February 4, 2020 – In Boston, Massachusetts, an important event recently took place – at least when it comes to the Croatian wine scene. It is the first joint venture between a wine importer (Croatian Premium Wine Imports, Inc. CPWI) and a Croatian Wine Association, namely Komarna Seven (K7 -) of the seven wineries in the Komarna appellation.
The label Komarna Seven Plavac Mali, the harvest of 2016, affectionately called K7, is now available in the USA. This wine is a result of an unusual collaboration of the seven wineries of the Komarna Appellation, and blends of Plavac Mali in the same style by different wineries. The first sniff of this dry red wine already tells something is interesting inside and gives aromas of blackberry, plum pepper, and dark chocolate, with 14.5% alcohol level. It is bottled in 0.75L bottles and serving is suggested at the temperature of 64-68 F. – With the first sips of K7, one can taste the tannins with a touch of vanilla, so this wine is elegant with a complex body. The wine was in oak barrels for 24 months, in a combination of Croatian, American and French oak, so within about 10 minutes, one can notice a flavor of sweet tobacco with vanilla.
It pairs well with robust cheese, venison and steaks – said Vedrana Martinovic-Trutina, head of operations for the Terra Madre Winery, and a daughter of one of the three family owners who arrived in Boston to introduce the wine on behalf of Komarna 7 to the local sommelier and wine writers’ community. The wine was created by involvement from all the wineries in the Komarna Appellation. We have always wanted to create a joint label, but we are a young appellation and association, so the opportunity didn’t present itself until the Croatian Premium Wine team suggested we create a label for the US market, so we are thrilled we were able to get this done for the 2020 introduction, commented Mihovil Štimac, the president of Komarna Association. K7 Plavac Mali is an unusual collaboration of the seven wineries of the Komarna Appellation and blends Plavac Mali in the same style by different wineries.
“In partnership with Komarna wineries, we wanted to create a label specific for the American palate and the American market This effort resulted in a very drinkable Plavac Mali with silky tannins and a special aroma characteristic of the Komarna Appellation. I believe this is the first of its kind: a joint venture where the wineries and importer are creating the wines together, and we look forward to the feedback from the American wine lovers who will be the only ones able to taste it,” said Win Burke, CPWI’s co-founder, and CEO.
The process of making the K7 label was detailed and rather long, but in the end, everybody involved is happy with the result. It included all the winemakers from the wineries involved who got together in a blind tasting of several versions of blends that were created by Josip Volarević. He is the co-owner of Volarević Winery and oenologist of the Volarevic Winery, but also a scientist and an academic, currently working on his Ph.D. research about Plavac Mali.
The group agreed on the best “blind blend.” After that, it was up to Marko Šuman, oenologist at the Terra Madre Winery, to oversee the whole production including the blending of wines in tanks as well as the bottling, labeling, etc. The Komarna Association members and Croatian Premium Wine finalized the K7 logo and label and the wine was sent to the US at the end of 2019. – I am proud of the tight collaboration of people from my hometown and delighted to bring this remarkable bottle of Plavac Mali to the US. Plavac Mali variety to me represents the true aromas of Dalmatia – said Mirena Bagur, VP Brand Management at CPWI. And concluded: – This is an elegant wine, drinkable within a few minutes after opening the bottle. One can taste the typical jammy raisin flavor of Plavac Mali. We have shared samples with a few key wine bars, restaurants and stores in Boston area, and the best feedback from them is that the wine is already on the shelves and on the menus.
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