100% Friulano from a single hillside vineyard in Collio. 80-year-old vines, very low yields, very limited production. The Brazan Friulano shows hints of apple, peach flowers, pink grapefruit, wild fennel, sage and aniseed. The palate is profound and terroir-driven due to the 18 months this wine spends on the lees. One of the best white wines I’ve drunk from Italy.
Certified organic farming practices, natural but clean winemaking & only 250 cases produced.
Ferdinando Zanusso, who founded I Clivi, 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. A wine truly grown, whose character is shaped entirely in the vineyard by soil, climate and vines and is in no way altered in the cellar, a wine that stands solely on itself, on its own intrinsic qualities, and is not made to suffer any intervention or “improvement”. In short, purest terroir expression, “without addition or diminishing.” The recipe is organic cultivation in the vineyard, with naturally low yields which seldom reach 20 hectolitres per hectare, and spontaneous, non-interventionist winemaking to ensure absolute integrity.”
This paragraph defines great wine of any kind, I think, and the Zanusso family live up to their philosophy. Their varieties include the native varieties Ribolla Gialla, Friulano (formerly known as Tocai Friulano), Malvasia Istriana, Verduzzo (in dry form, which is unusual), and a little Merlot, which has so acclimatized to this corner of Italy that it’s practically native. All of the wines are grown organically, and are cleanly but very naturally made, expressive, distinctive and mouthwatering. The winemaking is essentially the same with all of the whites, except the lees-aged wines and the sparkler. The whites are not macerated with the skins, they are fermented using indigenous yeasts, and they age on the fine lees until bottling.