RKS Wine: Croatia’s Dalmatian Dog

I enjoyed Plavac Mali which is the king of red wine in Croatia with much of the grape being grown on the Dalmatian Coast. The Dalmatian Dog is from the Babić grape also grown on the Dalmatian coast. It is known under more than 30 different names. We get so little Croatian wine due to terrified buyers and management of the Liquor Overcontrol Board of Ontario shovelling the same varietals year after year. Good luck on ever finding any sparkling Brazilian, wines from England, Romania, Bulgaria, Texas and so on. The easy money for a liquor monopoly is what sells well and it sells well as there is so little choice to consumers. There is big money in Chardonnay but no money in Encruzado. The Liquor Control Board of Ontario quite frankly is boring.

How does the Dalmatian dog fare? As for aromatics there is some sweet red cherry hardly ground-breaking but dig deeper there is some intriguing roast almonds and spice, cooked rhubarb and some milk chocolate. On the palate the tannins are moderate with back earth, cranberry, cactus pear, white pepper and a manageable and agreeable dusting of spice. The finish is short.

The LCBO Vintages Catalogue says the wine would pair well with sporki makaruli which features rich beef spiced with cinnamon and clove. I think I can agree with that. I have been in Croatia 4 times over the years and ate many a plate of greasy goulash. Perhaps it was not goulash but sporki makaruli?

Whatever messages this wine is sending you they are clean and vibrant. Yes this is what organic wine can convey.

(The Dalmatian Dog Babić 2018, Organic, Dalmatia, Testament Winery, Šibenik, Croatia, $19.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 18810, 750 mL, 14%, RKS Wine Rating 85/100).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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