WBW #41-White Friuli Wines

Jack and Joanne of Fork and Bottle are our kind hosts for this edition of WBW, the brainchild of Lenn of Lenndevours. The task they set us to for this month was to find a white wine from Friuli, any white we wanted. Though they suggested that we spend $18 or above or else we might be disappointed in the wine we chose.

This was a difficult assignment for me. I checked our usual local haunts and had not luck. Three or four stores, and I didn’t turn up a single bottle! I was getting desperate when we went to my parents’ in CT for the holiday. Fortunately, I accompanied my dad to his local wine store, and there on the shelf was one single bottle of white from Friuli! (There was a red to, but that didn’t fit this WBW!)

The wine I finally found was a Livio Felluga 2005 Tocai Friulano. I purchased it at MV Wine and Spirit in Madison, CT, it cost $27, had a real cork closure and clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume.

First impression: I can smell the floral bouquet across the room. After I buried my nose in the glass (as is my habit, much to both the delight and chagrin of Matt…delight because it means I drink less of the bottle, chagrin because I chide him for drinking more than his share!) I found peach, tropical fruit, almonds, and apple. The flavors were a bit bitter. In the mouth I got flavors of pear, peach, apple, tropical fruits, almonds, and spicy white pepper.

I would describe this wine as lively in the mouth. It was refreshing and fun, and very nicely done. I served it with Roz’s Zuppa Toscana, and it was actually a really tasty match with the slightly creamy flavors of the soup. It did really well cutting through the soup and reviving the palate. My only reservation is the price tag. It’s more than I’m willing to pay for an unknown bottle, but both Matt and I really enjoyed what was in the bottle, Matt wants to get it again! Though I have no idea where to find it around here, so that will have to wait.

And a bonus! We went out to dinner last night at the Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar in DC and they actually had several bottles of Friuli wine on the menu. I suppose that’s one of the great things about WBW, it causes me to keep my eye out for new things. I never would have even noticed “Friuli” before this WBW because I knew nothing about the region. So true to my nature as an inquisitive wine blogger, I had to jump at the chance to taste at least one. The restaurant offered tasting sized pours of one of the Friulis, $5 for 3 ounces….which I must say, was a VERY generous 3 ounces!

The wine was a 2006 Di Lenardo Vineyards “Toh” Tocai Friulano. You could purchase the whole bottle for $35 if you wanted. In the glass, I noted the golden straw color of this wine, something I also noted about the Livio. On the nose I found lemon, herbs, almond, passion fruit, and peach. In the mouth there was lemon, almond, tropical fruit, and peach. Overally, the dominating flavor and aroma in this wine was peach. The wine wasn’t nearly as lively in the mouth as the Livio, but it was still quite tasty.

I enjoyed my foray into Friuli and I will definitely keep looking for more bottles from the area in the future. It also helped me gain a new grape variety as I had never had a Tocai Friulano before! Thanks to Jack and Joanne for hosting, and I look forward to the round-up!