Vino Roma is a wine studio where you can learn about Italian wines through guided tastings. I’ve attended both “My Italians” and “Sparkling Saturdays“. Last week a special tasting, “Super Wines of Friuli” was on the calendar. With sommelier exams on my mind, I couldn’t wait to delve into this region with wine educator, colleague and friend Hande Leimer (pictured below).Our first stop was the Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC appellation where many of Italy’s finest whites are found. In this hilly zone of Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) the soils are marl. Mountains protect vineyards from harsh northern cold while winds from the Adriatic Sea result in a more temperate climate.
The flight included Sauvignon 2011 (100% Sauvignon Blanc) from La Tunella winery; Pinot Grigio 2010 (100% Pinot Grigio) by Livio Felluga and Vigne Cinquantanni 2008 (100% Friulano) produced by Le Vigne di Zamo.
First, Hande told us to note the color of the wine. Second, we talked about the aroma. Third, taste and fourth, food pairings. The Sauvignon was crisp with scents of orange blossom, green grass and citrus fruit. The Pinot Grigio was dry, bitter and persistent. The Friulano spoke of apricots, juniper and resin and tasted spicy.
The 2nd group of wines from the Venezia Giulia IGT appellation were more natural, unfiltered and orange in color. Grape skins are left for a long period of time during maceration resulting in tannin extraction and a very intense color. Natural winemakers use minimal chemical and technological intervention in the vineyard and wine cellar.
Ice tea, peaches and caramel were the first impressions of Malvasia 2008 (100% Malvasia Istriana) by the Damijan winery. The deep amber Oslavje 2002 by Radikon had overtones of ripe fruit, honey and nuts; a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Grigio and 30% Sauvignon Blanc, it was complex, persistent and tannic.
The third group was two reds. The first was Refosco 2008 (100% Refosco dal Peduncolo) from Ronchi di Cialla. It was fresh with balanced acidity and a blackberry and balsamic nose. The second was a surprise from the nearby Veneto region, Valpolicella Ripasso 2009 (Corvina, Convinone & Rondinella blend) from Antolini. The “ripasso” (repassed) technique produced a crisp and balanced ruby red wine with the fragrance of cherries, mint and vanilla.Two dessert wines completed our trip to FVG and Veneto. Vola Vola 2007 (Picolit, Verduzzo, Sauvignon Blanc blend) from Le Vigne di Zamo had bitter almond and honey aromas. Recioto della Valpolicella Classico 2007 (Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella blend) by Antolini smelt of jam, cherry brandy and cinnamon.
What an unique, fun and educational experience! We tasted 9 wines each with a distinct personality. I’m itching to try some of Hande’s suggested pairings like Vigne Cinquantanni 2008 with pumpkin ravioli, Radikon’s Oslavjie 2002 with risotto and Recioto della Valpolicella Classico with molten chocolate cake.Vino Roma Via In Selci 84/G* firstname.lastname@example.org