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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Finally! A Refosco to Love

It was a late night and looked to be an even earlier morning. Shutting down the evening with a wine dinner, singing Neapolitan songs with my pal Luciano, I scurried home to pack and sleep for a few hours. 4:30AM arrived sooner than I had hoped. It was Sept. 11 and I was getting on a plane, this time to Houston.

Arriving at the first account at 10:00 AM, my colleague opened up two bags with Italian wine, Barolo, Barbaresco, Sauvignon, Tuscan, rosato, you name it, we had it. And there in the middle of the pack was the Refosco.

I’m not one you can count as a fan of Refosco. I find them too nervous, too blue. They remind me of the dead finger trick, where you put your finger next to a friends and then rub them with your other hand, one finger on each side, to give one the sensation of touching a dead finger.

Fortunately, tasting the 2010 Marco Felluga Refosco Dal Peduncola Rosso “Ronco Dei Moreri” was not one of those dead finger moments. The wine was alive, not kicking, not screaming, not biting, but awake, aware and full of life. Maybe this isn’t the true character of Refosco (and yes I have tasted many both in the US and in Friuli). No this one was, how should I say this, delicious. I was sleep deprived, traveling, on a plane on the 11th of September, and making across the Houston freeways in time for the appointment in weather that would reach 100°F with loads of humidity. In and out of the car, so much that at the end of the day all you want is to go to your room and slip into a tub of ice.

But there is still work to do in the evenings; see the new places, peruse the new wine lists; cringe over the spelling mistakes and all the wrong wines chosen for the right reason. And at the end of the day, it’s the cast off, the Refosco, which lingers in my mind. Yes, I tried another and any number of wines people pressed on to me for their show-and-tell of Italian wines in this new urban sprawl. Yes, it’s, much better than it was 5 -10-25 years ago. But that Barbaresco that was poured for me was full of mercaptin as was the second bottle. The Lambrusco was nice, but this is the time for Sorbara, not Grasparossa. Oh, when will I ever find the right balance? I’m not asking them to choose my Barbaresco and Lambrusco. But just to taste the wines they do choose. Maybe it just takes time. For my part it takes patience.

Until then, I have my new friend. Finally, a Refosco to love. All night long.



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8 comments:

  1. Refosco will never be a great wine. But sometimes from the right produer and in the right vintage and at the right time and place, it can be the perfect wine. Italy offers so many wines like that.

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  2. If a wine revelation is to happen, trust a Felluga to be nearby.

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  3. A Barbaresco with mercaptan? Potty mouth! ;)

    I'll be heading to sea shortly with my mercaptain!

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  4. The MerCaptain and Tennile - now that's some Muskrat Lovin'

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  5. Ciao Alfonso,
    I aree with you, Felluga's refosco is not bad... In my opinion however it doesn't go much beyond not bad, while I have found a number of refosco from tiny to medium-sized (20,000-80,000 btls) wineries that make exceptional refosco which are much more terroir driven and quirkier than Felluga's. I'm biased since I import some of them to Japan but you should try Sara & Sara from Savorgnano del Torre, lots of muschio, spezie bianche e frutta rossa, avvolgente e muschiato con una punta di cinghialesco che non guasta mai.

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  6. Thanks Giovanni

    I'll check these out - the thing about the Felluga wine was that is was so darn delicious. But I'll look out for more of these fine examples you have recommended

    Grazie!

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  7. Di niente! If you can manage to find it another exceptional refosco is the one from Marina Danieli, who also makes a great pinot grigio ramato (the only type worth drinking in my humble opinion)

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  8. Thanks for sharing your thought on Italy wines. lot of people getting depth knowledge of wine from here.

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