Here’s the weather today, much like it has been since the Magnifici sei left on Saturday:
Last week, however, when the bloggers were here, this was the weather for FIVE STRAIGHT DAYS:
Blue skies, warm days, chilly, star-filled nights. More than one producer asked if the bloggers could come back to Friuli in September, if this was the kind of weather they carried around in their luggage.
The week continued with what might have been the group’s most unanimously positive visit: Ronchi di Cialla. The Rapuzzi family single-handedly cultivate the only winery and vineyards in the Cialla subzone, specializing in native grapes, but most of all Schioppettino..
The ’05 started the tasting with red fruits, elegant balance, a hint of rust and a fresh apply finish…. the ’01 was almost smoky with a hint of charcoal, more bass notes, a little of that funk and silky Tannins… The ’95 was still fresh-colored with plenty of mineral and hints of warm orange peel, delicate and feminine with some spicy cherry on the finish… and then the ’85… all poise and balance, color almost indistinguishable from the 10-years-younger ’95… sexy texture on the palate with a long peppery finish. Awesome…
See all thise bottles up there with 13.5% and 12.5% on the labels? Well the exact opposite of Cialla is the Schioppettino from Moschioni…
(That’s Nicolas, Francesco, Michele Moschioni and Dr J.)
Here are my notes from Moschioni’s ’06 Schioppettino: “16.4% alc., 20 days natural appassimento (drying grapes in shallow cassettes); big and rich, ripe nose, warm going down but not hot, very velvety tannins with cherry, licorice and pepper”… Maybe not as elegant as the Cialla wines, obviously very different, but I enjoyed both for what they were.
Later in the evening we had the privilege of eating at the Petrussa winery where we tried 3 vintages there: ’04, ’03 and ’99. I found these wines a bit of a synthesis of the Cialla and Moschioni wines: A little riper, fleshier and oakier than Cialla, but not as BIG as Moschioni. The ’04 was still very young, the ’03 had more leather and tertiary aromas, but “smoothed out and sexy” according to my notes, and the ’99 was lush with the epitome of “velvety tannins”.
SO what’s the final word on Schioppettino? Like so many wines in Friuli and in COF, we have different interpretations, different points of view… But the key is that this native grape has been rescued from oblivion, extinction, literally… Thank goodness (and the Rapuzzi family, or the Nonino family.. or whatever)
What’s cool is that one of these Schioppettini will turn you on. If you’re into the big Cabs or you’re into fine Burgundy, somebody makes a Schioppettino you’ll like.
And that’s what will spur others into keeping these local grapes alive…