Have You Had Your ‘Orange’ Wine Today?

By August 8, 2013Winemakers

Now that our tasting of wines from Croatia is over, I can honestly answer the above question with a resounding “Yes!” Do I like them is another question.

‘Orange’ wine tasting

First here are the wines from last evening’s tasting:

Grgic Posip Korcula 2011
Bire Grk Korcula 2011
Matosevic Malvazija Istria 2009
Crvik Malvasija 2010
Boskinac Grand Cuvée 2010
Rojac Malvazija Istria 2009 (‘orange’ wine)
Kabaj Amfora Zurst Bello 2006
Tomac Amfora Rizling 2009
Tomic Plavec Mali 2008
Bibich R6 Riserva NV
Katunar Nigra Riserva NV
Hectorovich Prosek 2006

There were 3 ‘orange’ wines: Rojac, Kabaj and Tomac. For the record an orange wine is a white wine that has macerated and fermented for a long time on the skins. Even so-called white skins will impart a color if left in contact with the juice. An excellent article on the “Fourth Color” is worthwhile reading in this regard.

Based on this article, we decanted all of the orange wines. The last two were amphorae wines, ie they were fermented and aged in large buried clay jugs just like the original winemakers from thousands of years ago.

Can a novice enjoy these wines? With some difficulty because they are an acquired taste. A common thread is a taste almost like dry cidre, more pronounced in some than others. Of the three, the best was the Tomac, who indeed received the award for the best white wine in Croatia in 2012 for his amphora riesling.

THese wines will be impossible to find in the States; Tomac for instance only makes a total of 40,000 bottles and sells all his wines in Croatia. But ‘orange’ wines from other countries such as Italy(Gravner) may be more available. If you ever have the opportunity to try one, don’t pass it up.

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