Croatia's Far East + Sherry #1
Year 13, No. 09
Greetings during this, the middest of July moments.
Since moving the newsletter and Cul de Cuvée over to Substack, I’ve been very happy but, as something of a side effect, have been more engaged in the community that’s built up around the platform.
I don’t know if you’re aware of the Notes section but, in light of The Zuck’s ‘Threads’ launching (which is really annoying currently), it’s important to note that Substack added this tweet-like feature a while back and it’s a far, far more sane place to be, a bit like when it was just engaged nerds on Twitter back in the mid to late aughts of this century.
But, suffice to say, a common theme on Notes by a lot of Substackers is, “Why are my reads down?!” to which everyone keeps say, “Because it’s summer!”
Given that, it seems like a good time to release the latest report on Slavonija, Croatia where their star variety is Graševina, a white grape that produces very fresh and lively wines. I learned a lot on that trip including how Graševina can actually be a lot more complex with time.
Otherwise, we’re slowly winding down for the summer here, but there’s one last report to come before that which you’ll all want to keep an eye out for!
Drink well, be well.
(*) Free to read
The Featured Report
You start in Croatia’s capital Zagreb and you keep going until you hit this outpost of winemaking that clings along the twists and turns of the Danube River. Here we take a look at what they’re making as well as learning a bit more about their star variety, Graševina.
And Now This
Despite Sherry generally not being understood and sales (sadly) going down all the time, its home in Jerez de la Frontera, is apparently the #1 enotourism destination in Spain (*) for 2022.
Maybe you’re in the mood for some Ribera del Duero wines? If so, I’d recommend having a look at the latest releases from old kid on the block, Viña Vilano.
Sadly, winery owner and Bordeaux legend, Jean-Michel Cazes left us last month which is why it’s a perfect time to have a look at his quite excellent narrative memoir (*) that was released earlier this year.
Maybe you’d like go a bit further afield in tasting, in which case, peruse some of the recent wines from Macedonian juggernaut, Tikveš.
Lastly, there have been a lot of changes at the winemaking cooperative in the village of Capçanes in Catalunya that works under the auspices of DO Montsant. I sat down with the head of enology to better understand how she’s changed course a great deal in recent years.
The Featured Wine
Admittedly, wines from 2012 in Eastern Spain are a bit tough to love, but here in this Mas del Serral, the top wine from Pepé Raventós, they’ve done a fine job handling a pretty brutal year of weather. A blend of Xarel·lo and a local clone of Graciano (of all things), it manages to stay steady at 94pts.