Pošip (pronounced posh-hip) is an indigenous Croatian white grape that dates back to the 4th century BCE. It was originally grown on the island of Korčula but thanks to its ability to ripen early, decent yields, and strong aromatics it has spread throughout Dalmatia.
The book on Pošip wines says they are relatively full bodied with tropical fruit flavors and mineral undertones. This one, made by Zlatan Plenkovic, perhaps Croatia’s top winemaker, broadly fits that description although it has a peculiar evolution because of some skin-contact. (Vrhunsko Vino means a top-quality wine in Croatia’s quality classifications.)
Clear, focused apricot and pineapple with bit of funky sea breeze and slight oxidative note leave a distinctive impression.
In the mouth, up front, it’s a bit waxy and viscous with a hint of sweetness but turns racy and lighter with mineral expression at midpalate, and then slams you with blunt tart citrus and some bitterness on the finish. Gritty undertones in the texture add tension. An interesting wine with an arduous personality.
It goes from warm and amiable to bittersweet to austere in a few seconds, a stormy march through mercurial emotions. Light weight music with some aggression and mood swings in the vocals paired best with this. “Ruins” by Jade Bird has some of the same trajectory—“one minute I love you and the next is all in ruins.”
Notes: Vines are planted on hillsides on the island of Hvar. Two days on the skins, then fermented using non commercial yeasts from Italy. Aged for 8 months in stainless steel (inox) tanks, coarsely fined and filtered before bottling.