Friday, March 16, 2018

Poise and Precision

In our part of the world, we tend to love white wines with up-front flavours boldness, rich mouthfeel and weight.  That’s why Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are among the most popular varieties.  Sure, we have a segment of the market that much prefers the taut, lean and minerally whites, that say, dry Riesling can offer.  However, we tend to forget that much of the world , particularly the ‘Old World’ likes them elegant, very dry, and crisp with brisk acidity, or thirst-quenching with dry phenolics.
Our guest Mosy, staying with us from the U.K. brought along as a gift, a wine that typified the style that she had come accustomed to as being a brilliant white.  The 2014 Livio Felluga ‘Terre Alte’ Rosazzo DOCG was a rare white bird from the north-east Italian commune of Cormons, in Friuli-Venezia Guilia near the border of Slovenia.  In the hills of Rosazzo, Livio Felluga has been making wine for over 60 years, his family winegrowing for five generations, but in modern time the name has become one of Italy’s most prestigious.  The ‘Terre Alte’ is one of the ‘map wines’, not a single varietal but a blend of Friulano, Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon, the Friulano fermented in small French oak and the other two in tank.  The wine is aged on lees for 10 months.  It’s not about technique or variety, but all about place and the resultant style.  Crisp, steely, very dry with penetrating, mouthwatering floral and white stonefruit flavours, minerals, and herbs and some green stonefruits, maybe nuts too.  It’s an expression of alpine.  Beautifully poised and precise.  In our country, it could be seen as austere.  In Europe, a wine of finesse and style.     

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