Tasted: December 2020
Dubrovacki Podrumi Winery is one of the few wineries that made it through the turbulent times of early 1990’s. During Croatian Homeland War of 1990’s the area of Konavle Region, south of Dubrovnik, was occupied and heavily destroyed. The winery that once was the main producer in the area had to go through serious renovation and restructuring. Today, it is one of the rare larger producers (in Croatian terms) in the south. They produce 10 different labels and among the wine enthusiasts they are most known for their merlot.
Wine is clear with colour of medium intensity. Colour is ripe and luscious ruby and is showing tendency of going towards brick.
It pays to let this wine develop. Sour cherry compote, strawberry and raspberry, sweet vanilla, wood, milk chocolate, faint hint of violet. It is a rich and uplifting wine on the nose, displaying so much, yet never seeming to promise a heavy or overly expressive experience. Primary and secondary aromas are well balanced and some hints of tertiary aromas are also present.
Refreshingly fruity on the front palate. Fruit aromas feature notes of fresh sour cherry juice, blackberry and a bit of raspberry. In the background is a sturdy influence of oak, never pushing its way to take the centre stage. These are aromas or vanilla, wood and a stick of cinnamon. Acidity just about surpasses medium level and makes the wine wonderfully balanced and alive. Tannins are medium at most and silky smooth. Aromas last for quite a long time and dissipate slowly and elegantly.
Food pairings abound with simple red meat dishes being at the top of my list. Roast veal with a side of potatoes might be my favourite pairing. Merlotina is great for pairing with a nice tuna steak as well, especially when with tomato sauce and vegetables. For vegan options go for a nice vegan pizza with cauliflower crust, but with plenty of tomato sauce and toppings.