Bibich Croatian Wines

Who has had them, and what did you think?

I have an unopened bottle of their 2020 Crno, which supposedly means “black”. Mostly syrah. Fittingly, the front label is completely blank and black. I couldn’t NOT try it.

Anyone?

Croatia has some interesting wines, mainly red ones, and Crno is one of them (but there are also some interesting white ones mainly from Istria). Crno means black but crno vino also means red wine in Croatian.

I’m glad you responded. For all your love of wild beer label art and clever memes and names, here’s the front label of this wine.

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I don’t drink, and don’t care for wine, but there’s a winery out in Amador county (or some other foothills county east of Sacramento) that does wines using what they said was a Croatian technique where the wine is fermented in clay jars rather than oak barrels.

It was a white wine, no clue on the varietal, but taking a sip of it was the weirdest experience. There was NO FLAVOR. It smelled like white wine. But when you drank it… nothing. No flavor, and it was dry enough that it just evaporated as you swallowed and you were left with nothing. No moisture, no taste. It was like an anti-drink. Sips of it seemed to leave to tasting less than you did before you drank.

My wine drinking partner and friends were all weirded out by it as well. My friends bought a bottle just so they could bring it home and share the oddity of it with other folks.

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Gosh, I hope that bottle I chanced on has some!

I’ve had ciders and wines, both, fermented in that manner and never had a tasteless one. Sounds unusual – maybe even flawed? For example, sometimes cider ferments so dry that it can be nearly flavorless; hence, picking the right cider apples is key and quite different than what one might select for sweet cider.

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This manner was all humanity had for millenia. I think many wines from Armenia are also still made in this way. Ciders in whitewashed concrete, too.

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So, it seems I got my eastern European regions confused. It seems the wine I tried was not Croatian, but Georgian.

So, my apologies. I meant no slander to Croatian wine or winemaking. Heck, I mean no disrespect to Georgian winemaking.

But I do stand by my experience with that particular bottle. The fact that I can still remember and talk about it several years after strikes me as “worth the price for the story alone.”

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That makes more sense; I knew it as a specifically Georgian technique. There is a cider company in the state of Virginia that uses those “qvevri.” It’s been a long time since I’ve tried their cider but I remember it being champagne-style and delicious.