In 1997 Lidia & Joe Bastianich established their eponymous winery in Friuli, close to Lidia's childhood home in Istria. The mother and son duo are a trailblazing force in the food and wine industry, with Bastianich Winery among their many successful projects. The region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia in Northeastern Italy is bordered by the Adriatic to the south, Slovenia to the east and the Austrian Alps to the north.
The Bastianich estate consists of roughly 28 hectares of vineyards located in the Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC, split between two distinct zones. The original vineyard is in Buttrio/Premariacco and sprawls across the DOC’s southernmost hills. It is warmed by the nearby sea and famously produces powerful wines. The second property in Cividale del Friuli is influenced by the bora (North wind), resulting in cooler nights and much more aromatic wines. The two zones share a similar soil called ponca, the crumbly sandstone that gives the wines their signature mineral backbone.
Respected winemaker Emilio del Medico has been working alongside consultant Maurizio Castelli at Bastianich since its inception.
Calabrone is the winery's riff on Amarone. Released only in exceptional vintages, this estate reserve wine is made up of 70% Refosco, 10% Schioppettino, 10% Pagnolo and 10% Merlot. The drying process not only intensifies the flavours of these distinctive grapes but softens some of their natural tannic bite. About 50% of the Refosco and all of the Schioppettino undergo appassimento (as shown in the photo below, with white Friulano grapes used for the award-winning 'Plus'). The grapes are hung in a ventilated barn for 4-8 weeks before being de-stemmed by hand and gently crushed. Maceration and fermentation occur in open-topped 500-litre tonnaux and manual punch down assures the softest possible extraction. Use of a vertical wood press softens the tannins by minimizing contact between the skins. Finally, the wine is aged in new Allier barriques for 24 months (with frequent batonnage) and is released after an additional 3 years in bottle.
Joe's Notes: The nose is filled with chocolate, coffee, spices and mature red fruit. The palate has considerable power and grip while maintaining elegance. Calabrone will surely benefit from additional cellar time, at least 5 years.
Great with: With dry extract levels near or greater to those of most Amarone, this is a big red wine for robust dishes.