***EXPECTED ARRIVAL DATE OF LATE 2021, EARLY 2022
While Friuli Venezia Giulia's (FVG) white wines re-defined what Italian whites could be in the 70's and 80's, FVG was often considered too cold and rainy for late-ripening reds like Cabernet and Merlot, as well as regional natives like Refosco or
Schioppettino, to have too much success. However, as weather patterns have warmed and dried over the region in the last decade or two, the quality of FVG late-ripening reds has become undeniable.
From Ian D'Agita writing in in
Vinous.com: Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) offers wine lovers the best of all possible worlds. This northeastern corner of Italy, bordering Slovenia to the east and Austria to the north, is a fantastic place to hunt for world-class whites and sweet wines. But, because of climate change and increased producer knowledge and experience, the reds have improved by leaps and bounds over the years and are now some of Italy’s most interesting, exciting wines. Jan, 2020
This mixed-case offer contains four bottles of each of the three wines below:
(which basically translates to Refosco with red stems) is sourced from the estate vineyards of Tenuta Sant'Helena in IGT Trevenezie (DOC Friuli Grave - all Fantinel Family estate vineyard). A native grape to the region, its produced with 20% Lot 260 2016 Refosco Dal Pedunculo Rosso appasimento (or drying of the grapes) and aged in French and Slovakian oak barriques for 18 months. The resulting wine is robust and hearty with complex, savory fruit capable of decades of ageing. This exact wine was recently awarded 93-points by James Suckling and front-lines for approximately $38/bottle here in the states, if you can find it.
Deep garnet, medium-ruby. The bouquet is wonderfully intense and evolved with sour cherry, savory blackberry and toasty earth complexed with black pepper, tar, coffee, dried meats and anise notes. Medium-full-bodied, seamless, well-integrated and delicately chewy with savory blackberry and dried-yet-fresh and perfumy flowers zinging across the palate. 13.5% alc.
is sourced from the estate vineyards of Tenuta Sant'Helena in IGT Trevenezie (DOC Friuli Grave - all Fantinel Family estate vineyard). The wine is produced with 20% Lot 261 2017 Trevenezie Cabernet Sauvignon appasimento (or drying of the grapes) and aged in French and Slovakian oak barriques for 18-months. The 2015 version was the last scored wine at 91-points from James Suckling and 2017 is a similar vintage in terms of quality. Just $13/bottle.
Deep ruby in the glass. Concentrated, layered, intense bouquet of blackberry, black cherry, graham cracker, sandalwood and spice with a shoe polish and leather halo with just a kiss of dried flower. Excellent, full-bodied-yet-elegant structure with seamless, focused mid-palate redolent with mineral-driven plum and blackberry layered over spicy earth and leather notes.13.5% alc.
is a blend of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 10% Pinot Nero hailing from the Tenuta Sant'Helena Vencó estate in located in Collio, the most highly regarded appellation in Friuli. Again, like all the other reds from this producer, about 25% of the fruit is Lot 262 2017 "Venko" Collio Rosso apassimento (dried) and aged in French and Slovakian barriques for about 24-months. $38/bottle front-line price now only $13/bottle.
Deep garnet in the glass. Bright cherry, plum and bourbon vanilla notes are haloed by an amalgam of cocoa powder, leather and fresh-turned black soil. Fantastic fruit purity on the palate with good minerality carrying velvety red fruit and cocoa-flecked savory notes to a long, delicately chewy finish. 13.5% alc.
More about the producer: Within the gorgeous frame of the vineyards in Vencò-Dolegna del Collio, a few steps from the boundary with Slovenia, Tenuta Sant’Helena stands out. The mild climate, provided by the pro-tection of the Julian Alps northwards and the openness to the Adriatic sea southwards and the fertile soil made up of sandstone marls from Eocene origin create a magnificent environment for grape growing. “Ponca” is, in the Friulian language, the name of this superb terroir. It represents the fundamental starting point from which particular production styles are developed, such as the cold maceration of white grapes, through a short contact with the skins, and a light raisining of red grapes, that are enriched with structure and personality. This is how wines with an intriguing aromatic set, a robust and embracing body and astonishing evolution potentialities are created.