absolute classic of southern Croatia and one should not consider this market without trying it.