Wines of Illyria Review

This is a close up of shot of Wines of Illyria in Adaleta Avdic's house.

Wines of Illyria Review

December 16, 2020


If you know anything about me (at all) you know I'm a big wine lover. Definitely not a connoisseur by any means, but I have tried a lot of wine. Which is also why I was so delighted to find a wine brand that comes from Bosnia and Hercegovina. 

Emporia Rose 2019, Premium Quality (Vrhunsko) Dry Rose Wine

This wine is made from Blatina grapes, which is a native variety of the Herzegovina wine region. It has a dark pink color, subtle tastes of wild strawberry, citrus, and underlying notes of Mediterranean stone fruits including peaches and apricots. This rosé is truly my favorite of the bunch because it is my favorite varietal. Rosé is refreshing and so delicious, especially when it is drier. One of my favorite things about Wines of Illyria is the sustainability element. "In order to retain freshness and acidity, grapes are handpicked at dawn from the southern part of the Imperial Vineyards, 15 to 20 days before the main harvest. Made by spontaneous fermentation in a stainless-steel tank, with just a few hours of maceration, the wine is aged in a bottle for 4 months before served."

Ada's rating in comparison to other rosés: 9/10

Emporia VRANAC, Premium Quality (Vrhunsko) Dry Red Wine

This wine is made of 100% Vranac which is the most common variety of the Ancient Illyrian lands. It comes from two micro-locations near Unesco protected town of Mostar: Carski Vinogradi with gravely soil and the second location Bisce Polje next to the winery where the terroir is a mix of clay and sand deposited by the Alpine river Neretva that flows from Dynaric Alps to Adriatic sea which creates perfect environment for wine growing and wines with complex minerality.

With a doubt, Vranac is full bodied, and has excellent and bold notes with cinnamon, chocolate, dark berries and licorice. For me, this wine is close to a standard Cab Sav which is something we're all quite familiar with when it comes to dry reds.

Wines of Illyria TRNJAK 2015, Premium Quality (Vrhunsko) Dry Red Wine

My favorite red wine from the bunch is the Trnjak. This is a very bold, elegant, full bodied option that has lots of herbal notes and a vast amount of spices like clove, vanilla and cinnamon (also some of my favorite spices.) It is well-balanced, and goes down a little too easy. I love pairing it with steak, and our weekly stew because the perfect bold body pairs nicely with red meat.

Ada's rating in comparison to other dry reds: 10/10

Wines of Illyria Blatina, Premium Quality (Vrhunsko) Dry Red Wine

Now this wine is made 100% from Blatina, which is an indigenous grape in the the Herzegovina region. For me personally, I prefer Trnjak to Blatina because Blatina has a jammy element to it which I'm not a big fan of personally. My dad love this varietal so much and cannot stop raving about it, so when they came to town he drank most of this one. I think he waited a few minutes in between glasses ha!

Wines of Illyria VRANAC 2012, Premium Quality (Vrhunsko) Red Wine

When it comes to acidity, this is definitely the wine tat seems to have the most acidity but it also has a lot of fruitiness. This one to me is also quite jammy with currant and elderberry flavors. We know elderberry is excellent for the immune system, and I always find. away to make wine a health addition. I justify my craving for vino by saying something in it is good for me. This one has notes of plum, blackberry and a pinch of saltiness. The saltiness helps balance the wine so it is not overbearing and jammy for me, like Blatina.

Wines of Illyria TEUTA 2016, Premium Quality Selection (Vrhunsko) Dry Red Wine

While this wine takes on the Blatina grapes, it is less sweet  and less jammy which to my tastebuds makes it just so incredibly delicious. You can a sense of vanilla (I love), blueberry and even some marzipan aromas which gives this bold wine a juicy acidity. It's got a bit of a chocolate character which is likely why this is one of my favorites.

Wines of Illyria STONE CUVEE, 2018, Premium Quality Dry White Wine

While I love white wine myself, the trichologist told me that when it comes to hair growth (which I desperately need) white wine is not ideal. The high sugar actually doesn't promote that hair regrowth, so I started to ween off white, but I am so glad I got this one because WOW! It is so clean and refreshing, with an incredible aftertaste on the palate. This is undoubtedly my go-to white for any chicken or fish because it always expressing a bit of elegance with a little nutty tone.

If you typically go for Spanish, Italian, French, etc wines I dare you to try something outside the box. Go for a bottle of Wines of Illyria and tell me if you enjoy it. The shipping is very quick, and the quality is really nice. Trust me, I've tried hundreds of bottles at this point which is why I was so proud of how good the wine from my homeland really is. It's the perfect holiday gift, but really excellent for any and all occasions. I honestly never think it's too early or late for a glass of wine. Ask my friends.

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What's your favorite varietal?

The full Wines of Illyria round-up from Adaleta Avdic's kitchen.

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My mouth actually started watering as I was reading through this. I absolutely love wines and trying new wines is one of my favorite hobbies! My husband and I love visiting wineries – but haven’t gotten to do that as many times this year. Getting all of these wines at home would mean we could do our own tasting! The TEUTA 2016 sounds phenomenal!