Most exceptional vineyard positions and amazing wines: Winery Franković surprised us!
Istria dominated this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards and brought recognition to young wineries on Croatian scene. One of them, winery Franković, amazed us with their golden Korona Malvazija, winner of the Decanter Gold Medal and 95 Points. Here are our tasting notes!
Most of the vineyards of the Franković family are planted on the Santa Lucia hills, known as the premium sites for Istrian varieties (Malvazija, Teran). These terraced hills are home to 7 hectares of their grapevines which they plan on expanding to 12 hectares in the following years. Judging by the success the made in a recent couple of years, we would like them to have even bigger vineyards.
One of the rare wineries situated in the city center
The Franković winery is situated in the centre of the little town Buje, in north-western Istria right next to Umag. One of the rare and very few examples of wineries operating in the city centre, the family shared their plans of moving the operation into the vineyards of Santa Lucia.
To bring you closer to their work, take a look at their just-released promo video with stunning vineyard views.
They are known for amazing Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, but we selected something really special to present. Here are our tasting notes:
Korona Malvazija sur lie 2016.
Harvested 15-20 days later than the fresh Malvazija, Korona shows concentrated yet balanced power. Very low yields and only the healthiest grapes go to further aging in oak barrels. Here, Korona rests for 10 months, both in large and small oak barrels. The balance of fine sweet spices and tannins coming from the wood is amazing.
White flowers enriched with apricots and dried fruits, seduce you at the first sip of Korona. What is amazing that even in this young stage of life, Korona is as well rich and big bodied as she is refreshing with citrus fruits coming from the background.
Sweet spices follow the aromatic thrill in the glass. Long aftertaste slowly revels we will only see this wine coming to its peak. Pleasant and enjoyable, you will be lucky if you can spare a bottle in your archive!
Franković Teran 2017
Also coming from prised Santa Lucia vineyards, this young wine that was just released on the market, is amazingly smooth to drink. Teran as a variety is known for higher acidity levels that in the end levels with amazing fruit extract in Franković bottles.
Notes of violets, blackcurrant, and sour cherries pop out of the glass. Like carried on a light summer breeze, the freshness Teran is able to give in wines just adds to one amazing experience. Truly Istrian character and style.
Grippy tannins are a bit rough in this stage of life, but with a little bit more time in the bottle, we expect the amazing development of this Teran. One juicy wine!
Istrian Sauvignon Blanc – one of the best on the market
There are very few good examples of varietal Sauvignon Blancs from Istria – there is a greater chance to find it in blends that are amazing. The climate is warmer, not ideal for this variety. But seems like the Buje area has something great to offer.
The Franković winery succeeded in creating the perfect summer refreshment. This Sauvignon Blanc is more on the citrus side, pure refreshment in Old World style. There are grassy components to the taste but not so dominant, here fruits lead the way.
The winery and its owner, Mr Josip Franković shares special connection and passion for horses and riding, inherited by his father. The silhouette of horses is seen on some wine labels of the winery. Making wines is a family matter to the Franković winery. Younger family members, daughter Laura and son Marko are equally involved in the whole process – from the vineyards to the wine cellar.
Judging by what we tasted so far, we can expect much more in the future. Continuous recognition form international and national wine exhibitions and committed work in the vineyards make their whole portfolio of wines, one of the best buys and value for money in Istria so far.