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Anđelini in Basement

Abeceda finih zalogaja (Alphabet of fine snacks) in the Wine Wednesday AfterWork project hosted the Istrian winery Anđelini from the Pazin area in the wine cellar Basement in Zagreb. Vineyards and wine have for centuries been part of the culture and life of the inhabitants of central Istra, as well as Velan's Brijeg and the Velan and Anđelini families. The whole family is in wine business, lives with their wines, whose life span is prolonged, and they also deal with beekeeping.

We started our wine tour with Anđelini through the sparkling wine D'Angelo 2015 with the grissini, followed by the Pazin Malvazija 2016 with the original Pazin cookies cukerančići, Malvazija Filomena 2017 with mixed cheese and green olives, Istrian Malvazija 2015 with cheese with truffles, Domenico 2017 wine with homemade pork sausage with honey and dark chocolate and wine Domenico 2015 which won a gold medal at the most important wine rating in the world Decanter with 95 points.

The winery was introduced by the Anđelini couple Ranko and Klaudija with their son Dominik, a fourth-year student at the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb. The family history of Anđelini was relevated by Ranko, who has a degree in agronomy, and who took over from his grandfather a love for wine and winemaking. He recalled the time when he had stopped working in Pazin’s meat industry Puris in the 1990s and hired 14 ha of Malvazija vineyards. It was then that he was thinking of which crops to plant, and the choice fell on international sorts (chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and later syrah). By studying the vineyards' position, the height in some positions up to 475m, they track what sorts are best for their terrain and so have decided for several labels. Today, they have 8 labels with a special terroir. Malvazija is offered as sparkling and still wine and are vinified in stainless steel tanks and acacia barrels of 225 l, each label in its own way and in exact ratios.

The sparkling wine D'Angelo was served as a welcome drink, produced by the "charmat" method in 2015, and has preserved the characteristics of variety and liveliness. Pazinska Malvazija 2016 was served with traditional cakes - cukerančići, which used to be made only for the holidays, and recently the making of it is protected as an immaterial cultural good. In the process of making, they are soaked in the Pazin Malvaziia and then sprinkle with sugar. The interesting combination of sweet start of tasting was even more specific because it emphasized the bitterness of malvaziia and did not induce acidity, although there was visible white sugar on the cake. This Pazinska Malvazija is only vinified in stainless steel tanks and is the successor of the former, very popular Malvazija, and therefore its name emphasizes the place of its origin. Grapes come from vineyards on a grey land, from which the grapes for Pazin Malvazija once also came.

Malvazija Filomena 2017, is macerated for two days, and is formed by the combination of a part of the wine from the inox and the part in acacia barrique, emphasizing the floral aromas of the wine. It was a good match for mixed cheese. With Istrian Malvazija 2015 (the predecessor of Filomena, which in 2015 has not yet worn this name), is ripe, full, complex wine, excellently blended with the truffle cheese. This wine won the gold medal at Vinistra 2018.

From the red wines, end of the tasting brought us two Domenicos. The prime tasting had a young Domenico (2017), made of three varieties of grapes, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah. Merlot and syrah are picked and vinified together, cabernet sauvignon 15 days later, also separately vinified. Then the wine goes into the barrels of two different oaks (French and Slavonian) and after 12 months in the barrel, the wine is filled into bottles. Along with it, a homemade pork sausage of the Anđelini family was served with acacia honey, dark chocolate and olive oil. In the end, Decanter's gold crowned wine Domenico 2015 came out. After silver award at Vinistra, Anđelini family decided (at last) to send wine to London - and the result was top quality!

The vineyards of the Anđelini family are situated in the area of Velanov Brijeg (hill and village of the same name) located south of the town of Pazin at 470 meters above sea level. To the south and southeast of Pazin up to Gračišće, vineyards stretch over 14 hectares. The specificity of vineyards is that they stretch to 474 m above sea level, making them the tallest in Istria. The vineyards are located on different soils, positions and exposures, so there are excellent grapes of different qualities, which is an excellent base for producing top quality wines. Today, the Anđelini family handles 65,000 varieties of various varieties, especially malvazija, chardonnay, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah and moscato. Apart from producing wine as the main product of the economy, the family produces honey and other bee products. Beekeeping is also a decade-long tradition in the Central Istria. In the production of honey, the most important are acacia, and to a lesser extent chestnut honey, depending on the pastures.

In the cellar of the centuries-old stone house there is a tasting place that caters up to fifty persons.

Photos by: Anđelini wine


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