BABIC. 1979 – VINOPLOD
by Paul Kalemkiarian Sr | October 1982
I have a hard time believing the story that the Dalmatian breed of dog was named after the appearance of the islands off the coast of Dalmatia. What that has to do with wine I don’t know! It was just a piece of trivia passed on to me by the importer of our red wine this month!
Babic is made around Primosten and Rogoznica, in Dalmatia. Where is Dalmatia? you ask. Well, its in Croatia, if that is any help; and Croatia is one of the six republics of Yugoslavia. A host of wines are made by the dozen or so cooperatives. They operate independently from the state and compete vigorously. The end product is the preservation of regional character and diversity. One is amazed at the names found on local wine lists. Only a few are imported into the United States, and their prices are very reasonable.
Vinoplod is one of the major cooperatives, situated near the town of Sibenik. Wine making here has a tradition of many centuries. Records exist of wine exports from Sibenek under Venetian rule in the 14th Century. Last year, when I was chatting with an importer who specializes in Yugoslavian wines; he told me that on his next buying trip, he was going to make a special effort to find a premium red to import. He has a good palate, and Babic was his choice. His comment was that Babic would appeal to the ” American palate “. (There is something to that. …However much a student of wine you are, there are some wines one has difficulty with. I could not believe what I was tasting at a foreign, not to be named, wine booth at the San Francisco Food and Wine show last month. Strange things.)
Babic is made from a local grape by the same name. I find it listed only in one text, with no details. It is considered a premium wine grape by the Yugoslav Wine Association, and they describe its wine as dry, light, with a faintly bitter finish.
My tasting notes say the following: Ruby red color of medium intensity. Aromatic, young nose, with a pleasant grape aroma not experienced before. (I attribute this to varietal character). Some greenness to the nose. It has a medium body, with a flavor that follows the nose. Mellow, yet young, it has a velvety texture, with lots of fruit that is round. The flavor is lasting, which develops into a hint of bitterness. Serve with ham, pork roast, Lancashire cheese.
Cellaring Notes: Not for any significant ageing.