From: Colli Orientali del Friuli, Italy
Taste: This elegant wine presents a pale straw color with greenish hues, full of youthful freshness. The nose is rich and persistent, offering a delightful bouquet of ripe apple, pear, and delicate white floral notes. On the palate, the wine is round, soft, and refined, with harmonious fruity flavors intermingling with a core of bright, well-balanced acidity. Notes of baked pear, candied lemon, and a subtle lees-spice complexity are evident and delicious. The finish is long and persistent, leaving a lasting impression of freshness and satisfaction.
Pairing: The 2021 Ronchi di Cialla Friulano is a versatile companion to a wide range of dishes, from fish and crustaceans to pasta with vegetables or egg-based dishes. Its bright acidity and complex flavor profile make it an excellent match for pan-fried white fish with a zesty lemon butter and capers sauce (check out the recipe below). The wine's fruit-forward character complements the saltiness of prosciutto paired with rocket and mozzarella, while its full body stands up well to roast chicken with thyme stuffing.
By Kay Chun
About. In the world of fine wines, Italy's Friuli region, specifically the D.O.C. Colli Orientali del Friuli, is synonymous with excellence, thanks in part to the tireless efforts of estates like Ronchi di Cialla. Nestled in a small valley enveloped by woods flourishing with chestnut, oak, and wild cherry trees, the estate represents a harmonious union of tradition, biodiversity, and the pursuit of the perfect bottle of wine.
A Family Legacy and Commitment to Biodiversity
Ronchi di Cialla, a family-run estate, has a longstanding reputation for crafting some of Friuli's most celebrated and age-worthy wines. For over 40 years, the family has dedicated itself to indigenous grape varieties like Ribolla, Refosco, Schioppettino, Verduzzo, and Picolit, which find their perfect terroir in the Cru' Cialla.
This historical commitment to local grapes is intertwined with the estate's passion for biodiversity. As a certified "biodiversity friendly" estate by the World Biodiversity Association, Ronchi di Cialla is dedicated to conserving and enhancing biological diversity through natural farming practices and minimal interference. The result? A rich tapestry of flavors, aromas, and stories bottled in each of their wines.
A Gem of Friuli: The 2021 Ronchi di Cialla Friulano
The 2021 Ronchi di Cialla Friulano is a testament to the family's mission. This 100% Friulano is crafted from organically grown grapes thriving on over 40-year-old vines planted on eocenic marl in the Colli DOC.
After careful harvest, the wine is fermented in stainless steel and aged for three months on the fine lees, resulting in a wine that embodies the spirit of the Friulano grape. Bright, clean flavors of pear and candied lemon harmonize with notes of fresh walnuts, creating a full-bodied yet fresh wine with a dense palate and layers of flavor. The quenching finish is long, drawing you back for another sip. This wine pairs beautifully with cured meats, assorted cheeses, and pasta dishes.
A Tale of Revival and Excellence
The story of Ronchi di Cialla is not just one of wine, but also of revival. The founders, Paolo and Dina Rapuzzi, single-handedly rescued the Schioppettino grape variety from near extinction, defying regulations and convincing authorities to allow them to plant it. Today, Schioppettino is celebrated for its elegance, complexity, and finesse, further solidifying Ronchi di Cialla's commitment to indigenous grape varieties.
The Essence of Friulano
The Friulano grape, formerly known as Tocai Friulano and mistakenly associated with Sauvignon Blanc, is at the heart of Friuli's winemaking tradition. The grape boasts a lively, fruity profile with notes of citrus, florality, and almond, touched by a hint of minerality. Despite its thin skin and susceptibility to various forms of rot and mildew, the Friulano grape thrives in Friuli's dry vineyard sites, creating wines with a distinct character that reflects the region's unique terroir.
The 2021 Ronchi di Cialla Friulano is no exception. This straw-colored wine with greenish hues greets the senses with rich, persistent aromas of ripe apple, pear, and white floral notes. The palate is round, soft, and elegant, boasting fruity flavors balanced by well-integrated acidity, culminating in a long, persistent finish.
The 2021 Ronchi di Cialla Friulano: An Ode to the Terroir
This is a wine that captures the essence of its place of origin. The Lonzano Vineyard, a 46-year-old plot located in the municipality of Dolegna del Collio, in the province of Gorizia, is home to the vines that produce this exquisite Friulano.
The grapes are macerated for at least one day, then fermented in stainless steel vats at controlled temperatures. After a natural settling without the addition of clarifying agents, the wine is aged on the lees for three months with weekly battonage, a process that enhances the complexity and texture of the final product.
The result is a refreshing, fruit-forward wine, marked by flavors of baked pear, lemon zest, and lees-spice. This Friulano, with its balance of fullness and freshness, is an affordable white wine to keep on hand for any occasion.
Friulano: A Grape with History and Distinction
Friulano is a grape variety most notably associated with Friuli, northeastern Italy. Erroneously linked to Sauvignon Blanc in the past, it's now recognized for its unique qualities. Wines produced from Friulano are often varietal, and they exhibit lively and fruity characters with notes of citrus, florality, and almond, often touched by a hint of minerality.
Interestingly, Friulano ripens early but buds late, making it productive yet requiring careful yield management to maintain quality. Despite its thin skins making it susceptible to various forms of rot and mildew, it thrives in Friuli's dry vineyard sites, avoiding these potential hazards.
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