Browse Tag

friuli venezia giulia

Brazan it out

[bottles]i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 2002 Brazan Collio Goriziano (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Aromatically austere. When it finally opens – not an easy event to coax forth – it shows honeysuckle, dried mineral salts and hyssop. The balance is exquisite, the finish lingering and delicate, and the overall impression of the wine is beautiful and refined. Extremely impressive. (7/07)

i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 2001 Brazan Brazzano di Cormons Collio Goriziano (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Fuller than the 2002, with big, salty herbs, spice, tea, and ultra-ripe apple and a fuller, riper composition. And yet, there’s such amazing elegance retained. Long, with flawless balance even though it’s heftier. (7/07)

The sea of Galea

[galea vineyard]i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 2002 Galea Colli Orientali del Friuli (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Rain-churned dust, shells, and hazelnut with…marshmallows? If so, they’re natural, unsweetened, and slightly green. It’s a difficult descriptor to use, because it suggests the wine is synthetic when in reality it is almost completely the opposite; marshmallow is, here somewhat of a textural descriptor…but then again, not entirely. If anyone has ever tasted real marshmallow (from the plant), they’ll know what I’m talking about. The wine moves from Mario’s suggested lightness to greater weight and fatness on the midpalate, then recedes again, while at the same time building an edifice of spice and complexity on top of its foundation. Very tight, but balanced, with acid perhaps a bit more present than in other vintages. The finish is very, very long. After an hour or so in the glass, floral notes emerge. This should be a beauty, one day. (7/07)

i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 2001 Galea Corno di Rosazzo Colli Orientali del Friuli (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Strong anise up front (which Mario identifies as the verduzzo). Bigger and more forward than the 2002, showing ripe tangerine rind and bitter orange soda on the finish. It nestles the palate for a time, then turns more angular on the finish, which is shorter than that of the ’02. For whatever reason, I find this wine a half-step behind the 2002 in quality, though I think it will age just about as long. (7/07)

i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 1999 Galea Corno di Rosazzo Colli Orientali del Friuli (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Served warmer than I’d like. There’s a touch of volatile acidity here, and a slight prickle to the palate, which has a texture similar to that of linen. A bit fat, with perhaps a touch of heat (though that’s undoubtedly exacerbated by the temperature of the wine)…though this is clearly a big wine by any estimate, with juicy orange and greengage plum beating on each other like a large-barreled floor tom. Later cooling just mutes the wine, without really dealing with the more functional issues. (7/07)

i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 1997 Galea Corno di Rosazzo Colli Orientali del Friuli (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Dusty, with a beautiful mineral-driven nose. Later, there’s lemon verbena and mint, along with creamed apricot blossom and peach flowers. The palate is explosive yet silky, and the age lends a sensation (but not the actual presence) of sweetness. Gorgeous, and at a fine point in its maturity…though I don’t see any need for panicked consumption; this wine is still quite intact. (7/07)

Ferdinando’s hideaway

label]i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 2000 Galea Rosso Colli Orientali del Friuli (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Grey and black earth are here less a foundation than a wrapping, like a soil-enclosed truffle cored with dried red, blue and black fruit that flow forth with a gorgeous, silken texture. The finish is long, dusty and exceedingly pleasant. A very polished wine, perhaps not with the inherent character of the whites, but fine in its own right. (7/07)

Anfora next trick…

Gravner 2002 Venezia Giulia Ribolla Gialla “Anfora” (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – So hard to describe, which is (to me) one of its most compelling features. Its brassy color precedes Rainier cherries, melon rind and rocks…a lot of rocks. And there’s significant and unmistakable tannin, more than one would ever expect in a white. In fact, I could easily see confusing this for a red wine, were the color hidden. The finish is long and…well, mysteriously complex. Regular wine descriptors are somewhat insufficient here…I don’t know if it’s my failing, or that the vocabulary doesn’t quite exist yet. What I do know is that I love it. What a fascinating wine! (10/07)

Centenary island

Aquileia “Centenario” Grappa “Gran Riserva” (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Oak-aged, and thus light brown, with enticing crushed flowers and a very elegant aroma. The wood smoothes things over to such an extent that I realize I prefer the more raw but more exciting clear form of this spirit. (10/07)


[label]Radikon 2002 Venezia Giulia Ribolla Gialla (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Reddish-orange in color, blood orange and Rainer cherry on the nose, with plenty of tannin…this is, by all rights, a red wine that just happens to be made from white grapes. There’s big acidity throughout, with mineral soda elements abundant on the finish. Fascinating stuff. (10/07)