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Vranac, Plantaze 2010

Red Wine from Montenegro
Full, ripe juicy red from the local vranac grape which absorbs and reflects the 290 days of sunshine Montenegro enjoys beside the Adriatic.
is no longer available
Code: MN21

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • 13% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Twin top

Montenegro

A small nation, formerly part of the republic of Yugoslavia, with a mountainous interior and a wine industry mostly settled on the Adriatic coast in the west and around the capital Podgorica and Lake Skadar in the south. There are the usual international suspects planted but the native Balkan vranac variety still dominates the 4,000 hectares of low-yielding vineyards, making concentrated and structured reds that can age well. It has earned its sobriquet of ‘black stallion’. Also grown is the local krstac which is turned into dry white wines of varying styles.

By far the biggest producer in Montenegro is the 13 Jul-Plantaze winery close to the entrance to the Skadar National Park. Begun as a state project before the end of the communist Yugoslav republic, over 2300 hectares of vineyards have planted in a formerly neglected area of stony soils, 70% of which is vranac. It is now one of the largest single expanses of vineyard in Europe. The total area of vines nationally is 4,300.

Since...
A small nation, formerly part of the republic of Yugoslavia, with a mountainous interior and a wine industry mostly settled on the Adriatic coast in the west and around the capital Podgorica and Lake Skadar in the south. There are the usual international suspects planted but the native Balkan vranac variety still dominates the 4,000 hectares of low-yielding vineyards, making concentrated and structured reds that can age well. It has earned its sobriquet of ‘black stallion’. Also grown is the local krstac which is turned into dry white wines of varying styles.

By far the biggest producer in Montenegro is the 13 Jul-Plantaze winery close to the entrance to the Skadar National Park. Begun as a state project before the end of the communist Yugoslav republic, over 2300 hectares of vineyards have planted in a formerly neglected area of stony soils, 70% of which is vranac. It is now one of the largest single expanses of vineyard in Europe. The total area of vines nationally is 4,300.

Since 2010 it has been a candidate for accession to the European Union which, should accession occur, may transform the industry in a country where many families produce wine for there own consumption but where commercial development has not yet taken off.
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Plantaže

Although Montenegrin wines aren't yet widely available, the vranac grape has been winning the country awards for over one hundred years: it won its first accolade at the 1907 London Exhibition.

The history of Montenegrin wine production is shorter than that of most wine-producing countries: it wasn't really until the early sixties that it was legally separated from other fruit-growing agriculture when the Agricultural Industrial Plant was established. At this time, Plantaže was formed, and since 1965 they have impressively managed to keep increasing both production levels and quality standards throughout wars, the dissolution of countries and realignment of borders, and the many various resulting legal and economic difficulties.

In the early 1970s, the Workers' Council of the Agricultural Industrial Plant decided they wanted to develop in earnest a large proportion of land for the cultivation of wine grapes. After years of planning and several million dollars of funding, this dream began to take shape, and between 1977 and 1982 the barren soil of Cemovsko was transformed into one of the Balkans' best vineyard sites.

They began with 200 hectares of vineyards and a suitably modest winery. Today they cultivate 2,310 hectares - the largest surface area in Europe to be farmed by a single organisation - and have three wineries equipped with the latest cold storage technologies. Not all of the land is dedicated to wine production, however: they also make brandy, grow peaches, and...
Although Montenegrin wines aren't yet widely available, the vranac grape has been winning the country awards for over one hundred years: it won its first accolade at the 1907 London Exhibition.

The history of Montenegrin wine production is shorter than that of most wine-producing countries: it wasn't really until the early sixties that it was legally separated from other fruit-growing agriculture when the Agricultural Industrial Plant was established. At this time, Plantaže was formed, and since 1965 they have impressively managed to keep increasing both production levels and quality standards throughout wars, the dissolution of countries and realignment of borders, and the many various resulting legal and economic difficulties.

In the early 1970s, the Workers' Council of the Agricultural Industrial Plant decided they wanted to develop in earnest a large proportion of land for the cultivation of wine grapes. After years of planning and several million dollars of funding, this dream began to take shape, and between 1977 and 1982 the barren soil of Cemovsko was transformed into one of the Balkans' best vineyard sites.

They began with 200 hectares of vineyards and a suitably modest winery. Today they cultivate 2,310 hectares - the largest surface area in Europe to be farmed by a single organisation - and have three wineries equipped with the latest cold storage technologies. Not all of the land is dedicated to wine production, however: they also make brandy, grow peaches, and have a huge fishpond from which they supply Californian trout.

Plantaže describes the land as 'a goldmine of nature.' At 30km from the southern Adriatic coast, they have particularly hot, dry summers and colder winters, and the vineyards receive 10 to 12 hours of sunshine a day, an impressive 290 days a year. The chalky limestone soils benefit from drip irrigation, and large pebbles retain heat that can be released to the vines at night.

The vranac grape - the most crucial to the production of Montenegro's best wines - grows in small clusters of berries that have a high sugar content. The grape's character, combined with the vineyards' climate, produces aromatic, full-bodied, high-alcohol wines. The harvest normally takes place during the last week of August, and the grapes are almost entirely hand-harvested by a huge team of 2,000 workers.
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2010 vintage reviews
2009 vintage reviews

JancisRobinson.com

Proper wine at a supermarket price. Just slightly dull on the end but lots of round, Adriatic fruit and a dry tarry finish. Good value.

The Wine Gang

We've enjoyed a number of wines from the former Yugoslavian states of Croatia and Slovenia, but this Montenegrin was a first for us. And we liked it. Made from the local Vranac variety, it's...
We've enjoyed a number of wines from the former Yugoslavian states of Croatia and Slovenia, but this Montenegrin was a first for us. And we liked it. Made from the local Vranac variety, it's reminiscent of a southern Italian red (think Primitivo) with a mix of sweet almost raisined dark fruit and a ripe plum. It's quite firm and rustic in the tannin department, but we thought it would make a fun mid-week pasta alternative at a good price.
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Decanter

Best value wine of the month. From Montenegro's largest wine producer, this delivers cracking value for money. Dense and spicy with a fresh mint and dark fruit nose of raisins, liquorice and...
Best value wine of the month. From Montenegro's largest wine producer, this delivers cracking value for money. Dense and spicy with a fresh mint and dark fruit nose of raisins, liquorice and blackcurrants, bolstered by a meaty palate containing prunes, pepper spice and a hit of cured meat.
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- Weekday Wines

Manchester Evening News

Made from the Vranac grape which thrives in the intense heat of its Adriatic growing season in low-yielding vineyards. I don’t remember swirling a similar wine in the past and it came as a...
Made from the Vranac grape which thrives in the intense heat of its Adriatic growing season in low-yielding vineyards. I don’t remember swirling a similar wine in the past and it came as a revelation to find that there is a soft, slightly spicy, vanilla-scented nose. In the mouth the wine has a velvety texture and dark cherry fruit. Despite its ripeness it retains refreshing acidity. -
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Andy Cronshaw

Belfast News Letter Group

Dense, deeply coloured and delicately spiced. This rich, robust, velvety smooth red from Montenegro has lots of blackberry and sour cherry flavours on its opulent palate which mingle pleasingly with hints ...
Dense, deeply coloured and delicately spiced. This rich, robust, velvety smooth red from Montenegro has lots of blackberry and sour cherry flavours on its opulent palate which mingle pleasingly with hints of chocolate and mint before a luxurious lingering finish. It went exceptionally well with moussaka -
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Raymond Gleug

Torquay Herald & Express

I tried this on holiday with grilled meats andit was very nice. A little sharp at first on the tongue and palate, butimproved after some small oxidation. Completely different from wines I havetried...
I tried this on holiday with grilled meats andit was very nice. A little sharp at first on the tongue and palate, butimproved after some small oxidation. Completely different from wines I havetried before. This was a good find. A good wine to try for anyone seekingsomething new. - <span><i><font color="#000000"></font></i></span>
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Olivier Vergnault

Profile (Sheffield Star)

You really should try this premium dry red.Full-bodied, with a characteristic bouquet of juicy red fruit, it is an idealtipple with spicy food.

The Guardian

robust, spicy ...wellpriced …

- Fiona Beckett

Sunday Life

Full bodied, dark, ruby red … ripe and fruity …delish, perfect with rich spicy dishes … a bargain  

- Paula Gracey

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