8 Jul 2006

Protect the Pleasures of the Table

YESTERDAY I went to a tasting of white wines from Friuli, North East Italy. The event, marketed as a tasting of 'Super Whites' was orchestrated by 'Slow Food' which aims '...to protect the pleasures of the table from the homogenisation of modern fast food and life...' A hard philosophy for most people to consistently implement, but definitely worth a try. Perhaps suitably, this sensous movement has Italian origins.

The grape found most abundantly in this region is the frustratingly titled Tocai, which has nothing to do with Hungary's Tocaj and makes wines best drunk young. I generally find it hard to befriend this tenacious variety, the worst examples carrying a trace of something resembling diarrhea; indeed looking over my tasting notes several examples evoked this ordurous-odour. However, one that stood cleanly clear was 2005 Collio DOC from Polencic Isidoro. Zesty, with a good weight, this wine resembled a ripe viognier. The Ronco del Gelso 2005 from the premium area of Isonzo was expressive, with an blithe minerality and a very long, dry, aftertaste. For some reason it reminded me of 'sand castles' with its blustery, warm opulence. The Villa Russiz 2005, made by the dashing Slow Food oenologist of the year, Gianni Menotti, who by his wine, manner and publicity materials is quite clearly a romantic, was seriously competent, posessing a different kind of lime bite zestiness to the others.

Illivio - the label resembles a mapMy most enjoyable experience was the Illivio Felluga Pinot Bianco 2004, a concentrated slight burgundian style with a concerted toffee heart, respectfully 'created by estate founder Livio Felluga’s children, who dedicated it to him'. I almost got into a (polite) argument with the albeit charming representative as to whether this would go with cheese. I thought not, she insisted it would.
Other Link: Cal-Italia.com