Plavac Mali is a black grape from Croatia.
It is a variety that will provide grapes that, thanks to being small with thick skin, will produce lots of colour and tannins. It is however fairly low on acidity. Flavours are of blackberries, plums and dark cherries, not seldom with a bit of spiciness.
Look for wine from the Dingač appellation in central and south Dalmatia.
Plavac Mali is produced almost exclusively as a red, dry varietal. Tannin levels suggest that it can be kept in the cellar, but this has to be balanced with the fact that most wines come with fairly low acidity levels.
A varietal Plavac Mali wine will pair nicely with a red meat dish, such as a steak. The wine is best served at 16-18°C/61-64°F.
Where is it grown?
Plavac Mali is the fourth most planted grape in Croatia, in spite of a reported decrease of seventy-six percent of the planted area between between 2000 and 2010. After this, the acreage was reported to be 1.569 ha/3,877 ac.
Plavac Mali is a crossing between two old varieties from Croatia. One is Crljenak Kastelanski a.k.a. Primitivo, Tribidrag, or Zinfandel. The other parent is Dobričić, a variety that is grown in very limited numbers today.
Crossing the varieties is supposed to have been done as Crljenak Kastelanski was heat sensitive, while Dobričić was prone to mould. The cross Plavac Mali is a variety that does not have any of these problems.