08-10-2010

Jelsa, Hvar: Tomić & Duboković

This is an article from our archives that was previously run on another site in July, 2007.

We visited two winemakers in the town of Jelsa on Hvar: Tomić and Duboković. While there are some similarities in the end result that you taste, the winemakers couldn’t be more different. The difference really comes down to personal style.

Tomić is a bit, well, blustery. The picture at the top of this article is one of the main ones that adorns the wall in his tasting room in Jelsa and is a theme echoed throughout his wines. For instance there is a side profile of his face on his bottles. He calls his tasting room a “wine studio” for some reason. In person, he has a demeanor that is hard to crack, although friends of his that we met, say that is just a first impression, so we’ll give him the benefit of a doubt on that.

But, egoism aside, how do his wines stack up? Well, they’re good. They weren’t our favorite on the island mainly due to how light the body is. For instance, the nose on the 2006 Pošip is very pleasant with a hint of summer melon and apricot to it, but the body doesn’t follow through as strongly and is much more citric. His Plavac 2006 has a very soft nose, which is very light and while it is pleasing to drink and a bit of a departure from the rest of the Plavac grown on the island, it is not all that fulfilling.

Tomić’s more high-end wines like the Sveti Klement, Sveti Klement Reserve, and the Plavac Mali barrique are all tasty, yet very dry and lacking plush tones that we have come to expect in a good Plavac. The Sveti Klement will deserve another taste though as they’re grown on Paklenici Otoci (The Devil’s Islands) just off the coast of Hvar Grad. This is a much different growing area than the typical one on the south side of the island, so it will be interesting to see how these wines progress with time.

So, compared to Tomić, Duboković is something of the polar opposite. We would have never even found his cellar if it weren’t for the owner of the pension we were staying at leading us there himself. The labels are very subtle and quite pleasing and there is a calmness to his cellar which we enjoyed.

But once again, the proof is in the vino, so how did they taste?

Their 2005 Rosé offered a sweet flowery nose. The body wasn’t overly sweet and pulls out in to a decent finish. Overall, the wine could nearly pass for a good white, rather than a Rosé due to this very different qualities to it that make it very pleasant for everyday drinking.

Their 2005 ’2718′ (Plavac Mali) had great herbs and tobacco on the nose. The body was very dry, but that pulled everything together very well. There was just a slight bit of fruit to it and a good finish that, much like the rosé and all of their wines made it wonderful drinking.

So, when you compare these two, what is the end result? We think that the wines are really quite similar. They’re both good examples of what you can get out of Hvar. Given the very light textures to Tomić, we would have to say that we preferred Duboković just a bit more due to our tastes.

Learn more about these wineries and others in our Dalmatia wine guide.