Cantine Zorzettig: Wines from Friuli Venezia Giulia

The Zorzettig family, which currently farms 110 hectares (about 275 acres) of vineyards around Cividale del Friuli, has been making wines for generations, and very kindly sent me four of them to taste, two that are entry level, and two from their Myò line, which is made from grape selections.

I found the entry level wines to be fairly direct and up front, but enjoyable, the sorts of wines one sets out with foods and that don’t try to hog the limelight or otherwise take center stage, and this is an important characteristic for an every day wine to have.

The wines of the Myò line do display greater depth, and in particular I enjoyed the Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso, an indigenous varietal whose bouquet I have alsways found interesting, and that will (once again) be quite versatile at table.

Zorzettig Friulano Friuli Colli Orientali DOC 2012
Lot 3025FR
Pale brassy white with brassy reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with slight yellow fruit supported by some honeysuckle and delicate loquat acidity, with slight underlying floral notes and slight savory accents. On the palate it’s savory, with moderately intense slightly bitter loquat fruit supported by savory gunflint minerality and tannins that have a slight flinty burr and flow into a rather savory finish. It’s fairly direct and up front, a wine that will work well with what it’s served with supporting the foods rather than demanding center stage. I would serve it with vegetable based pasta dishes, soups, and perhaps simple white meats or fish.
1 star

Zorzettig Ribolla Gialla Friuli Colli Orientali DOC 2012
Lot 3025RB
Pale brassy white with brassy reflections and white rim. The bouquet is fresh, and fairly mineral, with some greenish apricot fruit as well supported by underlying slightly greenish acidity. On the palate it’s ample and rather bitter, with minerality more than fruit supported by mineral acidity and by slight grape tannins that have a flinty burr, and flow into a moderately long rather bitter finish. Quite direct, a wine that one can set out and drink, and though it is not long on complexity or depth it is quite drinkable and will support what it’s served with, and yes, there is a need for this sort of wine.
2 stars

Zorzettig Myò Vigneti di Spessa Malvasia Friuli Colli Orientali DOC 2011
Lot 2072
Brassy gold with brassy reflections and white rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with the classic floral accents one expects of a Malvasia mingled with some gooseberry and deft savory notes, with underlying gooseberry acidity. On the palate it’s languid, revolving more around minerality than fruit, with bitter mineral acidity providing direction and leading into a fairly bitter finish. It will work nicely as an aperitif or with more delicately flavored dishes.
2 stars

Zorzettig Myò Vigneti di Spessa Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso Friuli Colli Orientali DOC 2010
Lot 2083R
Deep rather violet ruby with dusky ruby reflections and rim tending towards pigeon blood ruby. The bouquet is fairly intense, and warm, with red berry fruit mingled with greenish vegetal accents and some balsamic sandalwood laced acidity with underlying cedar as well, and some savory bitterness as it opens. On the palate it’s medium bodied with moderately intense fruit supported by mineral more than fruit driven acidity and by tannins that have fairly pronounced underbrush and wet leaf overtones and flow into a moderately long rather bitter forest berry fruit finish with a savory dry tannic underpinning. I might have liked a little more intensity to the fruit, but it is quite approachable and will drink nicely with meat based dishes that aren’t too fatty, nor too rich, for example roast pork loin or perhaps roast turkey with graving and stuffing. Expect it to go quickly.
2 stars

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About Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.
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