Wine of the Week: Matosevic Alba 2008 – Malvazija Istarska

This wine is made in Istria, Croatia by Ivice Matosevic from Malvazija Istarska. I tasted this wine a couple of weeks ago at the home of some new friends who happen to be wine writers. I trust their palates and was excited to see confirmation of what I had already expected…these guys know what they are talking about.

The wine is imported by Blue Danube Wine, a great importer. I have tasted many of their wines over the last few years and have been impressed each time.

This wine had loads of white fruit, great acidity and a lovely mineral note which I really enjoy. I had it as an aperitif but it would pair very well with pasta, fish or chicken or any seafood dish. It made me miss the Mediterranean, the beach, and the sun.

According to my reading, there are at least 20 different types of Malvasia. This one was first mentioned around 1300 AD in Croatia but I believe is the same variety that grows in Friuli under the name Malvasia Istriana Bianca or Malvasia d’Istria. It can be found in the Carso, Collio, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Friuli Aquileia and Friuli Latisana. To learn more about one of these areas, the Colli Orientali del Friuli, check out these great blogs by a group of wine bloggers who just spent a week there.

Back to our wine, many Italian and Croatian producers use this grape and make wines in different styles, some all stainless steel while others use oak. I liked this nice easy drinking version.

The first time I tried Malvasia Istriana Bianca was with the owner of Tenuta di Blasig in Friuli. My visit to that winery was also one of my first blog posts and thus remains close to my heart.

While not easy to find, I did see this wine on wine-searcher in a couple of places in the U.S. It retails at around $20.

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