We have arrived at the time of year when I start thinking less about whites and lighter reds and more about bigger red wines. As the weather starts to chill, I think about rich warming red wines and Plavac Mali, (plǎːʋat͡s mǎli) from Croatia is one of those wines. Rich is a word that first comes to mind when I think of Plavac Mali wine, full-bodied, rich and savory. The color is intense, with a dense ruby color and hints of purple (pomegranate comes to mind) when young. The aromas and flavors range from black berries, dark cherries, figs and plums, dried cranberries, pepper, smoke, sage, leather, cedar, hints of herbs and dark chocolate. It has an elegant and bold flavor. The powerful but rounded tannins and juicy, long-lasting juicy, aftertaste of most of these wines is memorable.
Plavac Mali is a versatile food wine. It will be your new autumn and winter go to; perfect for rich stews, heavy meat and mushroom dishes, charcuterie and don’t forget barbecue! I am also happy to enjoy it on its own, ~Annemarie Morse
Terra Madre Plavac Mali, Premium, Komarna 2016
Lovely ripe, rich aromas and flavors of dark cherry and plum, some black pepper and subtle spices. Fruit forward flavors ending with smooth, dry, tannic and earthly flavors. A hit with my beef stew recipe made with red wine. This wine has a bit of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, but primarily Plavac Mali. It is produced using an organic and sustainable farming process, without the use of mineral fertilizers and pesticides. After fermentation and malolactic fermentation, the wine is aged for 12 months in oak barrels and then 12 months in the bottle before it is released. (Wine Enthusiast 90, Decanter World Wine awards silver)
Volarević Plavac Mali, Gold Edition, 2016
Red and black cherries, ripe on the nose, the fruit stands out, bright and fresh, with a full body finish, with pronounced tannins. This wine is made with 100% Plavac Mali grapes and won’t disappoint. (Wine Enthusiast 94)
Volarević Plavac Mali, Platinum Edition, 2018
Wow! Can’t wait to get another bottle. The grapes that made this wine were grown on steep slopes close to the Adriatic Sea. The cork is sealed in wax. The wine was aged for 8 months in French, American and Croatian oak. Multidimensional aromas with ripe black cherry, blackberry, plum, vanilla, a touch of sage, roasted coffee and leather. Rich and opulent this wine has big tannins, high alcohol (16.5%) that balanced well with acidity. Lots of aging potential. Great with a steak or mushroom based dish. (Wine Enthusiast 95)
Rizman Plavac Mali, 2015
The grapes for this wine also came from the hills overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Another one of my favorites in this lineup! I recommend decanting one hour prior to enjoying. Smoky notes are the first aroma you experience, and then engaging red fruits, including cherries and raspberries. There is a lovely balance of the tannins and acidity, and surprisingly the high alcohol level (16.5%) is well integrated in this wine. Smooth and elegant, this wine is showing how well these wines are aging. Enjoy with food or all by itself. I would definitely recommend aged cheese, earthy, savory or meaty dishes.
Komarna 7, 2016
This wine was created through a collaboration of 7 wineries of the Komarna appellation. It Is a blend of wine made by 7 different wineries. The aromas are red cherry, blackberry and plum with a hint of dark chocolate. This is an elegant wine, well balanced and engaging. It is aged in oak barrels (mix of Croatian, American and Franch oak) for 24 months which accentuates the flavors of sweet tobacco with vanilla. I would drink this with steak, game and hard cheeses. (Wine Enthusiast 91). This wine is produced exclusively for Croatian Premium Wine Imports, and is available only in the US.