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ribolla gialla

Free Radikon

Radikon 2003 Ribolla Gialla (Venezia Giulia) – Creamy, with that odd tension between stone fruit and ripe red berries that so often marks this grape when made in this fashion. There’s skin tannin, but it’s milder than normal (possibly a consequence of the vintage, though if so it runs counter to the excess/underripe-tannin problem that plagues so many 2003s), and while the wine feels heavy on the palate, it lightens considerably by the time the finish rolls around. A good, not great, Radikon ribolla, but considering the elevated starting position there’s no real shame in that. (3/10)

Anfora next trick…

Gravner 2001 Ribolla Gialla “Anfora” (Venezia Giulia) – Restrained, to such an extent that I wonder about sub-detectable TCA. And then, after a few more sniffs, I wonder no more. Corked. (10/07)

Gravner 2001 Ribolla Gialla “Anfora” (Venezia Giulia) – Elegant honeysuckle and wax with minor citrus elements. Surprisingly indifferent, which is not an experience I’ve ever had with this (or any other) Gravner amphora wine. It’s good, but it’s oddly pedestrian. Maybe something to do with drinking it at sea level? Barometric pressure, perhaps? Lunar phases? Roman ghosts that disapprove of Greek winemaking vessels? Whatever the cause, it’s a transparent shadow of its usual self. (10/07)

Two Mauro

Castel San Mauro 2005 Ribolla Gialla (Collio) – Fulsome, but structured like a broad, flat plain. Leaves, minerals, and angles…the acuteness of which increase as the wine approaches its finish. Some alcoholic fatness as well. Just OK. (10/07)

Draw the Kurtin

Kurtin 2005 Ribolla Gialla (Collio) – Windy and flat, with wax and skins (the kind that are typical to traditionally-fermented ribolla gialla, not the amped-up structure of the “orange wine” cohort). Some underripe lime wanders about. Stodgy and linear. (10/07)

Gradnik degree

Gradnik 2005 Ribolla Gialla (Collio) – Very full-bodied, with ripe, yellow-toned fruit. The palate quickly deadens any pleasurable aromatic sensations, however, and soon the wine has taken on the texture of peanut butter. This is not, in case it’s unclear, a welcome impression. (10/07)


[radikon bottles]Radikon 2001 Ribolla Gialla (Venezia Giulia) – Tight, metal-jacketed plum. A bit hot, which is something I’ve not previously experienced from this wine. Somewhat indifferent. Perhaps an off bottle (or an off taster). (7/09)

Radikon 1997 Ribolla Gialla “Riserva Ivana” (Venezia Giulia) – Soft fullness and salty white soil. Seems more mild-mannered than it actually is…there’s a fair bit of complexity and depth…but the wine’s gentle in every aspect. There’s a very slight edge of heat creeping into the margins, but otherwise all is seamless. This isn’t aging so much as cohering, and in a very appealing way. (7/09)


[vineyard]Movia 2007 Ribolla Gialla “Lunar” (Goriška Brda) – Delish. I know it probably wants to be serious, but really it’s more like a Greek island beach party…albeit from several hundred years ago. No tropical umbrellas here. Very appealing, and in an immediate way. (7/09)

Ribolla strike

Gravner 1997 Ribolla Gialla (Venezia Giulia) – Heavy, but it’s a good weight. Lush with mandarin-scented Madeleine, plus cotton candy whipped with tart threads. There’s a slightly bitter, Campari-esque note which seems like it should be an “off” character, yet the wine benefits from the counterpoint. This is aging very nicely, and while it doesn’t seem to be showing signs of decline, it’s very likely that I have no idea what those signs might be for this particular wine. (7/09)

Gravner 2000 Ribolla Gialla (Venezia Giulia) – Sweet yellow cherry with some oddities I can’t quite identify. Whatever’s going on, it’s tasty enough but a little distracting. Long. (7/09)

Gravner 2001 Ribolla Gialla “Amphora” (Venezia Giulia) – Slightly bitter, and this time the bitterness takes the form of vanilla, especially on the backpalate. Leafy. A sharp left turn from the pre-amphora ribollas. (7/09)

Cantarutti-toot toot

Cantarutti 2006 Colli Orientali del Friuli Ribolla Gialla (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Pretty classic, straightforward ribolla, with the weight, skin tones, and mild oxidation one expects. A little leafy tarragon, old rocks, a yellowish haze…it’s all there. The finish is short. A basic wine. (7/09)

Radikon job

[grapes]Radikon 2002 Venezia Giulia Ribolla Gialla (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – While it’s never entirely clear what sort of wine one is going to get when one removes the tiny, Virginia Slims-sized cork from a bottle of Radikon, anticipation of the unexpected more than makes up for the lack of predictability. That said, any expectations one might have for this bottle are pretty much detonated at first sniff. And no, I do not mean that negatively. This wine is as explosive as the beverage can get…not in the goopy, thermonuclear fruit device fashion so popular among certain subsets, but in its mushrooming billows of complexity and evolving structure. Deep bronze in color and in sheathing, then wrestling free of its jacketing with lava flows of slow-baked stone fruit (leaning towards the tropical…let’s say papaya, more for the fun of naming an actual fruit than from any commitment to organoleptic accuracy), then pulsing in gravitic undulations of aromatic expansion and structural contraction. To a certain extent, most wines made in this fashion are “red wines,” but this is redder than most, and the deep, autumnal aromas that dance around the perimeter lavishly Burgundian. Honestly, this is breathtaking, a sure-fire cure for vinous ennui, and sufficient reason all by itself to make wine a part of one’s life. (4/09)

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