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Crvik Winery New Releases, November 2023

Crvik Winery

Crvik Winery is one of the most popular local wineries in Dubrovnik area. It is a family winery in Konavle area, just south of the city. While this area is often overshadowed by the much more renowned Peljesac Peninsula, it has been an important wine growing region for much of Dubrovnik’s long history. On a cold November evening a select few of us got to try three of their new premium wine vintages.

In the beautiful setting of Dubrovnik’s Rixos Hotel, Peter Crvik introduced us to Tezoro Gran Rezerva 2018, Blasius 2022 and Lorko Gran Rezerva 2017. Siniša Lasan, our famous sommelier, acted as a host and encouraged participation from the participants which were mainly industry insiders.

One thing is certain, there is no danger of Crvik’s lineup becoming stale or boring anytime soon.

*looking to better understand Croatian wine and grape varieties? Check out our Complete Course on Croatian Wine

Crvik Tezoro Gran Rezerva 2018

Variety: Malvasija Dubrovacka (85%), Marastina (15%)

Vintage: 2018

Tasted: November 2023

Malvasija Dubrovacka is rapidly becoming one of the most important white grape varieties in this part of Croatia. Seeing how it almost disappeared during the communist era of bulk wine production, this is a very positive development. It has a long history it has in this area, dating back to the 14th century. Internationally, you can find it under the names Malvasia de Sitges or Malvasia di Sardegna, or even Greco Bianco. Malvasija Dubrovacka Tezoro is Crvik winery’s best selling white wine. It was recently that the head winemaker Peter Crvik decided to try and create a bigger wine out of it. Tezoro Gran Rezerva comes in magnum bottles exclusively. So, no more than 600 of them for the are available vintage 2018.

Tezoro Gran Rezerva Tasting Notes

Colour is mature gold in character, medium plus in intensity.

On the nose the wine exhibits aromas of medium intensity. Aromas are inviting and rich and range from vanilla, sweet spice and ginger to fruity aromas of pear, apricot jam and ripe apple. Use of French barrique barrels is evident. But it is not overpowering at any point.

On the palate, it is surprisingly refreshing given the age and region. It is mildly oily and provides a lovely mouthfeel. This is a wine with a long finish. It’s a big white that will be able to age for a substantial period given its acidity and body.

There are plenty of great food pairing options for Crvik Tezoro Gran Rezerva 2017. Grilled fish, lobster and creamy pastas are a no brained, but I would love to taste this one with some pork roasts or turkey dishes.

Crvik Blasius 2022

Variety: Malvasija Dubrovacka

Vintage: 2022

Tasted: November 2023

Striaght out of the barrel, latest vintage of Blasius is quite something.  Blasius is one of the region’s most important orange wines. The first vintage of it dates back to  2015. Ever since then it has only grown in quality and personality. It is an orange wine that is able to bridge the two camps of orange wine drinkers. One that, for whatever reason, believes all orange wines need to be funky and hazy and the other that likes their wines smooth and refined regardless of the style. First impressions of the 2022 vintage show that we might be dealing with the best Blasius so far. Native yeast fermentation and 8 months maceration was done in oak barrels. The wine is unfiltered and is beautifully aromatic.

Blasius Tasting Notes

Colour is of medium intensity, dark orange with brownish tones.

On the nose, the wine is quite aromatic. It is almost perfumy in character. Aromas are a plenty: jasmine, ginger, orange peel, hint of coconut, apple compote, quince. As it opens up, the wine aromas go from spicy and floral character to fruity.

On the palate it is dry with ample acidity and medium plus finish. The wine exhibits youthfulness (it was taken from the barrel for this event) and energy. Tannins are there to feel and appreciate and add to the lovely structure of Blasius.

Orange wines are food wines and this is definitely not news. Blasius is a perfect addition to the wine list of any serious restaurant. This wine can be a great accompanying piece for raw oysters, shrimp risotto, chicken skewers, pork cutlets, creamy risottos, lighter curry dishes and much more.

Crvik Lorko Gran Rezerva 2017

Variety: Merlot

Vintage: 2017

Tasted: November 2023

While all the wines on this tasting are special, the star of the show was always going to be Lorko. This Merlot is one of the most ambitious wines to come out of Crvik winery. Sommelier Siniša Lasan rightfully pointed out there are very few big Croatian Merlots, even though this variety is fairly popular around the country. So, Lorko will take its place as one of the most important Croatian Merlots. It stands to reason. Konavle is one part of Dubrovnik area renowned for merlot and Crvik Winery is famous for its other Merlot wine – Negromant. Sticking to their theme of taking names from Dubrovnik literature and mythology, Lorko is a suitable name. Lorko refers to a mischievous forest dwelling devil, the star of many children-frightening tales of old.

Year 2017 was plagued by spring frosts and the harvest was saved by dormant buds. After the initial struggle the vintage is now proving to be a very interesting one. Lorko spends 3 years in the barrel and two years in the bottle.

Lorko Tasting Notes

The color is of medium plus intensity, purple going to ruby.

On the nose, Lorko is of medium intensity. It is rich with aromas that keep changing as the wine opens. Prevalent aromas are of red and dark berry fruit and berry jam, bourbon vanilla, pencil shavings.

On the palate, this wine is incredibly well integrated with beautiful combination of aromas, medium acidity, and very long finish. It is fruity, spicy, juicy and warm. It is a big wine able to age for quite a long time. This wine is dry but does have a seductively sweet mouthfeel.

Food pairings for Lorko scream out “red meat”. It is a wonderful steak wine, lamb roast wine, hard or blue cheese wine. Lorko would do wonderfully with certain wild game dishes like venison stews or bear steaks.

*looking to better understand Croatian wine and grape varieties? Check out our Complete Course on Croatian Wine

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