Ahearne Vino Plavac Mali South Side 2014
With a career in wine spanning over 25 years, Londoner, Jo Ahearne MW has worked with iconic wineries and retail environments around the globe. She entered the wine trade in the early 1990s with Oddbins in Central London and after two years went to Australia to work a vintage for Charles Melton, with his iconic Nine Popes and Rose of Virginia wines in the Barossa Valley. She passed her Master of Wine qualification in 2008. The Master of Wine qualification is notoriously difficult - only 396 people have the right to use the lauded letters M and W after their name. Ahearne now makes her own wine, Ahearne Vino, in Hvar, Croatia. Ahearne Vino now produces four wines - a rosé, Rosina, two whites (Pošip and a maceration wine, Wild Skins) and a barrique-aged Plavac Mali, South Side. The grapes for Plavac Mali South Side are planted on predominantly white soil on the southern side of Hvar. The steep, rocky and truly vertiginous vineyard sites overlooking the sea near the village of Sveta Nedjelja combine with the pure southern aspect to allow the sunlight reflecting from the calm Adriatic Sea and the white rocks to fully ripen the fruit and the tannins. No mechanization is used in the vineyard.
After careful vineyard selection, the grapes are handpicked and crushed into 500kg open fermentation vats. The grapes are hand plunged to ensure the extraction of more gentle tannins and aged in French oak barrels with just a little addition of Slavonian oak spiciness. The French oak comes from the forest of Jupiles which has very soft, floral tones which enhances the herbal nature of the Plavac Mali rather than obscuring the fruit. The rich plum and raisin flavors are underpinned by dark chocolate and herbal notes much like its parent, Zinfandel. Minimal filtration and stabilization treatments were used to preserve the flavors and aromas of the wine. Natural sediment may form in the bottle.