One of the Best Croatian Cabernets Korlat Supreme 2012 is Not Even on the Market

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Several weeks ago Badel filled the first bottles of Supreme, a new label of wine from the renowned Korlat vineyard in the hinterland of Benkovac. Grapes for the Supreme were picked form especially good positions from that very lovely vineyard. Wine was aged for two and a half years in both new and used French and American barrels. Bottled were Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. The label is different than the usual Korlat line, among other details being the small tin plate with the sign Supreme.

And Supreme is different than other Korlats, and all other Badel wines as it cannot be purchased on the market. Supreme is not in retail, nor wholesale. Badel managers plan to offer Supreme to a small group of leading Croatian restaurants and luxury hotels, as the only places where Supreme might be found on wine lists. Beyond this short and rather well chosen selection, Supreme will not be distributed, since the series are very small and with a hefty price.

Several days ago we tasted all three Supremes. Cabernet Sauvignon seriously impressed us. Supreme Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 has a pronounced freshness, elegance, pure, strong and somehow energetic bright variety aromas and tastes (black currant, blackberries, blueberries), with a strong sense of menthol and with excellent, exemplary granulated tannins. Supreme is no blockbuster: it is not too extracted or overly alcoholic (the label states 13.5%). Supreme Cabernet Sauvignon is elegant, modern and expressive, with a very long ageing period. It is a wine Badel should be sending to all sorts of international competitions, as it is worth well over 90 points.

Croatia has plenty of Cabernet Sauvignons, but their quality, with several exceptions, is mostly questionable, especially if they are not in a coupage. Other than Festigia Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 and several bottles by Vlado Krauthaker from the same harvest, we cannot recall any other domestic Cabernet of such high international class like the recently bottled Supreme 2012. Supreme Shiraz is also a very good wine, again with precisely struck variety aromas and tastes, very complex bouquet and soft texture, while Merlot obviously needs a little time after bottling to breathe.

The Korlat Supreme label belongs among the first luxury red wines of international varieties made in Dalmatia, after Boris Šuljić began producing the Boškinac fifteen years ago. Too bad they cannot be acquired.

For the original and more from Plava Kamenica, click here.


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