Pinot Grigio 2010
Great apple, kiwi and lime purity, subtle and balanced texture, and was great with the prosciutto and polenta we had with lunch.
A variety which I need to have more familiarity with as in my opinion is the most important variety in the region. The 2011 had a clean herbal green papaya and kiwi nose, but having been recently bottled was a little shocked. On the palate it also looked a little hot, but had balanced fruit and acid with full flavours and lees derived texture and richness.
Took me by surprise, as it was one of the most complete and complex I’d seen without any barrel influence.
Abbazia di Rosazzo 2009
Initially showed too creamy and buttery, with vanilla coconut and rich peach notes, a little too fat. After it had opened up it started to show its complexity, but was quite warm and textural.
Terre Alte 2009
The highlight of the tasting, a blend of pinot bianco, sauvignon blanc and friulano. It had very subtle lees derived complexity, and had a wide variety of fruit notes, was bold and rich in character but also gentle and balanced.
Refosco dal Peduncolo 2007
Showed quite rustic, but inspired me to discover more wines made from this variety.
The Terre Alte
If you close your eyes, ears, nose and brain, you can almost imagine what Venice must have been like centuries ago when it ruled a vast merchant empire the envy of the world, enough to inspire Shakespeare to set his famous “The Merchant of Venice” in. Shutting off the senses is vital, as the tightly packed streets are filled with either tourists from around the world, or those working to support the tourism industry. Venice is hardly a city that people live in, and for this reason after two days I was pretty sick of it. I shudder to think what it is like in summer, but if it is anything like Paris then it’s almost not worth it. Everything is a little bit more expensive and far from authentic. Thank goodness they at least have one youth hostel, which had possibly the worst breakfast so far on my trip, but in Venice 23 Euro is nothing to sneeze at. After a weekend wandering the alleys and canals I drove up into the other great white wine region of Italy, Friuli. It is similar in some ways to Alto Adige, in the sense that it shares history and culture with its neighbouring countries Austria and Slovenia, it is predominantly white wine focused and there are a range of both indigenous and introduced varieties. What it does not have in common is the micro-climates, as Friuli is a much more Mediterranean climate where they get a lot more rain and warmth, and thus the varieties and styles differ. In spite of the slight difference in culture (and language), the warmth and generosity is the same.
|Yours truly with the Rosazzo Abbey behind me