Friuli Venezia Giulia: A Wine Smorgasbord

In his article “ Friuli Venezia Giulia: A Wine Smorgasbord ” on Vinous, Ian D’Agata writes, “No other region in Italy offers as large a selection of outstanding white wines from so many different grape varieties as Friuli Venezia Giulia does, while the region’s native red grapes yield wines that are equally distinctive.” He continues, “Make no mistake about it: Friuli Venezia Giulia is the region where, in the 1970s, Italy’s white wine quality renaissance began.” Get to know the bountiful diversity of this northern Italian region with a case-full of wines reviewed by Ian D’Agata.

La Viarte

Colli Orientali del Friuli Schioppettino di Prepotto 2010

Delectable Wine
9.3

Full medium red-purple. Boasts delightful lift to the multidimensional aromas of red cherry, blackberry, green peppercorn, spices and smoky minerals. Then at once bright and fresh but also sweet and supple for a wine with noteworthy but harmonious acidity that provided clarity and cut. The flavors of raspberry, crushed blackcurrant and fresh herbs stand out for brilliant precision and sappiness. Finishes with serious but polished tannins with lingering herbal nuances and saliva-inducing acidity. Plenty of flavor and only 12.5% alcohol. (Ian D'Agata, Vinous, May 2018) — 3 years ago

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Azienda Agricola Meroi (Davino Meroi)

Colli Orientali del Friuli Verduzzo Friulano 2012

Delectable Wine
9.5

Bright dark yellow-gold. Perfumed aromas of cinnamon apple pie, pear, guava and quince. Then offers a crystalline delivery of super-sweet papaya, caramel apple, tangerine jelly, marzipan and cinnamon flavors focused by a laser beam of acidity that provides both lift and a light on its feet quality that is sometimes lacking in Meroi’s dry wines. This Verduzzo Friulano is a wine of remarkable purity, and is probably the best wine I have ever tried from Meroi. (Ian D'Agata, Vinous, May 2018) — 3 years ago

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Gravner

Venezia Giulia Pinot Grigio 2006

Delectable Wine
9.1

Pinkish Cognac color. Dried apricot, orange, raisin, dried strawberry, and coffee on the nose, plus a suggestion of grilled nuts. Deep, dense and thick but with off-the-charts acidity lifting the wine's flavors of raisiny ripe fruit and sweet spices. Finishes long and suave. (Ian D'Agata, Vinous, May 2018) — 3 years ago

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Franco Toros

Collio Pinot Bianco 2015

Delectable Wine
9.4

Luminous, pale straw-green. Wonderfully vibrant, perfumed nose combines pear, green apple, Meyer lemon, ginger, lemon verbena and a steely, iodiney quality. Densely packed, tight and young, with a terrific core of citrus, powdered stone and orchard fruit flavor of uncommon purity. Already seamless but still youthfully imploded, this really coats the palate with its concentrated flavors on the horizontal, extremely long finish. This is so complex and rich it actually tastes as if a portion of the grapes had been hit by noble rot. Clocks in at 14% alcohol but you can hardly tell. Along with Terlano’s Vorberg, Nalles and Magré’s Sirmian and the Pinot Bianco by Doro Princic, this is Italy’s best Pinot Bianco wine. (Ian D'Agata, Vinous, May 2018) — 3 years ago

Doro Princic

Collio Pinot Bianco 2016

Delectable Wine
9.4

Bright pale yellow. Bright and high-pitched aromas of lemon, white peach, yellow apple, beeswax, and crushed rock, are complicated by lemon verbena and jasmine. Compellingly pure and electric in the mouth, with superb mineral and minty herbal elements complement the refined citrus and floral flavors. Boasts an uncanny combination of fresh texture, stony cut, floral perfume and enticing orchard fruit presence. Finishes long with noteworthy clarity and cut. Doro Princic makes one of the two best Pinot Bianco wines in Italy; the only other Italian Pinot Bianco wine that even competes with it is Terlano’s Vorberg Riserva bottling, so you understand the quality level I am talking about here. (Ian D'Agata, Vinous, May 2018) — 3 years ago

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Venica & Venica

Jesera Collio Pinot Grigio 2016

Delectable Wine
9.1

Luminous straw color. Intense, perfumed nose of apple, pear and lemon verbena, with a hint of tropical fruit emerging from the background. Then rich and suave with very good juicy cut to the pomaceous orchard fruit flavors. Much richer and denser than the average Italian Pinot Grigio. Finishes long and pure. Well done. (Ian D'Agata, Vinous, May 2018) — 3 years ago

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Volpe Pasini

Zuc di Volpe Colli Orientali del Friuli Pinot Bianco 2016

Delectable Wine
9.3

Pale straw yellow. Very refined aromas of white flowers, beeswax and white stone fruit. Fresh and lively with vibrant orchard fruit, mint and green apple flavors. Long and bright on the clean crystalline finish. A knockout Pinot Bianco that is truly mesmerizing on the nose. (Ian D'Agata, Vinous, May 2018) — 3 years ago

Livio Felluga

Terre Alte Collio White Blend 2015

Delectable Wine
9.3

Bright straw yellow. Enticing aromas of apricot peach and apple, complicated by hints of powdered rocks and sweet spices. Fresh and juicy, but with very suave flavors of botanical herbs and orchard fruit nicely lifted and carried on the long finish by harmonious lively acidity. A hint of sweet spices repeats at the back. Always bigger and riper than the more mineral Abbazia di Rosazzo, but each will have its fans. (Ian D'Agata, Vinous, May 2018) — 3 years ago

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Miani

Zitelle Sauvignon 2016

Delectable Wine
9.7

Bright straw yellow. This absolutely captivating wine is remarkably deep, ripe and pure, boasting incredibly concentrated and perfumed gooseberry, guava, tangerine, grapefruit, sage, and winter melon aromas and flavors. The dense, tactile but very juicy mouthfeel is lifted and extended by penetrating but harmonious acidity. The finish is practically endless. The 2016 Sauvignon Zitelle does not have any, or only very few, of the tropical fruit notes found in Miani’s riper, rounder 2016 Sauvignon Saurint, offering instead gooseberry and orchard fruit nectar-like notes. In my experience, only Didier Dagueneau has made Sauvignon Blanc close to this quality level anywhere in the recent past. Do whatever you can to snag a bottle of the Zitelle, it is quite simply one of the best Italian white wines ever made. (Ian D'Agata, Vinous, May 2018) — 3 years ago

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Gravner

Bianco Breg Anfora Venezia Giulia White Blend 2008

Delectable Wine
9.2

Bright, deep orange-yellow. Aromas of candied pineapple, orange peel, grilled banana, earth tones and lanolin. Juicy, smooth and concentrated, with well-integrated acidity giving shape to the herb, orchard fruit and honey flavors. Tactile and persistent, finishing classically dry and lemony but not harsh. Strikes me as richer but less nuanced and graceful than Gravner’s 2009 Ribolla Gialla. Made from a complex blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Riesling Italico (Welschriesling), this was fermented in amphoras with indigenous yeasts and no temperature control. The wine spent five months in buried amphoras, then six years in large oak barrels. (Ian D'Agata, Vinous, May 2018) — 3 years ago