After a 15 years journey across the world’s most famous wine regions, Mladen Rozanich settled on his native Istria in a bid to create “unforgettable wines”.
A perfectionist by nature, he launched a search for the most favourable Istrian terrain to plant vineyards. The final decision came when he met Antun Banko, the winegrower from Kosinozici near Nova Vas.
Soon followed a four-year period during which 23 hectares of vineyards were planted. All situated on the west Istrian winegrowing hills near Visnjan at the localities of Bacva and Busure.
Here, on the exclusively red soil rich in iron oxides and calcium carbonates, Roxanich – the old Venetian spelling of Rožanić – wines acquire their truly unique personalities.
Merlot is hugely successful here. British wine critic Oz Clarke said Istria might be the world’s second-best Merlot terroir after Bordeaux.
Viticulture follows the biodynamic calendar and picking is based on organoleptic assessment.
Roxanich low-intervention wines are characterised by 36-48 months barrel ageing following long skin contact: 4-6 weeks for reds, and for whites 8 days up to 174 days producing rich aromas, extraordinary colours and full-bodied flavours that give these wines their distinctive character.
Indeed, his wines polarize opinions.
Primary fruit is not the target. “Real varietal character and terroir” comes from the secondary and tertiary aromas and flavours of a wine affirms Mladen. Patience is key. At Roxanich, no wine is bottled before the necessary time needed for tannins, alcohol, acid and flavours to meld together.