This is another of the bottles that I took a flier on at Grocery Outlet in Sonoma County. I needed a bottle of dry white Italian wine for the pot of Bolognese sauce planned for NY’s Eve. Again, I purchased it based on the strength of the vintage, quality of the wine producing region, and the reputation of the importer. Also, unlike some of the wines that can be way past the prime drinking window on distributor close-out, this was only one year past release with the potential to be in fine condition. Spending four bucks for something that holds out the promise of being interesting to taste was a no-brainer.
Once home, I was pleased to find that this wine is on the list at NY’s Babbo . . . those folks know a little something about Italian wine. (ggg) It originally retailed for $16-19. I poured myself a glass to revisit over the afternoon of cooking, and the rest went into the pot. I’ve tasted less than a handful of tocai friulano wines before, so it was educational to take a fresh look at this grape variety. The wine did turn out to be rather exotic and I was sorry that I hadn’t saved a little more for me. Here’s my tasting note:
• Advanced brassy medium gold hue with bright clarity
• Rich, honeyed, flowery aromas with no overt oak elements
• Subdued fruit expression of blanched almond, green apple and green gage plum with some citrus notes on the palate, dry, not as powerful as the nose
• Soft and fleshy mouthfeel, medium-bodied
• Bright acidity in balance with moderate-plus alcohol of 13% and medium concentration of fruit
• Clipped finish of moderate length with a touch of minerals, pithy bitters and floral yuzu rind in the aftertaste
Overall impression: This is a dry, aromatic white wine from a bottle that seems to be prematurely advanced. The cork pulled too easily and may have had a faulty closure, judging from the color and attenuated finish of this wine. The flavors were more subtle than the “canned fruit cocktail” examples of tocai friulano I’ve tried in the past and did not match up to the richness of the nose. Still, there was an elegance and breed to this wine that made it attractive. Drink now.
Would I buy more? At this price, sure, I’d try another bottle to see if the problem was individual bottle variation or an issue with the entire lot. In any case, I got an education in a better than usual cooking wine that I didn’t mind drinking.
Importer: Bacchanal Wine Imports, NY, NY
Purchased at Grocery Outlet, Rohnert Park, CA on December 29, 2007.