In Italy they are no longer allowed to call it Malvasia Istriana – what a shame. It is a beautiful Malvasia variety hailing from Croatia and Friuli and should proudly be identified as such. Instead it’s simply Malvasia now. Like the many other ‘Malvasia this’ or ‘Malvasia that’ varieties across Europe. We in Australia can still use the name though as it’s the grape variety name by which the material was imported. Nevertheless – it’s a wonderful variety. This year we have found more spice than ever in the wine – clove, cinnamon, cardamom, anise – along with hay and petroleum notes. A little bit of good funk too. Officially a semi-aromatic grape variety, whatever that means, but we think it’s fab.