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Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:01 pm

WTN: Drinking from Friuli...(long/boring)

by TomHill » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:37 pm

We tasted last night (12/6/17) Some New Friulian Wines:
1. Ronchi di Pietro PinotGrigio DOC: Friuli Colli Orientali (13%; L13; EnotecImports/Denver)
Zorzettig Francesco & Fulvio/Cividale del Friuli 2015
: Light gold color; rather perfumed pear/floral/
gardenia/perfumed talc lightly spicy very attractive nose; fairly tart/tangy bit metallic strong pear/
floral/gardenia/perfumed talc rather spicy lovely flavor; very long tart/tangy/metallic strong floral/
gardenia/pear slight mineral lovely finish; a clean/crisp/brisk expression of PG; about as good as
PinotGrigio can be; great price. $17.50 (KK)
2. Massican gemina Calif WW (79% PinotGrigio/21% Greco; 12.5%) Calistoga 2016: Med.yellow slight cloudy color;
very spicy/fragrant strong pear/peach/floral/PG quite lovely nose; very tart/tangy/metallic/steely rather
floral/peach/pear fairly rich flavor; very long tart/tangy/metallic somewhat floral/PG/pear/peach lightly
spicy finish; very similar to the Pietro but a bit more perfumed and rich; one of the best US PG's;
very Friuli in style. $30.00
3. Ronchi di Pietro Friulano DOC: Friuli Colli Orientali (12.5%; L06) 2016: Light gold color; very perfumed/
spicy very floral/gardenia/grapefruit light mineral/stony quite aromatic lovely nose; lightly tart/tangy
grapefruity/spicy/floral/gardenia slight mineral/stony flavor; very long floral/gardenia/grapefruit light
stony/mineral classic TF finish; a classic TF w/ more aromatics and richness than most; one of the best TF
I've had of late at a great price. $16.00 (KK)
4. Massican Gaspare Dd'OC: Bianco Friuli Colli Orientali (43% Friulano/29% RibollaGialla/28% Chard; 13.5%)
P&B by Ronco del Gnemiz/SanGiovanni al Natisone 2016
: color; quite aromatic/perfumed very spicy/
graham cracker very floral/pear bit white pepper/RG light oak/smoke beautiful nose; lightly tart fairly
rich/lush (Chard?) spicy/graham cracker/floral bit white pepper/RG slight smokey/oak lovely flavor; very
long/lingering lightly tart floral/pear/TF light white pepper/RG spicy/graham cracker finish; a really
beautiful Friuli Bianco at a very fair price. $26.00
5. Kaltern Schiava DOC: AltoAdige/Sudtirol (12.5%; Caldaro 201: Light ruby red color;
very bright cherry/strawberry/light spicy/cinammon some earthy/loamy/AA classic alpine red nose; quite tart/
tangy somewhat earthy/loamy bright spicy/strawberry/cherry/JollyRancher classic Alpine red flavor w/ light
tangy tannins; very long some earthy/loamy tart/tangy bright strawberry/JollyRancher cherry finish w/ light
tangy tannins; a lovely bright cherry/strawberry Vin de Soif that demands a 2'nd & 3'rd glass until the btl
is drained;at a great price. $18.00 (KK)
5a. Kaltern Lagrein Dd'OC: AltoAdige (13%; EnotecImports/Denver) Caldaro 2014: Dark color; very strong plummy/
boysenberry/Lagrein quite earthy/loamy/dusty lush nose; lightly tart/tangy fairly rich quite earthy/loamy/
root cellar rather plummy/Lagrein/boysenberry/chocolaty bit spicy flavor w/ light smooth tannins; very long
strong plummy/Lagrein/boysenberry quite earthy/loamy bit rustic rich lightly tart finish w/ light ripe tannins;
a pretty classic 4-square Alpine Lagrein at a very fair price. $21.00 (SFW&S)
6. Matthiasson Refosco MatthiassenVnyd/NapaVlly (13.5%) 2014: Med.dark color; strong pencilly/cedary/Fr.oak strong
blackberry/black cherry cola/Refosk quite spicy slight root beer (Dad's) very aromatic lovely nose; lightly
tart/tangy/bit metallic some cedary/pencilly/oak strong black cherry/black cherry cola/Refosk/very spicy lovely
flavor w/ modest tannins; very long/lingering cedary/pencilly/oak strong black cherry cola/Refosk/blackberry/
very spicy fairly tart finish w/ modest brisk tannins; speaks strongly of Refosk but w/ more obvious oak than
Friuli versions; distinctly Calif in style but a lovely expression of Refosco. $45.00
7. Ronchi di Pietro Refosco dal PeduncolaRosso DOC: Friuli Colli Orientali (13%; L14) 2013: Med.color; rather
earthy/loamy lightly spicy strong blackberry/Refosk slight herbal/resiny attractive nose; bit soft elegant/
delicate some earthy/loamy bit tangy/metallic rather Refosk/black cherry/blackberry slight spicy light hair oil/
floral flavor w/ light smooth tannins; very long Refosk/black cherry/blackberry light spicy/herbal/resiny soft
some earthy/loamy finish w/ light gentle tannins; a pretty drinkable Refosco; probably the least of the Pietro
wines. $18.00 (KK)
8. Redentore Refosco dal PeduncolaRosso IGT: DelleVenezie (12.5%; L.14.16) SantaStefano/Fossalta di Piave 2014:
Med.color; light earthy slight pungent/burning metal rather herbal/basil/oregano light black cherry colo/Refosk
rather interesting nose; lightly tart some herbal/basil/oregano some black cherry cola/Refosk light earthy/loamy
flavor w/ modest tangy tannins; very long/lingering herbal/basil/oregano/dried Italian herbs bit bitter some
black cherry cola/blackberry/Refosk rather interesting finish w/ light tannins; a rather interesting fairly
herbal expression of Refosco at a good price. $18.00 (WoP)
9. Scarbolo Refosco dal PeduncoloRosso IGT: VeneziaGiulia (13.5%; ValterScarbolo/Pavia
di Udine 2011
: Very dark/near black color; very intense blackberry/boysenberry/black cherry cola/Refosk bit
licorice slight graphite/mineral some perfumed very intense/ripe nose; soft very rich/lush/ripe intense
black cherry cola/boysenberry/ripe bit chocolaty/licorice off-dry (0.6% RS?) somewhat late harvesty/porty
light graphite/mineral flavor w/ ample soft/ripe tannins; very long/lingering soft/off-dry/rich/lush intense
boysenberry/black cherry cola/Refosk/licorice slight graphite/mineral finish w/ ample soft tannins; a very
ripe/late harvesty red that still speaks of Refosco; a very unusual rendition of Refosco. $42.00 (BWM)
10. Rodaro Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso DOC: Friuli Cilli Orientali (14%; www.RodaroPaola.It) Cividale del
Friuli 2012
: Very dark color; rather charred/smokey bit tarry/pungent strong ripe/black cherry cola bit unclean/
earthy slight burning metal rather bizarre/interesting nose; rather soft charred/smokey/tarry strong black cherry
cola/Refosk slight funky/earthy flavor w/ ample crunchy tannins; very long ripe/black cherry cola/Refosk slight
earthy/funky/unclean rather charred/smokey/tarry/pungent finish w/ ample chewy tannins; speaks strongly of
Refosk but a lot of other somewhat interesting things therein; a rather interesting rustic Refosk. $19.90 (WM)[/b]
11. Ronchi di Pietro Schioppettino DOC: Friuli Colli Orientali (L10; 13%; EnotecImports/Denver) Ronchi SanGiuseppe
di Zorzettig Francesco & Fulvio/Cividale del Friuli 2015
: Dark color; strong cracked black pepper very spicy/
blackberry/Schio light earthy lovely complex nose; lightly tart very strong carcked black pepper/very spicy
strong blackberry/black cherry cola/Schio slight earthy/dusty beautiful complex flavor w/ modest brisk tannins;
very long/lingering spicy/cracked black pepper very strong black cherry cola/blackberry/Schio light earthy rather
complex finish w/ modest tannins; one of the best Schios I've found outside the Cialla in this country; terrific
Schio at a stupid/silly price. $22.00 (AV)
12. Ronchi di Cialla Friuli Colli Orientali Sottozona Cialla Dd'OC: Schioppettino do Cialla (12.5%; #6632 of
7196; L01/13; SolairSelection/NY) Prepotto 2011
: Dark color; very strong very spicy/black cherry cola/blackberry/
Schio slight root beer/licorice bit herbal/rosemary slight black pepper rather floral/lilacs beautiful complex
nose; fairly tart/tangy/bit citric very strong black cherry cola/blackberry/Schio slight herbal/rosemary light
earthy/graphite/mineral bit root beer/DrPepper complex flavor w/ light smooth tannins; very long/lingering lightly
tart slight cracked black pepper very strong/spicy/black cherry cola slight herbal/thyme/pungent light earthy/
mineral/graphite complex finish w/ light gentle tannins; a beautiful textbook Schio. $39.00 (Eatly)
13. Oscuro Schioppettino OrsiVnyd/DryCreekVlly/SonomaCnty (13.4%) Holdredge Wines 2014: Dark color; strong
black cherry cola/blackberry/boysenberry bit toasty/pencilly/oak quite spicy bit Zin-like rather fragrant nose;
lightly tart bit toasty/oak strong black cherry/black cherry cola/boysenberry light peppery/spicy almost
Zin-like flavor w/ modest smooth/ripe tannins; very long light toasty/oak strong black cherry/black cherry cola/
Schio/slight peppery/spicy finish w/ modest gentle/smooth tannins; a lovely Schio that speaks strongly of Schio
spoken w/ a Zin-like accent. $35.00
14. Ronchi di Pietro Picolit l'Anime da Nestre Tiare DOCG: Colli Orientali del Friuli (14%; Cividale del Friuli 2012
: Deep gold color; very intense grapey/passito/orangey
almost muscatty light pencilly bit earthy beautiful complex clean nose; fairly tart very intense grapey/
passito/orangey/honeyed quite sweet almost muscatty balanced very complex flavor; very long/lingering intense
grapey/orangey/honeyed fairly tart wquite sweet but balanced finish that goes on & on; maybe the best dessert
Picolit I've had; a stunning dessert wine. $74.00/50 cl (AV)
More blatherings from the alt-BloodyPulpit:
1. Ronchi di Pietro: This is a new producer that I'd not heard of before that just showed up here in NM. Comes
thru Enotec Imports/Denver thru a small/new distributor, FloatingWorld. WebSite:
About 3 weeks ago, I stumbled upon their Schioppettino, tried it, and was mightly impressed. One of the
best Schioppettino I've found in this country. So I wanted to try their other wines available here in NM.
Another new favorite producer for me. Excellent wines at very good prices.
2. Gaspare: Dan makes trips to Friuli 3-4 times a year. This is his first release of a white that he's made in
Friuli. Made at Ronco del Gnemiz, but totally of Dan's doing. I've only had one Gnemiz wine and it was a pretty
dullard Merlot. Just don't see these wines around much, even though they're a Guilana import. This is as good as
it gets for a Friuli Bianco.
3. Picolit: This is a variety that is thought to have originated in the Rosazzo area of Friuli. Now it is a
speciality of the Colli Orientali, where it is almost always made as a dessert wines using air-dried grapes
(mostly) or late-harvest.
At one time, Picolit was ranked up there w/ Sauternes and Tokaji as one of the World's great dessert wines.
In those early days, it was commonly inter-planted w/ Verduzzo. After phyloxera, when they tried to revive
Picolit, planted it in its own blocks w/ no Verduzzo, the flowers did not pollinate and the bunches were very
scraggly w/ very few berries. This was ascribed to Picolit having a disease called "floral abortion". In point
of fact, there is no such disease. As I wrote in a Wines&Vines article in the early '80's, Picolit is a variety
that is simply sterile, more or less. When it was inter-planted w/ Verduzzo, pollination was not a problem.
Picolit is, in fact, hermaphroditic, like almost all grapevines. However, the (male) stamen is very short and bent
back towards the base of the (female) stigma. Furthermore, the stamen often has sterile pollen. So polinization
is a huge problem w/ Picolit. Hence very scraggly bunches, very low yields, and resulting in very expensive wines.
This Pietro was probably the best Picolit I've yet had, a stunning dessert wine. If the Friulians would listen
to me (they won't), they would be making more passito dessert wines from Verduzzo. When I visited Ronchi di Cialla
two yrs ago, I whined to IvanRapuzzi that I never had a Verduzzo that impressed me. That prompted him to trot off
to the cellar to procure one of his old passito Verduzzos. It, too, was a stunning dessert wine. And, obviously,
Verduzzo doesn't have the problem of low yields that plagues Picolit.
4. Holdredge: JohnHoldredge was the first to produce a Schioppettino in Calif, from the MacBryde Vnyd, about 2005.
Alas, that vnyd succumbed to phyloxera and John didn't make a Schio for a few yrs. He sweet-talked BernieOrsi into
planting Schio and now is back into production.
5. Orsi: As I was researching the source of JohnHoldredge's Schio grapes, I stumbled upon OrsiFamilyVnyd in my Google
search. Went to their WebSite ( Whatta discovery...a whole plethora of interesting
Italian varietals. Promptly placed an order for two mixed cases and am dying to try them. Winemaker is DickSchultz.
Apparently, they now keep all their John is going to have to go searching for another Schio source...
or abandon the variety.
6. Schioppettino: The name means "gunshot" or "little crack", to describe the little pop that it makes when you bite
down on one of the berries. The current DoJ has heard that wine drinkers are partaking of a "little crack" and,
as part of their war on drugs, are going to come after us, guns ablaze, all who like Schioppettino and ban the import
of that wine from Friuli. If you hear a knock on the door as you're drinking a glass of Schio...beware.
The variety is believed to have originated in Slovenia back in the 1200's. Under the law, Schio was not an authorized
variety until the 1970's. It was pretty much extinct after the phyloxera epidemic. The Noninos (of distillate fame)
and PaoloRapuzzi of Ronchi di Cialla got interesting in 1974 to rescue it from extinction. They found a few rows
here & there in old vnyds, took cuttings, and the rest is history. As told by Galloni: ... 0-jun-2017
I did a visit with IvanRapuzzi (Paolo had died earlier that year) in Oct two yrs ago. After a tour of the vnyd and
the wnry (where we met his brother, Pierpaolo, a dead-ringer for KurtBietler/Boheme), we adjourned to his Mom's (Dina)
kitchen and tried several vintages of his Schio (plus a killer dessert Verduzzo) over cheese, charcuterie, and pitina,
a Friulian salami smoked over the fogolar (round fireplace common to many Friulian kitchens). It was an amazing
afternoon. I gifted him a btl of the Matthiasson Schio, which he reported back that he liked quite a lot. Schio is
reported to not age particularly well, but the older ones we had were terrific.
To me, the Ronchi di Cialla Schio is the gold standard for Schio. This '11 delivered on all cylinders. But the
Pietro, though a bit lighter, was right up there with it.

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