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 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 238, April 2024   
Contrasts of Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon and Molise FalanghinaContrasts of Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon and Molise Falanghina Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 237, March 2024 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 239, May 2024

Contrasts of Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon and Molise Falanghina

Sauvignon Blanc, among the most famous international grapes and which in Friuli-Venezia Giulia is present in many denominations, compared with Falanghina in the enological expression of Molise.

 Tasting wines produced with the so-called international grapes – better called allochthonous – always represents a very interesting educational exercise. These varieties, mostly originating from France, have in fact been introduced by man into any country in the world where wine is produced. The wines made with these grapes, especially in the past, have always been “blamed” of presumed enological homologation, responsible for creating similar and predictable wines. In reality, the responsibility must be attributed mainly to the producers, who tried in a blatant, often clumsy way, to reproduce in their own wineries the expressions that had made those grapes famous in their land of origin. Although it is undeniable that these varieties are clearly recognizable in their wines – regardless of the production area – over time they have tried to interpret the cultivation and winemaking in a more proper way and in relation to the environmental characteristics of each place.

 Wines from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, produced respectively in the Loire Valley and Burgundy – France, of course – can never be similar to wines produced with the same grapes but in other places in the world. Among the allochthonous varieties, one of those which is most easily recognized in wines – alone or blended with other grapes – is Sauvignon Blanc. With its aromas that are basically herbaceous, but also with an exuberant aroma of fruits, especially exotic ones, Sauvignon Blanc gives its best in places that are not excessively warm. It is no coincidence, therefore, that in Italy it is particularly found in the northern regions, especially in the eastern ones. The famous French grape – interpreted in the territory of the Colli Orientali del Friuli – is compared with one of the most famous varieties of southern Italy, in the expression of Molise: Falanghina. Originally from Campania, this grape is also present in other neighboring regions, such as Molise, capable of creating wines of extraordinary finesse and elegance, as well as personality, in any case distant from those produced with Sauvignon Blanc.

 

Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon


 

 The Colli Orientali are one of the main and most important wine-growing territories of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Initially known as “Colli Orientali del Friuli”, in recent times, this important Denominazione d'Origine Controllata area (Denomination of Controlled Origin, DOC) has changed its name as “Friuli Colli Orientali”, a change that tends to standardize the name with that of the others denominations of the region. The vast territory of this denomination – which extends into the province of Udine – boasts a long and historic viticultural and enological tradition, dating back to the era before the ancient Romans. The link of this territory with vines and wine is still alive and significant today, it is, in fact, among the most important wine territories in Italy, certainly shared with all the denominations and the entire regional territory. The viticulture and enology of the Friuli Colli Orientali denomination can certainly be defined as vast and complex, both in terms of enological styles and for the vast variety of grapes grown.

 The production disciplinary of this territory, in fact, defines many styles of wine, including those with an indication of the variety on the label – the so-called mono varietals – produced with both native and non-native grapes. Among these, we also find Sauvignon Blanc, which, exactly as happens in some other Italian denominations, is generally indicated on the label with the sole name Sauvignon. This famous French grape, originated from the Loire Valley, has been present in Friuli-Venezia Giulia for over a century, so much so that it was recommended for cultivation as early as the end of the 19th century. Sauvignon Blanc is today one of the main representatives of the Friulian enology, perfectly adapted to the environmental conditions of the hills of the region. Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon is certainly a brilliant and significant example of how this grape is capable of making, in this region, wines of extraordinary finesse and elegance, with a personality identifiable with the style of the territory.

 

Molise Falanghina

 Molise is a region that boasts an interesting viticultural and enological production, with wines of great interest, mainly made from the typical white and red varieties common in this part of Italy. Despite in this region are found many of the primary varieties of central-southern Italy, Molise stands out mainly for Tintilia, the native red grape with which, in recent years, the entire Molise winemaking industry has identified itself. From an enological point of view, Molise has long been identified with its two Denominazione d'Origine Controllata areas: Biferno and Pentro d'Isernia. Subsequently, the entire region was defined as DOC, which was then followed by the definition of the fourth denomination, reserved for wines produced with Tintilia grape. The Molise DOC production disciplinary includes and permits many styles of wines and grape varieties, including the so-called mono varietals, such as Falanghina, the variety which we will examine in this month's tasting.

 Originally from Campania, more precisely, from the Taburno area, the Falanghina is also present in other regions of Italy, including Molise. This famous variety owes its name to the Latin falanx, a term used to identify the support pole used for the training of the vine. A sign that the cultivation of Falanghina has been practiced since ancient times and – although it is difficult to prove it – many believe that it is the same variety with which the legendary “Falerno” wine of the ancient Romans was produced. After having been forgotten for a very long time, Falanghina regained the interest of producers only in the last decades of the 1900s, when quality viticultural and enological practices began to be adopted, such as to do honor and justice to this very important and interesting variety. The same has been happening for some time in Molise too, thanks to the work of producers who, rightly, recognize the enormous potential of Falanghina, finding more and more space in the region's vineyards.

 

The Tasting


The
color of Molise Falanghina
The color of Molise Falanghina

 Before starting this month's tasting by contrast, let's purchase the two wines that we will pour into our glasses. These are relatively easy wines to find, in particular Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon. Molise Falanghina could represent a greater difficulty, because of the lower spreading and number of wineries that make it. In both cases, by going to a well-stocked wine shop, it will be possible to find both wines. In accordance with the respective production disciplinary, the DOC Friuli Colli Orientali and Molise, as regards mono-varietal wines, that is with the indication of the variety on the label, allow the minimum presence of the declared grapes for at least 85%. When choosing the two wines, therefore, we will make sure that they are produced with 100% Sauvignon Blanc and Falanghina respectively. As regards enological practices, both wines must be entirely fermented and aged in steel tanks. Finally, we will choose two bottles belonging to the most recent vintage available, serving them in tasting glasses at a temperature of 10 °C. (50 °F)

 We can finally start the tasting, so let's pour the two wines into their respective glasses. We start by evaluating the appearance, that is, how the wines show themselves to the eyes. The first wine we examine is the Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon, therefore – by tilting the glass over a white surface – we observe the base in order to evaluate its primary color. The wine reveals a brilliant and intense greenish yellow color, with a decidedly high transparency, evaluated by placing a contrasting object between the glass and the white surface. Let's now observe the nuance, towards the opening of the glass, where the wine becomes thin. Also in this case, we can notice the greenish yellow color. Let's now pass to the evaluation of the appearance of Molise Falanghina and observe the base of the tilted glass. The color of Molise wine is decidedly more intense than that of Friuli, revealing a strong, intense and brilliant straw yellow color, with high transparency. The nuance of Molise Falanghina confirms the straw yellow hue.

 The olfactory profiles of wines produced with Sauvignon Blanc and Falanghina are characterized by substantial differences and, in this sense, Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon and Molise Falanghina are no exception. According to some it is considered an aromatic grape, while for others it is semi-aromatic, Sauvignon Blanc – in reality – is neither one nor the other. It is certainly an exuberant grape in its intense aromas and the wines produced with this variety are recognized for the intense profile of fruits, especially tropical, as well as the characteristic herbaceous and vegetal aroma. Sauvignon Blanc, in fact, is recognizable on the nose – especially when harvested not perfectly ripe or grown in areas with a cool climate – for its aromas of nettle, green pepper, elder flower and, often, box flower. The profile of the wines produced with Falanghina is very different, mainly expressing aromas of white and yellow pulp fruits – apple, pear and plum in particular – sensations attributable to the world of flowers, such as hawthorn and broom, as well as dried fruit, especially almonds and hazelnuts.

 Let's continue this month's tasting by contrast and proceed with the analysis of the olfactory profiles of Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon and Molise Falanghina, starting – as for the previous phase – with the Friulian wine. Let's hold the glass in vertical position and, without swirling, proceed with the first smell in order to evaluate the opening of the wine, that is, the analysis of the primary and identifying aromas. From the glass can be perceived, intense and clean, the aromas of gooseberry, peach and nettle, often elder flower, a very usual opening for wines produced with Sauvignon Blanc, including those from this territory. After having swirled the glass, in order to favor the development of other aromas, let's proceed with the second smell. The olfactory profile of Friulian wine is completed with pear, apple, pineapple, often litchi, grapefruit and cedar, as well as broom. Furthermore, in these wines it is possible to perceive the herbaceous aromas of tomato leaf, green pepper and, in some cases, box flower. Let's now move on to evaluating the opening of Molise Falanghina: from the glass emerge intense and clean aromas of apple, pear, plum and hawthorn. After having swirled the glass and did the second smell, the profile is completed with citrus fruits, pineapple, broom and peach, very often followed by the aromas of hazelnut and almond.

 Let's now move on to the evaluation of the gustatory profiles, starting with the Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon. The first test we will carry out is about the attack, that is, the primary gustatory and sensorial qualities that are perceived in the mouth at the first sip. The initial sensation which is clearly perceived in the mouth is the crispness given by the acidity which, in Sauvignon Blanc, can also be decidedly intense. The balance is obtained by the effect of alcohol, while the structure of Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon is rather good, however not excessive. In the mouth can be perceived the flavors of gooseberry, peach, pear and pineapple. Let's now move on to the evaluation of Molise Falanghina's attack and let's take a sip. In the mouth can be perceived, also in this case, the pleasing and clear crispness given by the acidity, decidedly less intense than the Friulian wine. The balance is obtained thanks to the effect of the alcohol as well as the perceptible roundness, which are decidedly more intense than Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon. Finally, the body of Molise wine is clearly more structured than that of Friulian one. In the mouth we also perceive the flavors of apple, pear, plum and almond.

 We have reached the end of this month's tasting by contrast, so let's proceed with the evaluation of the final sensations that the two wines leave in the mouth after swallowing, in particular their taste-olfactory persistence. The finish of Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon is persistent and in the mouth we can continue to clearly perceive the pleasing sensation of crispness given by the acidity, in addition to the flavors of gooseberry, peach, pear and pineapple. The overall sensation is that of a medium-bodied wine, decidedly consistent with the other organoleptic qualities. The finish of Molise Falanghina is also persistent and in the mouth can be continued to perceive the sensation of crispness combined with a greater structure and a pleasing roundness, the latter decidedly more intense than the previous wine. Finally, in the mouth can be recognized the flavors of apple, pear, plum and a basically bitter sensation in which can be recognized almond.

 



 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 238, April 2024   
Contrasts of Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon and Molise FalanghinaContrasts of Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon and Molise Falanghina Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 237, March 2024 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 239, May 2024

Wines of the Month


 

Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Good value wine Good value wine
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Valdobbiadene Extra Brut Rive di Col San Martino 26° Primo 2022, Andreola (Veneto, Italy)
Valdobbiadene Extra Brut Rive di Col San Martino 26° Primo 2022
Andreola (Veneto, Italy)
Glera
Price: € 18.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant greenish yellow and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent, fine and persistent perlage.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of pear, peach and wisteria followed by aromas of acacia, white rose, broom, green apple, pineapple, tangerine, medlar and kiwi.
Effervescent and crisp attack, however balanced by alcohol, light body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of pear, peach and green apple.
Produced with the Charmat method.
Aperitifs, Crustacean and vegetable appetizers, Risotto with vegetable and crustaceans, Vegetable flans, Dairy Products, Eggs



Valdobbiadene Brut Rive del Refrontolo Col del Forno 2022, Andreola (Veneto, Italy)
Valdobbiadene Brut Rive del Refrontolo Col del Forno 2022
Andreola (Veneto, Italy)
Glera
Price: € 18.00 Score:

Brilliant greenish yellow and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent, fine and persistent perlage.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of green apple, pear and wisteria followed by aromas of acacia, white rose, broom, jasmine, peach, pineapple, tangerine, kiwi, medlar, banana and dill.
Effervescent and crisp attack, however balanced by alcohol, light body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Very persistent finish with long flavors of green apple, pear and peach.
Produced with the Charmat method.
Aperitifs, Fish appetizers, Pasta and risotto with fish and crustaceans, Sauteed fish, Dairy products, Eggs



Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore Riserva Volvito 2020, Caparra \& Siciliani (Calabria, Italy)
Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore Riserva Volvito 2020
Caparra & Siciliani (Calabria, Italy)
Gaglioppo
Price: € 11.50 Score: Wine that excels in its category  Good value wine

Intense ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of plum, black cherry and dried violet followed by aromas of dried rose, blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, cocoa, tobacco, carob, leather, black pepper, licorice and vanilla.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of plum, black cherry and blueberry.
8 months in steel tanks, 8 months in barrique, 6 months in bottle.
Roasted meat, Stewed meat with mushrooms, Broiled meat and barbecue, Cheese



Mastrogiurato 2020, Caparra \& Siciliani (Calabria, Italy)
Mastrogiurato 2020
Caparra & Siciliani (Calabria, Italy)
Gaglioppo, Greco Nero
Price: € 14.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Deep ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of black cherry, blackberry and plum followed by aromas of dried violet, carnation, raspberry, blueberry, cocoa, tobacco, leather, cinnamon, licorice, mace, vanilla and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, blackberry and plum.
Aged in barrique.
Roasted meat, Stewed meat with mushrooms, Broiled meat and barbecue, Cheese



Vittoria Nero d'Avola Tané 2015, Valle dell'Acate (Sicily, Italy)
Vittoria Nero d'Avola Tané 2015
Valle dell'Acate (Sicily, Italy)
Nero d'Avola
Price: € 32.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Intense ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of plum, black cherry and dried violet followed by aromas of blackberry, blueberry, carob, cocoa, tobacco, leather, licorice, mace, vanilla and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of plum, black cherry and blackberry.
12 months in barrique, 14 months in bottle.
Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat with mushrooms, Hard cheese



Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico Iri da Iri 2015, Valle dell'Acate (Sicily, Italy)
Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico Iri da Iri 2015
Valle dell'Acate (Sicily, Italy)
Nero d'Avola (60%), Frappato (40%)
Price: € 52.00 Score:

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of plum, blackberry and black cherry followed by aromas of dried violet, blueberry, raspberry, carob, cocoa, tobacco, mace, licorice, cinnamon, leather, graphite, vanilla and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Very persistent finish with long flavors of plum, blackberry and black cherry.
24 months in cask, 18 months in bottle.
Broiled meat and barbecue, Roasted meat, Stewed meat with mushrooms, Hard cheese



Friuli Colli Orientali Pinot Bianco Zuc di Volpe 2021, Volpe Pasini (Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy)
Friuli Colli Orientali Pinot Bianco Zuc di Volpe 2021
Volpe Pasini (Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy)
Pinot Bianco
Price: € 23.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Intense straw yellow and nuances of golden yellow, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of apple, pear and peach followed by aromas of hawthorn, white rose, broom, citron, plum, grapefruit, pineapple, hazelnut and mineral.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of apple, pear and peach.
Aged in steel tanks.
Pasta with fish and crustaceans, Sauteed fish, Sauteed white meat, Fried fish, Dairy products



Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon Zuc di Volpe 2022, Volpe Pasini (Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy)
Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon Zuc di Volpe 2022
Volpe Pasini (Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy)
Sauvignon Blanc
Price: € 23.00 Score:

Intense straw yellow and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of gooseberry, peach and broom followed by aromas of elder flower, nettle, citron, pear, apple, pineapple, grapefruit, plum, tomato leaf, bell pepper and flint.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Very persistent finish with long flavors of gooseberry, peach and citron.
Aged in steel tanks.
Crustacean appetizers, Fried fish, Risotto with crustaceans and vegetables, Vegetable flans, Dairy products



Cesubeo 2019, Fattoria Ca' Rossa (Emilia-Romagna, Italy)
Cesubeo 2019
Fattoria Ca' Rossa (Emilia-Romagna, Italy)
Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Longanesi, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Sirah, Pinot Nero
Price: € 16.00 Score:

Intense ruby red and nuances of ruby red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of black cherry, plum and strawberry followed by aromas of violet, rose, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, carob and bell pepper.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, plum and blueberry.
Aged in steel tanks.
Stuffed pasta with meat, Broiled meat and barbecue, Stewed meat with mushrooms, Roasted meat



Ripagrande 2019, Fattoria Ca' Rossa (Emilia-Romagna, Italy)
Ripagrande 2019
Fattoria Ca' Rossa (Emilia-Romagna, Italy)
Sangiovese
Price: € 22.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Deep ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of black cherry, plum and violet followed by aromas of rose, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, tobacco, chocolate, leather, vanilla and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, plum and strawberry.
36 months in barrique.
Stuffed pasta with meat, Roasted meat, Broiled meat and barbecue, Stewed meat with mushrooms



Lacrima di Morro d'Alba Sensazioni di Frutto 2022, Stefano Mancinelli (Marches, Italy)
Lacrima di Morro d'Alba Sensazioni di Frutto 2022
Stefano Mancinelli (Marches, Italy)
Lacrima
Price: € 10.00 Score:   Good value wine

Deep ruby red and nuances of purple red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of black cherry, blackberry and rose followed by aromas of violet, raspberry, strawberry, plum, pomegranate and blueberry.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, blackberry and raspberry.
Produced with carbonic maceration.
Pasta with meat and mushrooms, Sauteed meat with mushrooms



Terre dei Goti Rosso 2018, Stefano Mancinelli (Marches, Italy)
Terre dei Goti Rosso 2018
Stefano Mancinelli (Marches, Italy)
Lacrima
Price: € 28.00 Score:

Deep ruby red and nuances of purple red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of black cherry, plum and rose followed by aromas of violet, carnation, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, black pepper, cocoa, cinnamon, carob, leather and vanilla.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Very persistent finish with long flavors of black cherry, plum and strawberry.
Produced with dried grapes. 2 years in barrique, 2 years in cask, 3 months in bottle.
Stuffed pasta with meat and mushrooms, Roasted meat, Stewed meat with mushrooms






 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 238, April 2024   
Contrasts of Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon and Molise FalanghinaContrasts of Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon and Molise Falanghina Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
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