Tag Archives: Adriatico

Vinography’s Alder Yarrow reviews Adriatico!

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Alder Yarrow’s Vinography blog is certainly one of the most popular and best-written wine blogs on the internet, bar NONE. So how happy are we that Mr. Yarrow has taken the time to write a great post about the Adriatico line of wines from Bastianich.

I particularly like how complete and well-researched the post is. There is plenty of info there that he didn’t get from a press release, showing a dimension of care and accuracy in his writing. Bravo! and thanks for the blog-love!

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Adriatico 2010 and the Dream-Team…

Last year we had the pleasure of creating and launching a very unique line of wines callled “Adriatico”. This line was envisioned by Joe Bastianich who wanted to express the terroir of the northern Adriatic Sea through 3 native grape varieties in their native lands: Friulano, from Friuli Venezia Giulia, Ribolla Gialla from Slovenia and Malvasia Istriana from Croatia.

Obviously, the Friulano is Home-Grown here on the Bastianich vineyards in Friuli. We enlisted the help of local winemakers for the other wines… Marjan Simcic is our man in Brda for the Ribolla and the Malvasia Istriana is made by a group of 3 producers in Istria: Moreno Degrassi, Gianfranco Koslovic and Ivica Matosevic.

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2009 Bastianich Adriatico (r. to l.) Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana, Friulano.

The line has been a big hit, with healthy sales (retail in the mid-teens is the sweet-spot) and great reviews. Online, Wine is a Condiut really hit the nail on the head in a great post and Frederic Koeppel also wrote a great review of the Friulano and also named it one of his 25 Great Wine Bargains of 2010.

Most recently, Antonio Galloni bestowed 89 points on the Malvasia and 88 points on the Friulano, calling both outstanding values. Good stuff.

Last week we started the process of selecting the ines for the 2010 version of Adriatico, tasting some wines from Simcic. Yesterday we drove down to Istria to meet with the producers and coordinator Glauco Bevilaqua (who also imports our wines to Croatia and Serbia)…

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Istrian Dream-Team (l. to r.) Glauco Bevilaqua, Moreno Degrassi, Ivica Matosevic, Gianfranco Koslovic.

It was a lesson in the beauty of blending wines… Matosevic’s Malvasia was all aromatics and brightness with flowers and minerals jumping out of the glass… Koslovic’s example was less aromatic, but spicy on the palate with white pepper and a hint of cardemom, very mineral, almost salty… the Degrassi Malvasia was all about ripeness and rotundity caressing the palate, finishing dry and almost chalky… Blending the three brought out all the goodness and filled the mouth with flavor and texture while remaining incredibly lithe and fresh.

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We were very pleased. We were even more pleased when Moreno Degrassi brought out the most delicate and delicious Calamari Fritti I’ve had in YEARS…

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Paired with his 2007 Malvasia Istria, it was like lunch in fish heaven…

COF2011: Tocai day, and discovering a neighbor…

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This was the scene yesterday for the first day of tastings at the the Colli Orientali Consorzio and the COF2011 blogger gathering. That’s Alfonso, Nicolas, Jeremy, McDuff and Samantha working their way through no less than 42 different (Tocai) Friulani…

Most of the wines came from the 2009 vintage, and it was good to see a consistancy of quality from that vintage. Styles were slightly varied (from zingy Ronco delle Betulle and Ermacora) to the yeasty (Rocca Bernarda) that really seemed to float Samantha’s Champagne-lovin’ boat.

Others I really liked were from Grillo, Conte D’Attimis and Borgo Judrio.

This is a real learning experience for me. Getting to sit down and see what other great producers are doing with Friulano, and being able to taste our Friulano with them (even if not blind) is something I think many producers DON’T do and really SHOULD. It’s an eye-opener.

I can’t really compare the ’07 PLUS we tasted with yesterday’s group. Plus is in a class by itself, in a stylistic sense, and its massive richness and mature fruit stands apart (purposely) from the more traditional Friulani.

Our Adriatico Friulano came at the end of the tasting and it made me realize that the style for that wine is also slightly richer and fatter than your average Friulano. Our philosophy is to give the wine more depth and feel, rather than zing. It’s nice to see how balanced the Adriatico Friulano is in spite of being a little rounder and fuller.

Finally, the afternoon’s visits brought me to an new winery I’d never heard of before (in spite of my living here for almost 10 years now).

I Clivi is a very interesting property run by Mario Zanussi (second from left below). Organic vineyards, all stainless steel (for whites) and some very interesting wines. Laser-beam focused and austere, the wines took me a moment to understand. We only tasted recent vintages, and due to the tightly-wound style of these wines, I would expect them to open up with time.

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There was one wine they make that reminded me of Vespa Bianco, but chalkier and more austere, called Bianco degli Arzilliari… Chardonnay and Sauvignon (like Vespa Bianco) but with Traminer instead of Picolit. It was more complete and rounder than their Friulani, with a little bit of warmth and a hint of that traminer spice.

It’s a pleasure to discover new neighbors and new wines. Now that these wines are on my radar, I look forward to trying them again… Maybe a little head-to-head with Vespa Bianco?