April 24, 2015

Piavia di Udine, Friuli


2011 Refosco, IGT Venezia Giulia

Retail: $42.95 / btl (6 btls/cs)


Native, characterful Friulian wines.

We met the charming & dynamic Valter Scarbolo through the Bastianich family.  It was Valter who helped Lidia & Joe to find suitable vineyards for their project.  The Scarbolo estate in Lauzacco is located only 15 km from the Italian border with Slovenia.  30 ha are planted to traditional Friulian varieties — Friulano (formerly Tocai Friulano), Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Grigio and Refosco. 160,000 bottles are produced.

Scarbolo’s vineyards are impeccable, and the fruit produces wines of remarkable intensity and extract.  Valter took over the estate from his father, and has completely revitalized the vineyards and modernized the cellar.  Tragically, in July 2010, the winery was destroyed by a tornado — a blessing of sorts that prompted a re-evaluation and confirmation of the ideals and goals of Valter & Maria Grazia and their children Mattia & Lara — not to mention an opportunity to further re-design and update.

These are extremely characterful wines that express the region. The Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc both spend time on the skins, providing colour and intriguing complexity. In fact, James Suckling recently called Scarbolo Sauvignon Blanc ‘one of the best in Friuli’. Refosco is an indigenous, darkly pigmented grape from Friuli that produces rich, full-bodied wines. Valter’s oak-aged rendition is absolutely impressive. 


2011 Refosco dal Peduncolo
IGT Venezia Giulia

Retail: $42.95 / btl (6 btls/cs)


Tasting Note: Refosoco, a native Friulian grape variety dates back to the Roman Empire.  Scarbolo harvests by hand, and dries the grapes for 2 weeks (appassimento) before destemming and crushing.  Fermentation takes place in INOX to preserve fruitiness and aromatics, followed by 2 years of aging in French oak barrels of varying sizes.

An impressively deep, dark, luscious wine. Aromas of sweet plum, almond, earthy spice with notes of white pepper. With loads of berry fruit and silky tannins, this wine has a bold, robust structure with a long finish. Rich, unique and complex.