Friuli Colli Orientali, IT
Regular price $21.99
Sale Price $17.99
So, here’s the thing…wine consumers (and critics) tend to think that the grapes that we know and hear the most about are the same grapes that have been around the longest and have proven themselves over generations. The reality is that the modern grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay) are pretty young (merely a few centuries old) and have largely distinguished themselves by virtue of their relative ease in the vineyard, not because they make the best wine. Meanwhile, grapes that have histories that are literally thousands of years old are thought of as ‘unique’ or ‘odd’. Which, of course, brings us to Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso.
I’ve met and tasted the wines of Giorgio Colutta a number of times over the years and have always been infatuated with his Refosco. As mentioned above, this is a grape that is indigenous to northeast Italy and has been cultivated there for at least one thousand years (written records are a bit sketchy prior to that). As an aside, the lengthy name translates roughly to Refosco with the red stem. Anyway, this wine is just crazy good. Intensely favored and wonderfully aromatic, yet not heavy or overwrought, it has dark berry and woodland flavors and aromas of cinnamon and herbs. Bold and powerful it has structured and defined tannins and invigorating acidity. Not fruity and sweet, like far too many New World reds, its bone dry and lengthy and designed to be enjoyed with risotto, sausage, stews and…just about anything else. But don’t have a glass of it without food; the penetrating acidity with make your stomach growl. For real.