Croatian wines at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2022

Croatian wines at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2022

Croatia did it again at the Decanter World Wine Awards and won three platinum awards and 16 gold medals. The haul was their best in the history of the awards, which is considered the gold standard since the competition began giving awards in 2004.

Experts sampled more than 18,000 wines from around the globe from a UK magazine, and the Croatian gold haul was double that of 2021. In 2021 Croatian winemakers took home three platinum and eight gold awards marking their superior dominance at the Decanter World Awards.

After the awards, Croatia should be considered a dominant force in the region as far as wine is concerned. Although Croatia is at the helm of producing the best wines in the world, they hardly export their wines.

Istria county is still the local leader, and the winners of the platinum medals were: 

Kozlović, Santa Lucia Malvazija, Hrvatska Istra, Coastal, Croatia, 2017

Platinum, 97 points

Very ripe and vibrant with wonderful complexity. There are dried apricots, tropical fruit notes, hints of chamomile, yellow apples, lemon peel, and pronounced minerality giving gorgeous freshness. The wonderfully structured palate is complex, long, and well-balanced.

Benvenuti, San Salvatore Muškat, Hrvatska Istra, Coastal, Croatia, 2017

Platinum, 97 points

Powerful, rich, and a big, luscious style that's reminiscent of Sauternes. Fully botrytised, with gorgeously concentrated dried apricot, orange peel, brown sugar, buckwheat, honey, and baked apple flavours. Finishes with a long honeyed tail.

Gold medal winners from Istria County are:

Fakin, Teran, Hrvatska Istra, Coastal, Croatia, 2021

Gold, 95 points, Red

A very vibrant and primary fruit character that tells of youth. A mouthwatering acidity surrounds the ripe raspberry and redcurrant fruit flavours. There are fresh flowery accents that join the fruit. A wine with potential for the future. 

Tomaz, Barbarossa Teran, Hrvatska Istra, Coastal, Croatia, 2019

Gold, 95 points, Red

Highly extracted, with grippy tannins that steer close to aggression. The palate is rich and powerful with overripe dark fruits, dark cherry, sweet baking spices, and tobacco. There is a lovely lift to the finish and great fruit expression.

Vina Mario Banko, Cuvee Sv. šImun, Hrvatska Istra, Coastal, Croatia, 2018

Gold, 95 points, Red

This is a really individual and characterful wine that shows superb freshness. The bright acidity is an absolute joy, with notes of cranberry, musk, and cacao. There is a lightness and deftness to the wine with flavours of blackberry with subtle hints of dried herbs and black olives.

Matić, Afrodita Malvazija Istarska, Hrvatska Istra, Coastal, Croatia, 2019

Gold, 95 points, White

A complex macerated wine with beautiful aromas of yellow flowers and stone fruits. The palate is full of ripe fruits and shows a lovely minerality. It is well-structured, with a round, smooth, and long finish.

Vivoda, St. Euphemia Malvazija Istarska, Istria, Coastal, Croatia, 2018

Gold, 95 points, White

A vivid orange wine in style: concentrated and rich, suggestions of skin contact, phenolic/tannin complexity, and salty-tangy bitterness. Overripe stonefruits with vanilla yoghurt, bitter oranges, herby-pineapple, dried apricots, and some iodine tang. This is very long and feels really fresh and lively.

Other gold medal winners are:

Korlat, Supreme, Dalmatinska Zagora, Coastal, Croatia, 2013

Gold, 96 points, Red

The wine is savoury and full of detail, and even though this is a big and quite ripe style, with dried, leathery fruit, it sings with freshness and life. Even though the palate is rich with strong tannins, it doesn't overawe the fruit.

Zlatno Brdo, Gold Cuvée, Baranja, Continental, Croatia, 2020

Gold, 96 points, White

A wine with wonderfully intense and rich aromatic qualities. Leading with ripe stone fruits, honeyed yellow fruits, and an interesting propolis character. The floral-toned palate is so clean and fresh and builds with further notes of melon, rose petals, and lychee. An extremely food-friendly off-dry wine.

DeMar, Graševina, Zagorje - Međimurje, Continental, Croatia, 2020

Gold, 96 points, White

A haunting aroma of white flowers gradually opens to reveal spicy jasmine, summer pears, and lifted green-lemon notes. The palate grows in complexity with a sweet-and-spicy multilayered expression of quince, nectarine, jasmine, and honeysuckle. It offers an elegant and charming finish with subtle structure. 

Zure, Reventón Sur Lie Grk, Srednja i Južna Dalmacija, Coastal, Croatia, 2019

Gold, 96 points, White 

An oaky-rich wine that opens with a lovely expression of dried summer fruits, melon, and a touch of overripe banana peel. The palate is expressive and charming with a vibrant acid backbone giving sensations of freshness.

Zure, Bartul Grk, Srednja i Južna Dalmacija, Coastal, Croatia, 2019

Gold, 95 points, White

Lots of lemon zest and Mirabelle aromatics lead into nectarine, pineapple, and a squeeze of grapefruit. The palate opens with some smooth oaky style and offers yellow flower characters, a hint of banana, and a mineral saltiness. The wine finishes with a wet-stone and pine-hinted accent.

Jakopić, “R” Rizling Rajnski, Zagorje – Međimurje, Continental, Croatia, 2019

Gold, 95 points, White

Rich and caramelly on the nose, with baked apple, ginger, and honey aromas, with some marzipan savouriness. The sweetness here is perfectly balanced by the acidity, showing just how well Riesling adapts to this style. The wine finishes with some beautifully done light botrytis influence.

štampar, Sauvignon, Zagorje - Međimurje, Continental, Croatia, 2021

Gold, 95 points, White

Quite intense and spicy, while showing a nice note of ripeness. Interesting notes of nutmeg, oriental spices, and herbs, join the fresh green bell pepper, lemon, and lime flavours. The wine finishes dry on the palate with good intensity and plenty of character.

Iločki Podrumi, Izborna Berba Prosušenih Bobica Traminac, Hrvatsko Podunavlje, Continental, Croatia, 2016

Gold, 95 points, White

The wine displays a concentrated botrytis nose with fine apricot, quince, caramel, candied lemon, and vanilla. Textured and sexy with masses of fruit and a lovely Traminer character. There is some structure too, sufficient freshness and good savoury spice. For the price, a brilliant wine.

Puhelek Purek, Sauvignon, Prigorje - Bilogora, Continental, Croatia, 2021

Gold, 95 points, White

An aromatic, crisp, and refreshing wine with plenty of grassy-green pepper varietal typicity. There are additional accents of green apple and citrus fruits on the elegant, quite pronounced mineral palate. The finish is long, dry, and vibrant.

Kraljevski Vinogradi, Prestige Pošip, Sjeverna Dalmacija, Coastal, Croatia, 2019

Gold, 95 points, White

The wine leads with a deep golden colour. The aroma has a lovely layered richness and marries ripe tropical fruits with Mediterranean fruits and some well-integrated oak. The palate is dry with some delicate floral characters and shows an amazingly vibrant character and length.

Vučemilović, Vallis Rabiosa Desertno Vino, Sjeverna Dalmacija, Coastal, Croatia, 2020

Gold, 95 points, White

A fabulously silky wine with gorgeous tropical notes of maracuja and mango. It offers clean purity, with a finely integrated acidity bringing freshness to the pineapple, apricot, and a touch of honey. What a beauty - the sugar, acidity, and fruit balance is wonderful!

Dvorska Šoškić in Plešivica, a family run winery that was in business just before the pandemic, located outside Croatia’s capital, won the third platinum award for:

Dvorska Šoškić, Haiku, Plešivica, Continental, Croatia, 2019

Platinum, 97 points, Orange

A rounded and well-balanced wine with interesting herbal details and some broad spicy tannins. There is a charming creamy texture that adds to the mouthfeel giving it generosity and character.

At Welcome Center Croatia, we can help you taste some of the most beautiful Croatian wines, while assisting you with accommodation, transportation, and anything else you might need during your stay in Croatia.


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