A Ribolla Revelation

by whitney on April 11, 2012

i Clivi. The Ribolla pot of gold at the end of the Friuli wine rainbow. Or something like that.

I really REALLY like the wines from i Clivi. Point blank period. End of blog post.

I kid! So, we visited the Zanusso men (dad Ferdinando and son Mario) at their winery in Corno di Rosazzo about half way through our week long trip. We arrived on a drizzly, grey day. It was quiet and calm- peaceful, not gloomy. It felt like an oasis, the eye of the storm of a get in the van, consume lots of information and wine and go mindset. Time slowed down. The week was by no means strenuous or tedious, but the energy here just felt different. And the wines did too.

We tried 3 of their white wines, starting with an eye opening, espresso shot to the palate Ribolla Gialla. While waiting for their young RG vineyards to develop and mature, they source fruit on this one (other than this all wines are estate bottled.) One of my favorite Ribolla of the trip is from fruit grown in nearby Goriška Brda, Slovenia. Oops!

Ferdinando says:

“My idea was to let history speak through the wine, by making as “transparent” a wine as possible, in which soil, climate and tradition may come fully through and be perceived without interferences.”

Transparent indeed! That’s not water in my glass.

It was salty, crunchy, rocky, lightly lemon-y and 11% alcohol. The neutrality of fruit and aromatics typical to the ribolla grape was finally apparent here. I could still taste it minutes after my last sip, it just kept going and going.

We also had their old vine 2010 Tocai Friulano and a nearly 7 year old Clivi Galea Tocai. Fantastic. All of the wines have an intensity, in focus and purity. They are smart wines, with a point of view much like the men that help make them.

Mario Zanusso.

Ferdinando Zanusso.

A slightly out of focus shot, but I had to include it…because of the perfect little rainbow that my lens captured.

Further reading on i Clivi: from McDuff and Wakawaka

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