Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Terre Alte Livio Felluga 2002 - Dry white wine

Bronzed by the Italian sun, deep gold tones, intriguing, fascinating, with a unique grace. I am not talking about a woman, instead a white wine from the hills of Friuli in Northeastern Italy. Flavors of peaches, pears, honey and grapefruit pleasantly encompass the palate. A complex and structured wine that could easily suppress many red wines, Terre Alte is dry, warm, balanced yet encompassing and shows great personality.

Generally Italian wines are very good. They are produced with traditional methods and legislation guarantees that wine is still made from grapes. Italy produces thousands of wines in all price ranges and every once in awhile a particularly interesting value proposition can be found. A good friend recently brought us some wines he thought we would appreciate. Yesterday Raffaella prepared Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Carbonara is a Roman sauce made with Pancetta, butter, eggs, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. The sauce is prepared and then mixed together with the hot pasta.

Carbonara, as most Roman dishes, is quite flavorful and normally we would drink a Greco di Tufo but we wanted to try the Terre Alte. The Felluga Pinot Grigio is a marvelous wine so we were comfortable that this would be ok. Not only was this ok but surpassed our expectations. Initially, I thought of an Arneis but quickly realized it was the Acacia honey flavor that was so pleasingly unusual. The sensation then moved on to a citrus finish that completely cleaned the palette and left you ready for another bite of food.

Structured and complex white wines are not the norm. White wines are great for their simplicity and understated flavors but this wine could parallel many of the very high-end whites and reds that we have tried. So as we were eating dinner, out came our wine books for a more in depth study. Our research revealed that Terre Alte 2002 is part of the road of wine tour, is one of the top 100 wines of Wine Spectator and received the coveted 3 glass rating from Slow Food Italy-Gambero Rosso in 2005.

The grapes used and the method of production explains the structure and complexity. The basic grape is Tocai. Tocai is a wonderful and robust grape. The Tocai is fermented by itself in Oak barrels for ten months while Sauvignon and Pinot Bianco are aged in steel vats. They are then combined and this nectar is then aged an additional 12 months in the bottle.

Terre Alte of the Eastern hills of Friuli DOC, Rosazzo Bianco by Livio Felluga is an excellent wine and a good value. Felluga also permits visits to the vineyard and winery. Located only about 20 minutes from the airport of Trieste or 40 minutes from Venice this could be a quick stop well worth your while.

Technical data:

Grape: Tocai Friulano, Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon.
Color: Vibrant hay yellow with golden highlights.

Bouquet: Pronounced character, sensual, earthy with tones of ripe fruits, walnuts, almonds and citrus.

Flavor: Ripe peaches, apricots and pears, honey and grapefruit.

Alcohol: 14%

Aging: This wine will arrive on the shelves about 3 years after production. It would be most appropriate to consume in the following 2 years however several sommelier have indicated that it can age as much as 10 years changing structure.

Serving Temperature: 12-14 degrees c.

Decanting: Not necessary.

Glass: Stemmed white wine glass.


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Blogger Mary Horn said...

I got to stay in Frascatti in 1999, and had the best wine EVER while there. Loved it!!!

1:40 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Mary - Thanks for stopping by. Frascati is a beautiful place and has some good wines and marvelous food.

4:09 PM

Blogger Ann said...

Thank you, David!Ann

7:03 AM


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