MasterClass Alhambra & Cellar Cellars 2019 (Photo: Alhambra PR)

A better place to present top quality wines Iločna podruma from prestigious boutique hotel Alhambra located in the idyllic Čikat bay on Lošinj at this time - it does not exist!
A combination of sophisticated luxury and the spirit of aristocratic times and wine & dine hotel offers Alfred Keller's à la carte restaurant with an impressive collection of champion and archival wines of our most prized wineries, opened the enchanting Masterclass season in Lošinj in the best possible way.

MasterClass Alhambra & Cellar Cellars 2019 (Photo: Alhambra PR)

The singular cellars are probably the best example of one of the Croatian paradoxes: on one hand, we are constantly hearing that one of the reasons (still) weak representation of high-quality domestic wines on international scene production is insufficient to meet the needs of the selectable customers, it became common sense that anyone who produces larger (large) quantities can not produce top quality wines. This masterful workshop has unquestionably confirmed that large wineries do not have to be worse than small butchery wineries, and I have recently been convinced of the wine talks with Tomislav Stiplošek when they were presented Lagoon of wine. After the privatization of 2003. year, the Mihaljevic family invested in 20's EUR million, and the winery continued the tradition of large-scale wine production that lasted from 1450. the year when the Old basement was built, the first in this part of Europe and the world. They are proud to say that in the top Ilocka Traminac they also enjoyed the celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II's crowning!

From grapes harvested in more than 330 of their own vineyards and 660s of other producers located on the western slopes of Fruška gore Iločki basements are produced annually between 4,5 and 5 million liters of wine.
And what kind of wine!
Due to its special features, the two top positions - Prištovac and Vukovo, with particular emphasis on the influence of the Danube, a large number of sunny days, and of course the knowledge and effort of the winegrowers - graševine and traminci from Iloci podrum, as well as Rhine Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, pinot white ... quickly and easily overwhelm not only the palate, but also the heart of the vermilion, but also of the winemakers, so the number of winning awards is truly impressive.

Which wine and for that opportunity is easy to choose because the wines are divided into marketing-minded and easy-to-remember categories: wines for every opportunity, for special occasions, wines for enjoyment i wine for memory. The categories differ in style, position and purpose, or recommendations for gastro-slimming. At the master workshop there were eleven eleven, and at six even one night, one of them finally became my personal favorite: Rhine Riesling from 2006. years! A distinctive scent that expands from the old petroleum lamp that this time do not burn the nasrid Vinkovci but already Ilok, this archive thirteen-year-old served on a file of blacksmiths, beans and spinach shows all the splendor of this - we are neglected - variety: the very color of old gold hints at the royal palate treatment in which the sweet ending lasts and lasts ... In my defense I will bring that old that the tastes are not discussed, but when I had another morning with coffee on the sunny terrace, thinking about the previous evening, this Rhine Riesling was the first time I had a smile on my face. Maybe for another cup I tasted na bis that moment before I ran into the room and turned into a midnight pumpkin ...

The shawl on the side, the wines of the Cellar baskets are very serious and complex, and with the aforementioned riesling, their grain and trammines have very pronounced varieties of characteristics such as bitter grains or smells of rose petals and pronounced honey notes in trammels, notably even in archival wines whose tertiary aromas have not completely prevailed.


MasterClass Alhambra & Cellar Cellars 2019 (Photo: Alhambra PR)

Six of the graševina presented Karmela Tancabel, board member and marketing director of Iloci podrumi - 4 from regular sales and 2 archive, as well as additional information helped Kristijan Merkaš, the main sommelier of Jadranka hotel. Fresh Graševina from 2018. (a line of selected wines for every occasion) is a good dry wine - I would say a school example of grains that will appeal to those who just discover the sleepy sensations of the eyes, the smells and the tastes: the pale yellowish color with green leaves announces the apple and the vineyards on the nose. An excellent impression closes the balanced softness of alcohol and hardness of acid with a long gourd retro-cake that seems to have a single task: invoke another sip! It would be unjust to not dedicate this wine because hands on the glass - most will not be able to taste more than half of the wines presented - let alone small amounts, and some (and in this case justified) high prices. We continued with one year old Graševina from the special occasion line: compared to the first wine, slightly higher alcohol but hidden by gentle honey notes, fuller body and taste, expected freshness. Better balanced and less bitter in the after.


MasterClass Alhambra & Cellar Cellars 2019 (Photo: Spori Zecov)

When wine is called Grain of Great Harvest 2011, (wine for great moments) then the grapes had to be big. Bunnies picked from planters in position Principovac they were first carefully scrutinized and then subjected to special vinification - three months mixed in fine soils, in order to obtain wine for three years in wooden barrels at ideal conditions 569 years old basement and rest for a minimum of 6 months in bottles. It seems to have to be decanted because after some time spent in the glass the initial impression improved and confirmed that this wine is a beautiful (and long) future - if some of the remaining 4.000 bottles survive. Because wine is already enjoyable, dry, mineral, creamy and character, just that - sparkling wine! If you run somewhere on the button, I would not hesitate to allocate 300-a-half kuna and in a cookie to look for more sophisticated meaty recipe.

Two old men ago, we cut off with a half-spat Graševina Principovac 2013. (slightly less than 20g / l of unverified sugar) - I dare say a handsome experiment, complex and powerful, but the impression was probably less impressive due to the anticipation of the last two grains. A record in information as a material that must be repeated (m).


MasterClass Alhambra & Cellar Cellars 2019 (Photo: Spori Zecov)

Gravy archival wine from 2008. is the wine for which they say that "if you do not know how to seduce a woman, offer her this wine ..."- just first decant it! Conspicuous, elegant and hardly to drink - even though another old man is worthy of this grapevine (I still write about archival wines ...) patient - saved. Tertiary aromas are still in no indication, apple and citrus in full splendor, fluttering and fresh. Well, if any butterfly survives, I'd like to be friends with her for a year, yet she is only eleven!

And at the end of the first part, Grahevine archival wine 1983. - old 36 year old who does not smell on crabs and shells (and he is better!) But already candied fruits, dried flower, chestnut and nuts. How old are you and how old you are, in the glass you are looking at the unfilled, old gold ... and when you spin it into a glass and shake in your mouth you can not believe how fresh, no oxidative notes that could be forgiven of old wine. Still in its shine, mature scent and rich flavor, perfectly balanced sweetness and freshness, fine honey aromas - a wine that is experiencing its second youth (age?). But it was not so perfect, sad news: this wine can not be bought anywhere because, although it was prepared for the archive, it never appeared on the market.

Well, who says he did not pay off to embark on a sommelier exam!

Tramins remain for the second story, however, because every good start has its (sometimes even better) continuation.

Now, what was the continuation of a master workshop and a gala dinner in the 5 sequences - in the next issue ...