Rizman Winery is the pioneer who started it all in the Komarna appellation, the first winery in that region and the prime impetus behind the establishment of the K7 Cooperative, which is now an association of seven wineries, including Rizman Winery, Saints Hill Wines, Volarević Wines, Terra Madre, Modro-zelena, Neretvanski Branitelj and Deak Family Farm. With football in their hearts, and wine in their ancestry, the Štimac family took a significant risk in planting vineyards in Komarna but the growing success in this region has shown them to be visionaries.
When other wineries chose to come to the Komarna region, the Štimacs successfully pushed for a united association, the K7, and Mihovil is currently the President. With only a small number of wineries, it has been relatively easy for them to successfully work together, and they basically all agree on major decisions. They obviously share many of the same concerns, and want to bring more wine tourism to the region. United, they have a better chance at succeeding together on these objectives.
The vineyards extend to an altitude of 250 meters, sometimes on inclines as much as 30%, and reach almost all the way down to the water. The soil is primarily limestone, and the planting of vineyards required significant work, and cost, in breaking down large boulders and rock outcroppings. The Rizman estate has limited room for growth, maybe only 1-3 hectares which could be additionally planted with vineyards. They don't purchase any grapes, using only what they grow themselves.
The 2018 Rizman Nonno is a blend of 80% Pošip and 20% Chardonnay, and it's fermented and aged in French barrique on the lees for about 6-7 months. The grapes come from a single special plot in the easternmost section of the vineyard, and they are harvested later than the grapes in the "fresh" Pošip. Only about 2-3,000 bottles of this wine are produced. It is a richer and creamier wine, elegant and complex, and the oak doesn't overwhelm. There are bright citrus flavors and hints of spice. My personal preference was for the Fresh Pošip but I enjoyed this oak-aged one too.
The 2016 Rizman Tribidag is produced mainly primarily from Tribidag, with up to 15% Tempranillo, and only about 5,000 cases are made. The wine spends about a year in oak, with less new oak than the Plavac Mali. At only 13.5% ABV, this is still a powerful wine, though the tannins are still very manageable. There are more plum and black cherry flavors, with notes of black pepper, and the melange is complex and compelling. The wine is well balanced, with a lingering and pleasing finish. You'll need a hearty dish to accompany this bold and delicious wine. It would be fascinating to taste test this next to a few California Zinfandels.
This was a powerful and muscular wine, though the tannins didn't overpower. It presented with ripe plum, blackberry, and dark spice notes, with a hint of chocolate and leather. It was only 14% ABV, with a long, long finish that tantalized your palate. It's still young and I think it has much potential with greater age on it.
In their cellar, we also got to sample a barrel sample of 2018 Tribidag, coming in at 17.2% ABV, and which could be the basis for a 2018 St. Michaels. It was a huge wine and definitely needs much more time in the barrel.
Rizman Winery for leading the way and bringing the seven wineries together. And now I wish I had a bottle of the 2011 Rizman Primus to sip and savor.