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i clivi

Border Colli

[galea rosso]i Clivi 2000 Colli Orientali del Friuli Galea Rosso (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) — Keening, yearning fruit poised between supple lusciousness and Alpine brittleness. This is really good right now, though I don’t think there’s any hurry, either. (11/16)

Dr. Galea

[galea]i Clivi 2002 Colli Orientali del Friuli Galea Bianco (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) — Memory engraved in amber and then preserved in wax. Like drinking patina, bee-etched, cool stone slopes reflected the last bronze of a sunset above a field of sleeping vines. (8/16)

i Clivi 1999 Colli Orientali del Friuli Galea Bianco (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) — At first, this was so aromatically mute I worried it was corked. But it wasn’t. It blossomed and burled all night, and by the time I took it home it was singing a full-throated song of lanolin and bone echoing off the spine of a distant mountain. (11/16)

I am the great Corno di Rosazzo…you will give me tocai?

i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 2001 Colli Orientali del Friuli Corno di Rosazzo Galea (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – When this producer’s wines first came into my market, they came in all at once, back to the first commercial vintage (’97), and the remarkable thing was that the ’97 Galea was not yet fully mature. That was a few years ago, and repeated dips in the well have demonstrated that it either still isn’t ready or that it has hit a long plateau and will never be “ready” in the way I’m apparently expecting. The evidence of other vintages, some of which matured faster and/or differently, still gives me a measure of hope, but I’m running out of bottles with which to test my theory. As for this, purchased (in quantity) from a recent store closeout, it’s definitely more at-peak than any ’97 of my acquaintance…though that assessment should be filtered by the possibility of variable treatment along the way, as is the case for any after-vintage closeout. Well, anyway, blah blah blah, how about this bottle? Spectacular. It’s a nervy skeleton, clacking and scraping in a stone cage, yet the bones are bright, clean, and strong. So much attention is paid to the more orange-tinted products from this region, but this – neither traditional nor paleo-modernistic – deserves more attention than it gets, and it gets a fair amount. (7/11)

i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 2001 Colli Orientali del Friuli Corno di Rosazzo Galea (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Swaggering, which is an odd thing for a Galea to be doing (Brazan can get a little braggy after a few drinks), but I like it. Whites, beiges, tans, and creams are the “fruit” in this wine, the acidity’s supple and subtle but present, and there’s an appealing late-stage creaminess to the texture. I’d think about drinking this one sooner rather than later. (8/11)

i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 2001 Colli Orientali del Friuli Corno di Rosazzo Galea (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – A heavily-soaked cork doesn’t bode well, and this is decidedly more advanced than any Galea of my experience: thick, slow, and a bit oxidized (that is: oxidized beyond the usual oxidative tendencies of friulano made in this fashion). Bronzed stone fruit – or maybe ambered – demi-glace, cashew oil (a touch stale), incredible weight without much antigravitic structure. Despite all this, I see some lingering appeal in the wine, though none of the three others for whom I open it share my limited enthusiasm. In any case, this is not an intact bottle. (9/11)

Orientali express

[vineyard]i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 2004 Galea Colli Orientali del Friuli (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Drinking a young Galea can be a little like trying to slake a hearty thirst with an icicle. This is no exception, and even though it’s decanted early and aggressively, not much can be coaxed from it over the course of an hour, other than beige minerality and a firm structure. I love these wines, but I love them with age, and since even the 1997 (the first vintage of this wine) isn’t yet fully mature to my palate, I see no reason to submit any additional stocks to this manner of infanticide. (2/10)

Arz & mine

[bottle tag]i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 2004 Bianco degli Arzillari (Venezia Giulia) – Made from verduzzo. Served from two different bottles. The first has been open for a while, and it shows, with an oxidative, ribolla-like brownout flatness to the palate, yet retaining a good deal of spice and baritone hum. The second is from a fresh bottle and much livelier, yet still with the weight of something more rich than crisp, a fuzzy-edged structure, and a fairly long yet mildly anonymous finish. This is an interesting wine, but I suspect verduzzo is of a little more utility in the winery’s more famous blends. (12/09)

Ferdinando’s hideaway

[vineyard]i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 1997 Colli Orientali del Friuli Galea Corno di Rosazzo (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Fairly advanced for this bottling, which has spent some time in a warmish store (Vintages, Belmont Center) and might have been displayed standing up for a time. All this really means, though, is that the wine is a lot closer to full maturity than pristine bottles: honeysuckle and fine-grained pollen with a lovely milky texture and very good length. (12/08)


i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 2001 Colli Goriziano Brazan Brazzano di Cormons (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Waxed peaches. Quite flowery. Texturally, waves of luxurious satin envelop the tongue, and get sexier with each passing minute. While this isn’t fully mature, it’s drinking beautifully right now. (11/07)

i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 1997 Colli GorizianoBrazan Brazzano di Cormons (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Reddish fruit at the core, surrounded by wet wax and bronzed, metallic jacket. A triangular wine, drinking as well as it’s ever going to…which makes it the rare Clivi white that’s truly ready. (11/07)

I am the great Corno di Rosazzo

i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 1997 Colli Orientali del Friuli Galea Rosso Corno di Rosazzo (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – 100% merlot, planted at 2000 vines per hectare. Earthy/gritty tannin, granular cherry and strawberry, and then a finish with the rough, friction-y texture of old leather. A bit of whiskey barrel sweetness emerges on the finish, but the wine isn’t hot. It is, however, in need of drinking. (11/07)

Galea sayers

i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 2001 Colli Orientali del Friuli Galea Corno di Rosazzo (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – While it appears to broaden in the glass, in fact this wine is a lot less forward than it was a year earlier, so those holding some will now likely need to wait out its maturation. Herbs and a fine minerality are at the core, with a crescendo to a feathery finish that, nonetheless, remains full of mineral solemnity. (11/07)

i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 1999 Colli Orientali del FriuliGalea Corno di Rosazzo (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – From a warm vintage in which some of the berries started to desiccate, then recovered some of their plumpness just before harvest. This has opened a bit since my previous tasting, and the dominant characteristic is that of honey without its sweetness, lightly dusted with dried sage. Long and round, but still too young. There’s a very mild and pleasant oxidation on the finish, which I find to be entirely typical of these wines, and in fact hardly unknown among tocais in general. (11/07)

i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 1997 Galea Corno di Rosazzo (Colli Orientali del Friuli) – Mostly open, but I still wouldn’t say it’s on the far side of maturity. Wax and oxidation layered with late-autumn leaves and a long, sandy finish. Letting its hair down, and those with a quantity will want to start sampling from their collection. (11/07)

Brazan it out

i Clivi di Ferdinando Zanusso 2003 Colli Goriziano Brazan (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – A little better than the ’03 Galea, with a more cohesive form. Grapefruit and other assorted citrus rinds are present, along with some alcoholic numbness of the finish. It’s big. After a few hours of air and warmth, the nose is much improved, adding fig, melon, and cantaloupe to the fruit salad. But while it’s the more drinkable of the ’03 whites, at least at the moment, it’s still fundamentally deformed by its vintage. (11/07)

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