Ivica Matosevic is the first one to make wine in his family. “You can’t make a lot of money in wine” he says, but it is a nice job! And people like my wines, think they are very drinkable.” He used to work as a landscape architect and 1996 was his first vintage. He is, as most producers in Istria, specialized in malvazia. But he also makes good red wines from the local Teran. Like malvazija, this is a grape with a strong personality and he prefers to blend it with Merlot to get a better balance.
His bestseller is the clean and fresh malvazija Alba. It is bottled early after fermentation on stainless steel tanks. “I want to keep the freshness, this should be an easy-drinking product”, he says. It expresses beautifully the fresh and floral character of malvazia. There is a pleasant bitterness at the finish, also very typical.
Another typical aroma of the malvasia is the acacia flower. Maybe that is why Istrian producers are experimenting with ageing in acacia wood. “We have a local cooper who works with acacia wood, it is quite hard to work with and it gives a strong taste”, says Ivica. “I use 15 % of acacia barrels but never new wood. The acacia gives smoky notes to the wine and also some honey but it allows the wine to keep the extraordinary freshness that Malvazia is capable of.”
(Part 2 of 5)