At the masterclass workshop led by the renowned British wine critic, the sensational Malvasias demonstrated all their power and beauty, as well as an extraordinary richness of tastes.
The famous British wine critic Steven Spurrier, the father of Decanter’s appraisals and one of the most important people on the global wine scene, came to Istria where he attended the jubilee 25th Vinistra. His masterclass, on the eve of the opening of the festival, featured eight top Istrian Malvasias. These were: Malvazija Gcru, 2017 Marijana Armana, then Malvazija 2016 Đulija Ferenca; Malvazija Riserva Vižinada, 2015, Vina Laguna; Malvazija Amfora 2015 Kabola; Akacija Santa Lucia, 2009 Kozlović; Alba 2006 Matošević; champagne Misal Istria by the Peršurić family, and Malvazija San Salvatore 2013., Benvenuti.
The wines demonstrated all the power and beauty of the grape variety and also showed the characteristics of the micro-location, experience, knowledge, and top technology, as well as the character of individual winemakers. They have left an extraordinary impression on Spurrier.
“If we compare it with Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling, the greatness of Malvasia is seen, in addition to diverse stylistics, in its delightfulness as a platform for territorial expression. We have tried wines from different parts of Istria, aged from between 1 and 12 years, which give completely different sensations. The richness of tastes is what the world is looking for today. Malvasia is a very modern, but also an extremely complex variety,” concluded Spurrier, the man who will remain remembered as the initiator of the Judgement of Paris, a wine event from 1976 when American wines for the first defeated until then dominant French wines.
The glorious wine day ended with a gala dinner which the hosts organised in honour of Spurrier. Still, it was mostly a homage to the late British marketing expert Tony Hodges, who was a great fan of Istrian wines, especially Terrano, and a promoter of Istrian and Croatian wines. He was the one who, about ten years ago, for the first time brought wine experts and renowned critics Steven Spurrier and Oz Clark to Croatia.
“For us, as a small region, the arrival of Steven Spurrier is a major event. He is a legend, and his forty-two-year-long experience after the Judgement of Paris has enabled Istria to be on an equal footing with major wine regions. It was an honour and a pleasure to listen to him”, said Ivica Matošević, a famous Istrian winemaker and the founder of Vinistra.