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The Vranac Grape


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About Vranac

(Synonyms: Vranac Crmnichki, Vranac Crni, Vranac Prhljavac, Vranec.)

Background

Map showing Montenegro

Vranac is a red-wine grape originating in Montenegro, and still primarily produced there, though there are also significant amounts made in Macedonia, Serbia, and Kosovo; it is (obviously) one of the most important varieties in that wine-conscious region. (Montenegro is a small but interesting country in the Balkans, fronting on the Adriatic Sea across from Italy.) It seems to be a quite ancient variety, and is involved genetically with several other notable grapes, from Zinfandel to Plavac Mali.

Vranac wines are big boys: full-bodied, deep colored, quite tannic, and with high alcohol levels—but, interestingly enough, rather soft acidity. The palate is typically a mix of dark-red and black fruit flavors, usually intense. Because there are numerous clones of the type (owing to its long history), work is still in progress—as modern winemaking techniques have taken hold—to identify the best of those clones.

There does seem to be some differentiation in winemaker styling as between Vranecs made in Macedonia and Vranacs (note the spelling difference) made in Montenegro: the former tend to be bigger and rich, rather like some American Zinfandels; the latter are less aggressive and more disciplined, rather like many of the reds made just a hop and a skip across the Adriatic, in Italy.

Factoid: The name Vranac translates to “black stallion”.

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Some Descriptions of Vranac Wines

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Some Vranacs to Try

(About this list.)

In looking up these wines, remember that some spell it as Vranac and others as Vranec. Search engines don’t always catch the one from the other.


Stobi “Veritas” Vranec
(Don’t confuse this with their basic Vranec bottling, listed farther below, or with their “Reserve” version.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Stobi Vranec
(This is their basic Vranec bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Tikveš Winery “Special Selection” Vranac
(They have several Vranac bottlings: this is their “Special Selection”.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Plantaže “Pro Corde” Vranac
(They have several Vranac bottlings: this is their “Pro Corde”.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Plantaže “Crnogorski” Vranac
(They have several Vranac bottlings: this is their “Crnogorski”—but not the “Barrique” rendition;
note that “Montenegro” is, in the native tongue, Crna Gora, “Black Mountain”.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

We could find no reasonably available Vranac wines better enough than those listed above as to justify a “splurge” price.

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This page was last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020, at 3:52 pm Pacific Time.