Croatia may not be the most famous country when it comes to wine production, but it actually has a long history of winemaking, some of their vineyards dates back to 2,500 years ago. Sadly many of the Croatian vineyards and winemaking culture was destroyed by phylloxera then the ruling of the communism system of Yugoslavia and the Croatian war of independence. The number of quality, independent growers are gradually increasing, and Croatian wines are gaining more attention in the wine trade.
Peljesca Peninsula is a wine region on the Adriatic coast of Croatia, majority of the vineyards in Peljesca is Plavac Mali. Plavac Mali is an indigenous grape varietal in Croatia, it is the most famous red wine in Croatia. Plavac Mali is an offspring of Zinfandel and Dobricic, the Plavac Mali from this mediterranean climate in Peljesca is robust, full-bodied, tannic and high in alcohol.
Miloš Vineyard is one of the oldest and well-respected wineries in the village Ponikve, Peljesac Peninsula. The winery is a short drive from Ston or Milo Ston, an oystering village with a couple of restaurants that serve lovely seafood and local wines. The Miloš family moved into the region about 500 years ago and hasn’t moved since.
Miloš has 15 hectares of south facing steep vineyards between 150-250m above sea level, majority is planted with Plavac Mali. Frano and their two sons runs the winery. The winemaking style of Miloš is very different from the majority of the wineries in Croatia, 100% organic, zero irrigation, the wines are aged extensively in old Slavonian oak barrels, and natural yeast in fermentation. The style of Miloš reds remind me one of my favourite wineries, Chateau Rayas.
Miloš Winery produces 5 wines from Plavac Mali as well as a delicious olive oil
- Stagnum Rosé – aged in tank
- Plavac – aged in barrel for 2 years
- Stagnum – aged in barrel for 4 years
- Stagnum poluslatki (semi-sweet wine)
- Stagnum desertni (sweet wine)
Stagnum Rosé 2016
Made from 100% Plavac Mali. A rich and full bodied rosé, not particularly aromatic but clean and weighty on the palate, subtle ripe pear fruits. Almost like a heavy version of Bandol rosé.
100% Plavac Mali, aged in oak barrel for two years. It has a smoky spiced oak taste, hot and spicy alcohol with good level of tannins and rich cherry. An easy-going version of Stagnum. (83/100)
Stagnum is the flagship wine of Miloš, it comes from 35 year old vines at a higher elevation. Incredibly, this Stagnum 2007 has a smoked meaty, slightly oxidised cherry, savoury aroma that resembles Chateau Rayas Pignan 2007. Lovely fragrant of dark cherry, liquorice, complex nose. (86/100)
The Stagnum 2006 is maturing at a faster rate compared to 2007 and 2005, much more approachable and soft enough to drink now. Savoury cherry with good tannic backbone, there is some Italian flair in it. Deeper than Plavac but not quite as powerful as 2007. (85/100)
The 2005 Stagnum is something special, slightly more floral and intense than the 2007 and 2006. Darker fruits and meaty accent, savoury cherry with a classic Barolo twist to it. Dirty earth and blackberries. This needs more ageing. (87/100)
Stagnum poluslatki 2007
A semi-sweet red wine made from late harvest Plavac Mali. 16g/l of residual sugar and 16.5% alcohol. Exuberantly rich and toasty. Sweet blackcurrent, hazelnut. The concentration is insanely high for a red wine. Possibly can replace Port as a night cap. (87/100)
Stagnum desertni 2012
This sweet wine is made from Plavac Mali, dried under roof for a few months to concentrate the sugar and flavours. Lush sweetness of 84g/l, 6g/l of acidity. Dates and raisin, very concentrated and punchy. The balance of sweetness, body and acidity is lovely. (88/100)