Welcome to pure luxury. I'm so excited to introduce you to this very special new wine this week: Matusko's "Rare" Supreme Dingac Reserve 2009.
You may already be familiar with the Matusko range we stock. They produce luxuriously full bodied red wines on the island of Dalmatia in Croatia from the grape variety Plavac Mali. Locally, this grape is known as the "Blood of the Soil" due to its deep colour. It's more famously known as a relative of the gutsy Zinfandel and Primitivo varieties, which also produce full bodied and alcoholic red wines.
While our Postup and Dingac wines are very, very good, Matusko's Rare Reserve is just unbelievable. I will remember what this wine tastes like for the rest of my life. That's simply because it's unlike anything I've tasted before. Full bodied but like chocolate in the mouth, yet somehow it avoids being cloying. There's notes of cream, vanilla and influence from wood, with all the tannins balanced by sweetness from ripened Plavac Mali grapes. Then there's layers of brooding black fruits: blackberries, blackcurrants, dried prunes. It goes on and on in the finish.
Matusko winery is situated in Potomje, a settlement area on the Croatian islands. The winery itself is on the top of the cliffs of the Pelješac Peninsular, north of Dubrovnik.
The region is known as "Croatia's Bordeaux" or the "Oasis of red wine", home to the famed vineyards of Postup and Dingač. While Plavac Mali is the most important grape variety here, some vines are planted to grow the local indigenous pošip white grape variety.
Dingač's vines are iconic because they're grown along the steep and rocky coastal cliffs south of Potomje. While most vines in Europe are trained on vines, in Dingač they're grown in goblets (see below). This means all harvesting must be done by hand.
Matusko age their wines in oak, often new oak, imparting vanillan flavours and a soft, creamy texture to their red wines. While high in alcohol, the wines are always in balance and rarely do you notice some are pushing the boundaries of 15% ABV!