Zlatan Otok: Truly BIG reds from Plavac Mali and Zin
If you are a fan of BIG red wines then 2007 Zlatan Otok “Zlatan Plavac Grand Cru”, made from Plavac Mali grapes, is the wine for you. They say it’s Croatia’s rarest wine, it enjoys a cult status and comes from vineyards on steep southern slopes of Hvar island (Sveta Nedjelja) with yield of only 0.5 kg per vine. Explosion of ripe, almost dried black or blue fruits (plums, blackberry), animal scents, leather, cigar smoke in the nose, in the mouth again ripe fruit, chocolate, plenty of extract supported by solid freshness. Finale last for ages… Wine for meditation and late night tastings, alone in empty countryside house. We were curious to try Zlatan Plenković’s new wine (winemaker behind Zlatan Otok) that is made from the most popular grape variety in America, Zinfandel or in Croatian Crljenak Kaštelanski. The nose was fantastic, more fresh because the red fruits were less ripe and jammy than in the wines made from Plavac Mali, but the mouth was less powerful.
Finally something for all chocoholics (aren’t we all?). 2007 Zlatan Otok “Zlatan Porat” is a fantastic dessert wine made from dried grapes of Plavac Mali and having 90 g of sugar per liter and 15 vol of alcohol. It’s not fortified wine, but almost. Croatians don’t have Port or Banyuls but Zlatan Porat may be the first Croatian wine that is capable to support dark chocolate.