‘Alba Antiqua’ Malvazija Istarska Istria



Described by Steven Spurrier as “Croatia’s best winemaker”, Ivica Matošević has established himself...

as a force of nature in the country’s burgeoning wine industry. This is due to his unbridled passion, which led him to divert his career from a PhD in agriculture, to winemaking. This passion is reflected both in his wines, which are exuberant, fresh and true to their nature, and in what he has achieved for the reputation of Croatian wine. Widely recognised as one of the leaders of the quality revolution amongst his peers, he was instrumental in setting up the Istrian appellation and establishing the wildly popular annual wine fair which takes place there to promote the wines. We believe that Ivica’s view on his personal journey is reflected in his wine: “[I am a] better man today, more honest and common, more natural and more savage, all due to changes in my life circumstances.”

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Vineyards are located at 250-300 metres above sea level and the soil composition is pseudogley on flysch. The area is characterised by a Mediterranean climate, with mild and rainy winters followed by dry, hot summers. It is Matošević’s goal to slowly cut off the use of any chemicals, by using minimal pesticides and no herbicides. Instead, mechanical cultivation inside the rows is applied as well as mulching between the rows.

Vintage Information

2014 was one of most difficult vintages in Istria, this was due to wet, cool weather during the growing season. In July, it rained for 25 days, which was unusual for a region that typically only has 2-3 days of rain in July. Whereas most of the Istrian valley regions struggled with waterlogged vines, Matošević’s vineyards for Malvazija (Malvasia) are situated on sloped plots with the elevation and freely draining soils to help mitigate the effect on the vines from the wet weather. Ivica also employed rigorous fruit selection at harvest, only retaining healthy grapes unaffected by botrytis. This ensured that only high-quality fruit went into their Alba Antiqua. Although the small crop of grapes had high acidity levels due to the cooler weather, Ivica left the bunches to ripen even later in the season to ensure good flavour development in the grape skins. The resulting wines are fresh and balanced.


The grapes are manually sorted before crushing and destemming. The grapes are fermented on the skin for several days, followed by ageing on the lees in French oak and acacia barrels for 30 months.

Tasting Notes

The wine is a straw yellow colour. The nose is floral and fruity, with spicy aromas. On the palate, this wine is dry with balancing acidity and a rich body. Acacia flowers and acacia honey flavours are complemented by clean minerality.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2014
Grape varieties 100% Malvasia Istriana
Region Istria
Winemaker Ivica Matošević and Saša Topolovec
Alcohol (ABV) 13.5%