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Tasting notes from Croatia

© 2011 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Croatian Wines.

Krauthaker, Kutjevo

Krauthaker's wines are imported into the UK by Coe Vintners and are in many top restaurants including the Fat Duck. See all stockists of Krauthaker wines on wine-searcher.

Krauthaker, Graševina 2010
12.6% alcohol. Tank sample. Very nice, limpid wine with that softly peachy and melon rind nose with a little skin contact firmness. Very juicy and fresh, lots of body and richness, a touch of bittersweet, grapefruit and bitter lemon tang but a terrific wine. They also produce single vineyard Graševina normally, but most went into this blend in this wet vintage. 88-89/100.

Krauthaker, Graševina Mitrovac 2010
Slightly more intense, herbal and punchy, from a single vineyard. Much punchier palate, with real intensity and grip, the finish powering through. In the UK. 88-89/100.

Krauthaker, Rizling Rajnski 2010
12% alcohol. Very lemony and fresh, with a massive pithy tang of sour lemon and grapefruit that streaks through the mouth. Fantastic intensity, this is long and shimmering with nettly and grassy tones as well as the citrus, fantastic quality. 90/100.

Krauthaker, Sauvignon Blanc Barrique 2010
13.5%. Barrel fermented and six months ageing in barrel. Figgy and rich, with quince and gentle smokiness, the punchy herb notes and touch of leafy grassiness very Sauvignon. Very nice, has a slightly less complex/interesting palate than the nose promises, but lovely fruit and tang and a very good, balanced and complete wine. 88-89/100.

Krauthaker, Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Melon rind and apple, quite a ripe style, but not tropical. A nice passionfruit richness comes through. The palate has lovely clarity and real punch: vibrant, underripe apple tang and crunch, long and focused, really pulls together on the palate. A full, rich style. 89-90/100.

Krauthaker, Rosenberg Chardonnay 2009
From the small hill we saw being worked by horses. 13.5% alcohol, one year in barrique, around 20% new. Lovely, gently fudge-like and toast and orange oak, with butterscotch richness but very ripe apple and melon fruit beneath. Lots o fruit ripeness and sweetness, very mouth-filling texture and flavour with so much fruit concentration into the finish. In the UK. 90/100.

Krauthaker, Rosenberg Chardonnay 2008
14% alcohol. 15% new oak. Oak has tamed a little after one year, but still adding a lovely sheen of vanilla and toast, but the cool, orchard fruit very nicely pitched. Lovely limpid pitch, the fruit and intensity powerful on the palate. 89-90/100.

Krauthaker, Zelenac 2010
Known as Rotgipfler in Austria. Cool, gently herbal, little touches of spearmint. Cool, orchard fruits, very attractive with a hint of peppery spice. Very full-bodied, sweet and intense, with a mouth-filling texture and presence, almost cling peach sweetness and richness that is fabulous, but perhaps slightly overpowering in a big Viognier style. 88/100.

Krauthaker, Pinot crni (Pinot Noir) 2009
Never new oak, 15% in two-year-old barrels, the rest in steel. Nice, lighter colour, nose of gentle spices and bracken and earth. A touch of something tight and sinewy, a touch inky or smoky perhaps. Lovely plum and cherry fruit and spices and an earthy, authentic Pinot quality. By far the best Pinot so far on this trip. 90/100.

Krauthaker, Pinot crni 2008
Slightly more vegetal and earthy on the nose. Very Pinot noir. Rather more dry in terms of fruit, with a firm cranberry and redcurrant, then some soy and plum darkness comes through, but very appealing. Oak a little more obtrusive in the finish perhaps, adding a drying touch, but a very nice Pinot again. 88-89/100.

Krauthaker, Merlot 2009
13% alcohol, eighteen months in older barrels, this is a finished tank sample about to be bottled. Cedary, pencil-shaving and tobacco finesse, the fruit ripe and rich, but not jammy. Blackcurrant and a touch of black chocolate. The palate has lots of intensity, the fruit juicy, very nicely balanced against the acidity and oak, and whilst just a smidgeon more fruit fleshiness would have been nice on the mid-palate, it is very well done. 88/100.

Krauthaker, Syrah 2009
Three months in barrique then eight more in big wooden vats. Suppressed aromatically, with a touch of balsamic and a slightly fruitless mid-palate, the tannin and earthy tones dominant. Spicy and rich. 85-86/100.

Krauthaker, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
14% alcohol 15 months in barrique. Barrel sample from big vats. Quite leathery and plummy, touches of soy and balsamic, quite ripe and full, but a little cedar and leather too. Thick, sweet and rich fruit on the palate, more fleshy fruit substance melding with some coffee and a touch of chocolate mint, quite long and fleshy and full. A good wine. 88-89/100.

Krauthaker, Graševina Izborna Berba Bobica (TBA) 2009
Deep marmalade and smoky scents, honey and leaf tea complexity. Intense sweetness with massive texture and sweetness, a lovely bittersweet acidity underpinning it, with some grapefruit tang and fabulous length. 92/100.

Krauthaker, Graševina Extra 2009
A natural wine with no sulphur. 50 days on lees with no intervention, then into barrique for six months. Deep yellow "orange wine", with vaguely medicinal tones and all the hay-like, dry, lemon peel character with intense dryness. Instantly dries the mouth like biting into an underripe apple. 87/100.

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