Published on March 27th, 2015 | by Greg0
A Wonderful Odd Grape: Colutta’s Traditional Italian Red
We taste plenty of wine, across events that feature sometimes hundreds of companies from various countries, each trying to stand out. And it can be difficult or impossible to appreciate the subtle nuances of particular notes or flavors in such an environment, which means that one of the easiest ways to grab our attention is with an interesting varietal. You’ve tasted plenty- and cabernet and merlot can certainly vary but tend to have specific characteristics- which is why you’ll tend to like pinot noirs or hate chardonnays.
And while there are a wide range of varietals that exist we’ve settled on a fairly small number for large-scale commercial use. Outside of the regular names you recognize is the ancient grape named Refosco dal peduncolo rosso. And producer Colutta, a traditional Italian winery, caught our eye with their lovely and unusual 100% single-varietal wine, from the DOC (region) called Colli Orientali del Friuli. Only 8000 bottles are made
If you’re a fan of Italian wines, you’ve probably tried Friulano, the most popular white grape from the area. Like that grape, this one can be fairly intense, a bit musty and with a definite hint of earthiness underlying a bit of dark fruit and light tannins. It’s really a medium-body glass masquerading as a heavier kind, tilting towards the dry side but balanced enough to be flexible. It’s definitely a bottle than can handle some aging over time, and we loved the description of how it was made, quoted below.
“Grapes are selected by hand and are then de-stemmed, crushed and left to ferment at a controlled temperature (of around 28°C) with the addition of selected yeasts. In order to extract colour from the grapes, the “délestage” technique is used which allows for polyphenols, tannins and anthocyans to be extracted effectively from the skins; this technique enables the best possible colour stability and structure over time.”
Priced at only about $16, it’s a solid wine, though pretty hard to find in the United States at the moment. If you get a chance to try other wines from Colutta, we definitely suggest it- they make some great pinot grigio and sauvignon blancs as well.