Winery Ivančić Griffin

Rating
Plešivica

“The more attention and love you give to grape while it’s still on the vine, the better the wine you’ll eventually make" – this the motto of Krešimir Ivančić, a forty-year-old who continued his family tradition of winemaking and growing grapevines. He’s been in the wine production business for eight years. Unlike other small local winemakers, he’s been trying to make the most out of a large number of local varieties that grow on Plešivica because by studying every single one of them, he has learned a lot about grape and what approach to take depending on the year and weather conditions.
This approach is best evidenced by Griffin sparkling wines that have all the characteristics of the variety they’re made from, but so very often they are lost during the vinification process. Ivančić likes to explore in his cellar and treats wine production as a project because he’s of the opinion that wine can be designed and defined in advance as opposed to just allowing it to happen of its own accord. To this aim he uses new world-renowned technologies such as crio or cold maceration that enables the minimal use of sulphur, while the low temperatures hinder the development of any adverse bacteriological organisms. Moreover, strong scents and flavours are extracted from the grapes thereby enabling the fruit base to remain in the wine resulting in still wines, and sparkling ones in particular, to have a balanced flavour and scent.

The first sparkling wine under the Griffin label was launched in 2013. This is a true fresh and dry sparkling wine ideal for sultry days. While enjoying it, you can feel all the characteristics of the variety Müller Thurgau (better known as rizvanac in our region) it’s made from. Griffin Brut is the first sparkling wine bearing a superior quality wine designation.
However, winery Ivančić’s first sparkling wine, Griffin Zero was actually made back in 2012, but due to long aging on yeast it was the last one to be launched. This is a superb sparkling wine without added sugar and liqueur in a brut nature version, which the most valued sparkling wine version in the world because it requires that the wine’s base be of exceptional quality. Fresh and fruity, creamy and elegant, every extra brut sparkling wine lovers will always opt for it.
Winery Ivančić has succeeded in saving yet another rather neglected autochthonous variety from fading into oblivion: their sparkling wines Griffin Dark Side and Griffin Rosé are made from Blauer Portugieser. They’ve won gold medals at the world competition Portugizer du Monde for several consecutive years. Juicy, palatable and fresh, with extraordinary fruitiness and phenomenally balanced acids, they manage to surprise the palate with their breeziness and elegance every single time.

Every year cellar Ivančić also rolls out still wines, while one of them has been sold out a year in advance. Griffin Chardonnay Sur Lie ages for at least 18 months in oak wood barrels on sediments, without added sulphur on selected yeasts that endow this wine with a pronounced body and fullness, it has a long retro taste while at the same time preserving its freshness and varietal fruitiness.

In the highest vineyard on Plešivica with a unique position and southerly exposition they pick the varieties Chardonnay and Müller-Thurgau together for the Griffin Single Vineyard coupage. These varieties are processed together, too. The balanced fruity and floral scents of Müller-Thurgau coupled with the aroma typical of Chardonnay made this wine tender and full-bodied, which is a feature of both the variety and the battonage procedure, as well as aging on sediments for a year and a half.
Except sparkling wines, Ivančić uses Blauer Portugieser for Dark Side Barrique, which is picked at the sunniest positions on Plešivica. A particularly fruity, elegant and fresh wine with mild tannins, it’s not consumed immediately upon processing as is usually the case with Blauer Portugieser, but rather it first ages up to 8 months in American oak wood barrels made in Hungary.
Ivančić continued his string of award-winning wines with his latest label Sauvignon Blanc whose very first vintage of 2017 won awards at competitions. When it comes to white wines, Sauvignon is a very specific variety because it has reductive aromas that are usually considered to be flaws, but as far as Sauvignon Blanc is concerned, these are positive characteristics. In this particular case all the characteristics have realised their full potential: strong textures with only 12% of alcohol, the wine is fresh, with fruity, floral and herbal aromas and it’s completely rounded off on the mouth.
Finally, we absolutely must announce Coral Griffin sparkling wines that have been submerged into the sea where they the wines mature in specific conditions that are completely different from cellars. Very soon they will be ready for dégorgement and tasting!
The production of winery Ivančič is not that large, but its quality is impeccable and numerous awards are the best proof. At this year’s 6th annual Blauer Portugieser evaluation Portugieser Du Monde, a sparkling wine made by winery Ivančić Griffin Rosé was proclaimed champion, while sparkling wine Griffin Dark Side and Blauer Portugieser Dark Side Barrique took in the silver medals. At the recent Russian wine evaluation called Black Sea Forum Griffin Brut was proclaimed champion in the sparkling wine category, whereas Griffin Zero and Griffin Dark Side won gold. The first Sauvignon Blanca vintage from 2017 took in the gold medal.

-- Your Gourmet 365

Contact number +385 95 3630 541

Web www.facebook.com/griffinsparklingwines/

E-mail kresimir@ivancic.hr

Working hours: As agreed

Region Lika-Karlovac

Address Plešivica 62, 10450 Jastrebarsko

Description:

The wine growing and viticulture subregion of Plešivica is subdivided into five winemaking regions. Much like most winemakers on the southern slopes of Samobor Range, winery Ivančić Griffin owns vineyards on multiple locations given that they are small and very scattered. Some of them were planted as much as a hundred years ago, while grapevines have been grown since ancient time when the Illyrians and Celts adopted wine growing from the Thracians.
What makes Ivančić’s vineyards so special is the fact that most of them are situated on slopes that receive more the 2,200 hours of sunshine per year, which is almost 20% above average for Croatia’s interior. The highest vineyard is located at 400 metres above sea level. The positions are very steep so most of the grapes are hand-picked, while you can’t even go into one of the vineyards without wearing special spiked shoes.
About forty varieties, predominantly vines, can be found in the plots scattered around these scenic hills: Müller-Thurgau (rizvanac), Blauer Portugieser and Chardonnay, while the latest vineyard containing Sauvignon was planted a couple of years ago.
The story of how the name of the winery’s sparkling wines labels came about is rather interesting. Because they were loyal subject of the empire, the Ivančić family got to choose a coat of arms so they opted for a mythological creature; namely, a griffin, a beast with the body of a lion and a head of an eagle. Aeschylus called him Zeus’s dog with a bird’s beak that doesn’t bark. According to Greek mythology, the griffin guards the entrance to Dionysios’s wine crater, while at winery Ivančić it looks after the bubbles of their sparkling wines.
Today winery Ivančić includes 9 labels; namely, 5 sparkling wines, 3 white wines and one red wine. Annual production amounts to 25 thousand bottles and all of them are sold to restaurants, wine boutiques, and even now there’s a reservation list for this year’s vintage.
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