Radovan Winery Produced the Best Sauvignon in Istria Last Year

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The Radovan family from the Radovani village near Višnjan in Istria has built for years a tall reputation with their Malvazijas and Chardonnays, regularly among the leading Istrian white wines. We tried their Sauvignon Blanc, which impressed us strongly.

Istria so far did not have much luck with Sauvignons. They have shown to be quite useful in cuvees such as Matošević’s white Grimalda, while in monovarietal editions they mostly gave simple wines, with a stronger or weaker sense of freshness. There were very few exceptions, which deviated from the “drink for thirst” definition of Istrian Sauvignons.

Hence the Radovan Sauvignon form last year’s harvest truly surprised us. This wine has gathered the good qualities of several Sauvignon schools. On the nose it combines green, grassy aromas, with scents of grape and passion fruit, an almost typical aroma blend of better New Zealand Sauvignons. But, Radovan’s Sauvignon is unexpectedly fat and meaty, with a large body, which is characteristic of superior Sauvignons from Alto Adige, but also from Goriška Brda; a sample of Simčič Sauvignon gathered some 16 percent of alcohols a dozen years ago, but was not bottled independently, but ended up in a cuvee with lower alcohol wines. Radovan Sauvignon 2016 has 14.5 percent of alcohols, which do not burden the wine as the lavish body is well balanced with optimal freshness.

Finally, this wine with green-citrus-tropical scents and abundant body also has minerality which almost associates of Loire Sauvignons. If only there wasn’t a very slight bitterness in the taste, atypical of superior Sauvignons of various terroirs and styles, Radovan’s Sauvignon Blanc would certainly be rated higher. Even like this, it is by far the best in Istria, and belongs among the three or four best Sauvignon Blancs in Croatia.

It is a mighty, fresh wine, which we would most like to have with different oysters, such as Rockefeller oysters, or oysters in tempura with ginger and chilli. It goes well with scampi, white fish, large shrimps, fried chicken, fried pork, especially effective with goat cheeses, from younger ones to aged ones. The Radovan family recommends it with asparagus, but to us it seems too large for any green vegetable.

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


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