Torre Rosazza, Friuli Colli Orientali DOC, 2011

Torre Rosazza, FriuliThis wine comes from the Friuli Colli Orientali DOC in the Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. It is one of the eastern most wine regions in all of Italy, lying just a few miles west of the Slovenian border. The name of the region reflects it’s geography – Colli Orientali translates to ‘Eastern Hills’ (colli is Italian for ‘hills’ and is included in the name of many wine regions throughout the country. Colline also means ‘hills’ and is a bit more common as you move towards southern Italy). Some bottles from this region are labeled as ‘Colli Orientali del Friuli’ – ‘Eastern Hills of Friuli’. It is one of the two colli wine regions in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, along with the Collio Goriziano DOC. These are two of the most prestigious white wine regions in Friuli-Venezia Giulia and they share many of the same varietals and styles. Between the two, the Friuli Colli Orientali DOC produces more wine, making it the largest producer of quality wine in the region.

Most wine that is produced in the Friuli Colli Orientali DOC is produced as varietal wine (as opposed to a blend) and is labeled as such. The region allows for seven different red-wine grapes and twelve different white-wine grapes to be used. These varietals include both indigenous varietals (such as Friulano) and “international” varietals – Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, and, increasingly, Chardonnay are particularly common. This is the case in much of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region due to the Phylloxera epidemic that hit the region in the late 19th century. During the required replanting that followed, many vineyards in the region took the opportunity to include higher quality foreign varieties along with the local grapes. Producers in Friuli tend to put balance of purity of the grape as their top priority when it comes to winemaking, especially with white wines. Because of this, most white wines are aged in stainless steel tanks, with very few of them seeing oak at any point. As a result, most white wines from these regions are often crisp and fruity, the best of which can exhibit great depth and complexity.

This wine is produced by Torre Rosazza and made from 100% Pinot Grigio, which is technically a foreign varietal itself, known in it’s native France as Pinot Gris (though as Pinot Grigio it has become probably the most well known Italian varietal). As is typical for white wines from this region, it was aged in steel vats. It spent it’s first six months aging in contact with it’s yeasts, a fact that becomes immediately appear on the nose, which has a bit of a bready or yeasty character to it. This is accompanied by green apple, pear, and a bit of stone fruit, rounding out a nose which has medium intensity. The body has a little more weight than you might expect from a Pinot Grigio, which, along with it’s slightly golden coloring, can also be attributed to spending time in contact with it’s yeasts. It is dry on the palate, with more yeasty flavors and nice acidity. This goes along with more flavors of green apple, pear, a bit of lemon, and other green fruits. The finish is medium in length, with lingering fruit flavors. This wine isn’t quite as crisp as one might expect from a Pinot Grigio, but it retained a nice amount of acidity to go along with it’s added depth.

Price: $20

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