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Tasting notes from Croatia

© 2011 Tom Cannavan

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

Kutjevo Winery, Kutjevo

Kutjevo's wines are not currently in the UK.

Kutjevo, Maximo Brut
Made by the traditional method, this is 100% Graševina (Welsch Riesling) and the first ever sparkling wine both made from Graševina and by this company. Pleasantly appley and citrus bright, though with a slightly sweet, uncomplicated finish. 85/100. Sells locally for the equivalent of €8.

Kutjevo, Vrhunsko Graševina 2010
Pear and apple fruited nose, with very gentle herbal nuances. Nicely full on the palate, with good fruit though perhaps just missing a touch of sharpness and precision in the finish. 84/100. €7.

Kutjevo, Vrhunsko Graševina 2009
Half million bottle production. Slightly more herby and tiny leafy influences, orchard fruit again but a little more complexity. Nice palate, a little more full-bodied and riper and richer, with a long, more intense finish. 86/100.

Kutjevo, Chardonnay 2009
Quite a lot of oaky influence here, with vanillin touches. Sweet fruit, a nicely creamy texture and a bit of apple and melon. Quite low in alcohol, and has a touch of heat. 85/100. €5.5

Kutjevo, Vrhunsko Maximo Bianco 2010
50/50 blend of Sauvignon and Traminer. Traminer makes quite an impact. A exotic, lychee lift and the herbal streak of the Sauvignon coming through. The palate has lots of texture and apparent sweetness, with a thick texture and good acidity. Feels a touch hot in the finish, but a good wine. 87/100. €7.5.

Kutjevo, Vrhunsko Pinot Crni (Noir) 2009
Resinous, with some floral influences, but a touch of Brett too making a complex but medicinal character that is not appealing. The palate has nicer fruit, but it is swamped by the oak giving masses of vanilla and a very drying finish. 80/100. €8.

Kutjevo, Vrhunsko Maximo Nero 2008
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Again a slightly resinous aspect of oak, and not quite clean for me: a touch of Brett perhaps, and a touch of slightly meaty reduction? The palate has plenty of sweet black fruit, the wine a bit leathery and dull though. 82/100. €9.

Kutjevo, Pinot crni 1970
From the archives. Quite sweet and yet leafy with slightly attenuated notes. Lots of charm though, and on the palate has a smooth texture and there is a bit of fruit too, making for a wine that is interesting and has quite a nice balance. Intriguing and quite complex, and still alive. 83/100. €45.

Kutjevo, Muskat Ottonel 1979
With 28g/l this us a semi-sweet style. Herbal notes, a touch of sage and little lemon rind notes, but not overtly floral or fruity; more herb and straw-like notes and a touch of candle wax. Rich texture, with nice balance and a touch of glycerine and honey character. Nicely balanced and fresh. 86/100. €34.

Kutjevo, Graševina Led vino 2009
Icewine with 190g/l residual sugar and a lovely glycerine and lemon, very immediate impression of richness. Gorgeous, rich palate with thick, sweet texture and huge sweetness, and whilst it could perhaps use a touch more acidity, it has toastiness, richness and good length and focus. 89/100. €55 per 37.5cl.

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