This week marks exactly one year since a chance encounter at the southern tip of Sri Lanka set us on a path to discovering Piquentum, a family of three natural wines we love made by a reclusive half-French, half-Croatian winemaker.
The new release is finally in Singapore just after its debut at Karakterre 7, the leading natural wine show in Central & Eastern Europe, alongside the likes of Muster, Strohmeier, and Tscheppe. Boy is it ready to drink, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.
Back to our eco-resort next to Galle where we were having breakfast, when a couple sat down next to us and started speaking in Croatian. Before they made any incriminating comments, we had to warn them than we could understand what they were saying.
One thing led to another, and soon we were talking about wine. Even though they were observing dry January, it was clear they knew what they were talking about. And the one name that kept coming up in the conversation was Piquentum.
We had never heard of it ourselves, but decided to make the pilgrimage when we were back in Croatia over Easter. And after meeting Dimitri in his WW2-era cellar below the town of Buzet, we finally understood why.
His macerated Malvazija white is perhaps the perfect food wine and we could have it every day with anything from truffles to pad thai. The Teran red has an amazing acidity that goes down so well with salty charcuterie, which we can testify to as we write this. And the brooding Refošk red has a delicious earthiness that brings us back to Istria every time we open a bottle.
To top it all off, the design fans in us fell in love with his labels designed by Studio Sonda. It is very rare to encounter a producer, much less a winemaker, with a secure enough ego not to put his name on the front of the bottle. Instead, the size of the dots indicates the amount of rainfall month-by-month during the grape growing season, with each year’s label having a unique pattern.
Try whichever one strikes your fancy. Or, if you’re like us, get a mixed case and try them all.