Coral Griffin (photo by Julio Frangen)

There is no better moment than the promotion of a new champagne than the end of the year, because even those who are not bubbly fans can ignore the bottle ignorantly, they drop the plug between the guests and lose more than half of the precious liquid.

Coral Griffin, the latest sparkling wines from the Plešivić wine cellar Kresimir Ivancic deserves a much better treatment: not only because of the unique smells and flavors of Chardonnay and Portuguese with pleasing breccias, but also the special conditions of production and landing in the sea depths. I already have a look at the bottle secured in a handmade solid wood box with a glass window and covered with sea corals and algae, to the knowledge that it is a special sparkling wine that is worth a gourmet table in a friend's society, not just at the New Year's Eve ...

After three years of spinning project at the bottom of the Adriatic Sea, we are honored to present the result with which nature was playing in its magnificent way. The labels have printed coral, algae, shells and other living worlds at 20m depth, and the unique marine terroir that you have rarely had to encounter so far in the world of wine has formed sparkling wine in an unimaginable way - he told us at the beginning Krešimir Ivančić.

The promotion was held at the Noel restaurant in Zagreb where sparkling wines were presented by our best Croatian sommeliers: Mario Meštrović, Darko Lugarić and the host duo Ivan Jug i Goran Petrić, a unique chef prepared by Noel's chef Goran Kočiš. Griffin Brut was served for the uvertrous, Ivančić's first wine-maker, who with the taste of green apple and citrus was excellent parry with the frozen Adriatic oysters.

Coral Griffin (photo by Julio Frangen)

Each of the sommeliers introduced us one of the coral sparkling wines. Ivana Juga was honored to introduce the first Croatian non dosage Griffin Zero which he met for the first time several years ago at the restaurant Noel's opening. "Then its sea version was matured with maturity, fullness and softness, and with smells of candy, butter and vanilla we got smells of coconut and smoke! - emphasized Ivan.

Goran Petric announced well-known and award-winning sparkling roses from Portugal Coral Griffin Rose who kept all his additives in the sea and with the freshness of his aroma they got new layers of seductive fruit.

Eventually, the point at "i" was Coral Griffin Dark Side, probably the most popular Griffin who is known in the world media as Black Champagne, and presented by Darko Lugarić as a top expert for the autochthonous and domicile Croatian varieties. "When I first met Griffin's sparkling wine, I was fascinated by their variety, but only the yeasts were noticed on the nose and mouth but I felt only the grapes they were made of," he said. In the scent of the coral Dark Side are expressed ripe cherry and dry cherry, which is accompanied by freshness and fruity, with gentle cremation, and mature and soft tannins give it an irresistible sweetness.

Coral Griffin (photo by Julio Frangen)

Ivancic's partner in the Coral Griffin project Marko Dušević told us that after a long tapping in the dark, he found the products with which he is proud of: Ivancic Griffin are the best wines that are back in the 5 years and have taken the beginning of the idea from his wine cellar. He added that the unique "sea terroir" is very specific and that each wine reacts differently. "If the wines are not ready for landing or have any flaws or sea sickness will destroy them. I have put hundreds of types of wine and producers, and those who came out of the sea basement can be listed on their fingers - and that is what we are drinking tonight. "

This project did not bring us just these beautiful bottles that were printed by nature and a new terroir that spreads our horizons but also a wonderful experience and friendship with people who participated in all this and thanked all those who participated in any way its contribution, Ivančić said at the end.

We can conclude that we have a unique product that will complement Croatia's tourist offer as an eno-gastro destination and become the most beautiful postcard of Croatia by joining the continental wine region with the Adriatic Sea, thus leaving a mark in the world and contributing to Croatia's recognition as a wine country.

Naturally, everything started in the vineyards, scattered on the sloping slopes of Plešivice, when ten years ago Krešimir decided to take full advantage of the potential of terroirs and varieties and produce sparkling wines with distinct varieties of characteristics. The specificity of the Ivancic vineyards is that most of them are located on the slopes covered with more than 2.000 sunny hours per year, which is almost five times longer than the average on the continent, and the highest at 400 meters above sea level. All vineyards are handled manually because the locations are very steep, and one vineyard without special spit shoes can not even enter.

Starring in every business he is engaged in (except that he has learned a lot about wine in a decade and became a winery, he is a two-dimensional man from Plešivice and a great fisherman, and recently a licensed diver), he studied and experimented with various vinification methods willingly accepted the help of the oenologist Goran Marmilic, to find a way to keep the sortiness in the smell and the taste of one kind, without blending.

It is very often the case that the potential of monosortic sparkling wines remains unused because they are made from high acidic wines which provides freshness, but by classic vinification, such wines require more sulfur in the production process and are unbalanced and have a neutral aromatic basis. The smells and tastes do not accompany each other, and with dehydration on the soil they have specific tertiary flavors dominating the sparkling wines. In the Griffin sparkling wine you can find the characteristics of the varieties from which they are produced and then only the yeast aromas as opposed to the others that reflect the yeasts created by autolysis.

Ivančić found the solution by combining the method krio maceracije and battonage: on the one hand, the cryo-maceration method allows sorted features and freshness to be retained after another fermentation in the bottle, and on the other hand the batonage technique allows the body of these wines and sparkling wines to evolve and develop without the presence of sulfur. When you add it to the wine cellar 20 meters below the sea, where in specific conditions, sparkling wines span more than 2 years in sea silence, at low temperatures and under pressure from the 2,7 bar with very little light - you get specific sparkling, full body and taste with only 11,5% alcohol.

Currently Ivančić's winery has 9 label, of which even 5 sparkling wine, 3 white wine and one red wine. Products around 25 thousands of bottles per year and all distributed in restaurants, vinotheques and on the doorstep, and there is already a list of reservations for some labels from this year's harvest!

When choosing the label name, Krešimir did not again hold the usual tradition of choosing the name by the producer's name, but chose the mythical beings - the griffin - beasts with the lion's body and the head of the eagle and the coat of arms of the noble family Ivancic. Eshil called him Zeus's bird with an untouched bird's beak, and according to Greek mythology, the griffin keeps the entrance to the crater of the god Dionysus - at Ivancic's, watch out for the bubbles of his sparkling wine!

Coral Griffin (photo by Julio Frangen)

The first series Griffin Brut produced 2013. and that is it the first sparkling wine with the mark of top quality wine produced from the Müller Thurgau variety (Rizvanac). From another neglected variety - the Portuguese - almost out of the blue Ivančić produced two other top sparkling wines - Griffin Dark Side and Griffin Rosé who for a number of years consecutively won the gold medal at the Portugizer du Monde world championship and confirm that even the Portuguese can produce glossy sparkling wines, not just young wines. Griffin Dark Side was delighted Spanish media with elegance and complexity, and director of the prestigious magazine, Akatavino, awarded him the 92 point and put it in extreme surprises.

Except for the aforementioned prizes from the competition in Hungary Pécs Portugieser Du Monde, in the Russian wine rating called Black Sea Forum champion champagne category has become Griffin Brut, in Griffin Zero i Griffin Dark Side they won gold medals.

He has worked closely with his wines and at the same time as his personal education proves that he is the only Croatian winner for many years in the world exhibitions and reviews of wines such as Awc Vienna, Mundus Vini and the Russian appreciation of the wines of the Black Sea countries.

The combination of knowledge, youth and unique terroirs at the highest Plešivica positions has brought the vividness of the somewhat dormant Croatian wine scene and made great strides in the popularization of sparkling wine, and the joy of the fact that more and more young winemakers are engaged in exploring new things in an effort to make their own ideas pour into the bottle.

And do not forget, sparkling wines have long been not only aperitifs, but can also be accompanied by complex gastronomic delicacies - a paradise for hedonists who like to experiment ...