About this WINE
Enzo Pontoni is arguably Italy's finest white winemaker, responsible for the uncompromisingly taut, minerally precise wines of Miani.
Drawing on the famous 'ponca'/marl & limestone soils of the Colli Orientali del Friuli, a continental viticultural DOC sandwiched between Udine & the Slovenian border, north of Trieste, Enzo has tended 10 hillside hectares of high-density (6-7,000 plants/ha) organic vineyards near the village of Buttrio since 1985, producing a range of quivering whites & statuesque reds.
Yields are critically low at approx 20 hectolitres/hectare while vinification typically consists of barrel fermentation in 40% new french oak, no malolactic fermentation (for the whites, except for the Chardonnay) or temperature control. He also produces two reds: a rich but suave Merlot from fifteen separate parcels and the flagship of the estate, 'Calvari', made from 100% Refosco, densely packed with crunchy blackberry fruit & aged in 100% new oak. Recently he has begun consulting at the Az. Agr. Davino Meroi estate, also based in Buttrio.
Colli Orientali del Friuli
Along with Collio, Colli Orientali del Friuli is the finest DOC zone in Friuli-Venezia-Giulia. Situated in the Julian Alps on the border with Slovenia, much of its quality is down to its calcareous and sandstone landscape and 400m altitude. High planting densities, older vines, poor soils (especially compared to the flood plains below) and a challenging continental climate all assist in achieving lower yields and greater concentration in the wines.
Perhaps surprisingly, Sauvignon Blanc is the king of the whites here, producing fuller bodied but also taut and minerally examples. Indigenous varieties Ribolla Gialla and (Tocai) Friulano follow hot on its heels. The reds are led by the Refosco grape which achieves blackberry richness alongside a minerally poise. Next best is Pignolo, the regions answer to Nebbiolo, while Merlot runs a close third.
Recommended producers: Canus, Davino Meroi and Miani
The Friulano wine grape was formerly known as 'Tocai Friulano' up to the 2006 vintage, whose origins date back to the early 17th century and the province of Gorizia in Friuli-Venezia-Guilia, north-eastern Italy.
Friulano is a notable white wine grape in the DOCs of Colli Orientali del Friuli, Collio, Isonzo, Grave del Friuli. It produces restrained wines with delicate apricot, honeyed aromatics and a light-medium bodied, minerally and almond palate, for early to medium term drinking, often complemented by oak ageing.
Miani, Canus and Lis Neris are responsible for fine examples. Interestingly, Tocai is also a synonym for Sauvignonasse or Sauvignon Vert, often erroneously labelled as 'Sauvignon Blanc' in S.America.
Friulano is noted for giving light/medium bodied dry wines with characterful orange & marzipan fruit aromas, elevated levels of alcohol & relatively low acidity. It does not readily take to oak ageing.