2019 Piquentum Refošk
Originally built in 1928, converted into war shelter in the early 90s, and now a winery, it’s the classic tale of a son of a Frenchwoman and an Istrian father growing native Croatian grapes in an old Mussolini era concrete water tank. The name “Piquentum” is the ancient Roman word for the beautiful hilltop town of Buzet. Dimitri Brečević was born and studied oenology in France before returning to his father’s homeland of Istria. Grapes are hand picked and then slowly pressed into tank without temperature control. After a slow natural fermentation the wines are bottled unfiltered with just enough sulfur to travel. While Refošk is in the Refosco family, it differs in that it ripens later and often has more pronounced ripe fruit. Historically, Refošk was given to woman after childbirth to combat anemia due to the rich iron content. Deep pungent aromas and thick in the glass, yet surprisingly nimble and fresh on the palate. A great pairing with charcuterie, oily cured fish, fish stews, and peppery greens.