Clai Istria Malvazija 'Sveti Jakob' 2017

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This is one of Clai winery's top white wines, from Istria, the peninsula that juts out into the Adriatic. Malvazija is a misunderstood variety, with many producers in the Mediterranean doing it direct-press and in stainless steel, resulting in limp, overly sticky and primary versions of the variety. Clai makes this wine called "Saint Jacob" in a way that befits the grandparents' generation: macerated on the skins, with spontaneous fermentation in open vats, then finishing the wine in neutral old barrels. A noble, elegant skin-contact wine that speaks of the Central European connection to the ancient world; those who have had the great white wines of Friuli (Gravner, Radikon, etc.) absolutely should splurge on this moving wine.


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