Wine Blogging Wednesday #41: Friuli Whites



By Kori ~ January 16th, 2008.

Welcome to Wine Blogging Wednesday! For those of you that are new to WBW, so are we. This is the first time that we have participated, and we had a lot of fun tasting wines that were new to us. Jack and Joanne of Fork & Bottle are the hosts this month, and they selected Friuli-Venezia Giulia white wines for us to try because they believe that Friuli has become “the most exciting wine region in the world.” After tasting five different Friuli Pinot Grigios and one Friuli Sauvignon Blanc over the last month, I cannot say that I agree with them based on what I tasted, but I did enjoy branching out and educating my palate.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia is located in Northeast Italy and is known for a number of different white varietals. We tasted mainly Pinot Grigios because it was the only Friuli varietal with any selection in Seattle. To be honest, we would have also liked to try some Tocai Friulanos, but I couldn’t find them. I will be interested in other posts where they have been reviewed. Maybe that would have changed my opinion of Friuli whites.

20080116_fruili1.jpgWe blind tasted the five Pinot Grigios against each other to determine our favorite over three different evenings. The first tasting pitted the 2006 Pighin Pinot Grigio Grave del Friuli against the 2006 Campanile Pinot Grigio Grave del Friuli and the Pighin came out on top. The second tasting saw the 2006 Attems Pinot Grigio Collio top the 2005 Benvolio Pinot Grigio Grave del Friuli. Since we are always looking for good values, all four of these bottles were purchased for under $15.

20080116_fruili2.jpgSince Jack and Joanne had recommended certain producers and suggested trying a bottle that cost over $18, we decided to step it up for our third and final tasting. We took the winners of our first two tastings, Pighin and Attems, and put them up against the 2006 Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio Friuli. Sure enough, the Livio Felluga was the favorite. However, while it was the best of these five, we would not rate it among our favorite whites.

A complete list of the Friuli Pinot Grigios we tried (from good to ugh):

2006 Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio Friuli: Aromas and flavors of grapefruit prevail. Good mouth-feel and well-balanced but rather simple. Drink within the next year.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Pete’s Wine Shop – Eastside (Seattle area), $24.29; K&L Wine Merchants (California), $21.99; PJ Wine (NYC), $19.99

2006 Attems Pinot Grigio Collio
Quality: 2 stars (out of 5)
QPR: NR (not recommended)
Price: $14.99

2006 Pighin Pinot Grigio Grave del Friuli
Quality: 2 stars (out of 5)
QPR: NR (not recommended)
Price: $14.99

2006 Campanile Pinot Grigio Grave del Friuli
Quality: 1 stars (out of 5)
QPR: NR (not recommended)
Price: $9.39

2005 Benvolio Pinot Grigio Grave del Friuli
Quality: 1 stars (out of 5)
QPR: NR (not recommended)
Price: $6.99


Filed under: Italian Wine, Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, White Wine, Wine Blogging Wednesday, Wines NOT To Buy (1 & 2 Star), Wines Under $10, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. Jack at Fork & Bottle | January 17th, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Sorry this didn’t work out for you. I don’t buy the inexpensive Pinot Grigios – they are just wine.

    I’ve had the Livio Felluga Terre Alte (his top wine, about $40), in the past six months or so, and it was very good, but not quite worth the $, too.

  2. Mike Veseth | January 19th, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Please don’t judge Friulian wines by the PGs that you tasted. PG is a money wine here in the U.S. and so Friulian PGs are imported here, but I don’t think it represents the best work of the winemakers there. I am especially fond of the white blends (like that Terre Alte that Jack recommends above) and the Sauvignon Blancs, which can have real body and flavor. There isn’t much market for a SB from Italy here in the U.S., and white blends are not in high demand here either, so they are hard to find despite their very high quality. Italian PGs are everywhere, however.

    There is a good website if you are interested in learning more. The Friulian winemakers are marketing their best white wines as The SuperWhites
    http://www.superwhites.it/

    The Tre Biccherie wines (those that received 3 glasses in the Gambero Rosso ratings) wines and other wines by their makers are are reliably good.

    Mike Veseth

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