Posts tagged ‘edi keber’

Premio Collio

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The author pictured with the other four recipients of the 2013 Premio Collio

I’ve been a fortunate individual to have traveled to Italy so often and to have tasted so many great wines and more importantly, meet so many gracious, warm people. Each one of my 59 trips has been special, but perhaps none as memorable as the most recent to Collio, where I received the Premio Collio.

This award is given out each year by the Collio Consorzio to a few select journalists and wine professionals who have done the most to promote the wines of this beautiful district in the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. Collio is situated in the southeastern portion of Friuli, in the province of Gorizia and shares part of its border with Slovenia. This area is blessed with rolling hills (the word collio means “hill” in Italian) and is a marvelous climate for grape growing, as there are breezes from the nearby Adriatic Sea as well as winds from the Julian Alps that help moderate temperatures, ensuring a slow, even ripening that results in wines with excellent natural acidity, pronounced aromatics and ideal structure. The cool climate here is ideal for vibrant white wines, although there are also some excellent red wines from Collio as well.

I was given the award for the section on the wines of Collio in my recently published book Beyond Barolo and Brunello: Italy’s Most Distinctive Wines. I wrote about selected wines from more than 20 producers in Collio; these included famed estates such as Marco Felluga, Schiopetto and Radikon. Individual wines included some very famous offerings such as the Edi Keber Collio (Bianco, though he chooses not to label it that way) and Villa Russiz Sauvignon “De la Tour” along with underrated bottlings such as the Gradis’ciutta “Bratinis” and the Primosic “Klin.”

I decided that I would give my acceptance speech in Italian, as I thought that was the proper thing to do. After more than fifty trips to Italy, I have a good foundation in Italian, though I am certainly not fluent in the language. I’m sure if I lived there for an extended period of time, that would be different, but for now, I can understand and speak Italian, relatively well.

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Giving my acceptance speech in Italian for the Premio Collio. Tania Princic, who helped me with the translation,  is to my right.

I speak often in seminars to the trade and public about Italian wines, but this night was very different, as I would be speaking to 125 locals in the wine business, so needless to say, I was a bit nervous. Prior speaking helped me overcome my nerves to a large degree, but it will still a unique experience that I hadn’t done before. Thankfully, Tania Princic, who works with the public relations group for Collio helped me to translate my speech into Italian just a short while before the event.

Now combine that with the fact that I had to wait more than an hour and a half and you can imagine that I was getting a little more nervous by the moment. But I made it through without too many mistakes (I did mess up a word or two) and the audience gave me a warm reception. I’m sure they appreciated my gesture of speaking in Italian and I’m glad I did as well, as it will help me prepare for the next time I need to give another speech in Italy.

I thought I’d close with the last paragraph of my speech, first in Italian and then translated into English.

“Non ho ancora visitato il Collio quanto mi sarebbe piaciuto, ma grazie alla ospitalita e la qualita dei vostri vini, vi guarantisco che ritorno molto presto.”

“I have not visited Collio as often as I would have liked, but thanks to your hospitality as well as the quality of your wines, I guarantee I will return very soon.”

Thank you very much to the producers of Collio for giving me this award. I am honored and I will certainly not only visit again soon, but will also continue to promote these wonderful wines any way I can! A special thank you also to Alessandra Gruppi and Veronica Brumat for their help organizing my trip.

June 24, 2013 at 9:13 am 2 comments

2009- Shaping up to be a great year

Cutizzi Vineyard of Feudi di San Gregorio (Photo ©Tom Hyland)

It’s early of course, but it appears that 2009 may be judged a great year for Italian wines throughout the country. I’ve written earlier posts about the white wines and now that I’ve tasted a few dozen reds from this vintage, I’m beginning to think that you really can’t go wrong with just about any 2009 Italian wine type.

The Italian whites from 2009 are first-rate, offering the depth of fruit of the 2007s with the structure and acidity of the 2008s. I’ve tasted several dozen of these wines, predominantly from the regions of Friuli and Campania and many of the top examples show the potential to drink well for 3-5 years. Among the top 2009 whites I’ve tasted so far are the following:

FRIULI

  • Edi Keber Biano (Collio)
  • Gradis’ciutta Sauvignon (Collio)
  • Livio Felluga Sauvignon (Colli Orientali)
  • Isidoro Polencic Ribolla Gialla (Collio)
  • La Tunella “Biancosesto” (Colli Orientali)
  • Zuani “Vigne” (Collio)

CAMPANIA

  • Feudi di San Gregorio “Cutizzi”
  • Mastroberardino Greco di Tufo “Nova Serra”
  • Colli di Lapio Fiano di Avellino
  • San Paolo Greco di Tufo “Montefusco”
  • Marisa Cuomo “Fiorduva”

OTHER WHITES

  • Coffele Soave Classico “Ca’Visco”
  • Guado al Tasso Vermentino (Bolgheri)
  • Lunae Bosoni Vermentino Lunae “Etichetta Nera” (Liguria)
  • Malvira Roero Arneis “Trinita”(Piemonte)
  • Planeta Fiano “Cometa” (Sicilia)

Of course, many of the top whites, especially the blended whites and selezioni from Friuli, Campania and Alto Adige are yet to be released, so the list should dramatically expand.

Paolo Veglio, Cascina Roccalini (Photo ©Tom Hyland)

As for the reds, a few 2009s have been released, ranging from Dolcetto and Barbera in Piemonte to Valpolicella from Veneto and Chiantis of all types and Morellino di Scansano in Toscana. I love the purity of fruit, concentration and acidity of these wines. It was a warm year, especially in Piemonte, so there is an explosion of fruit in these wines. Yet as there were several cool spells during the growing season, there is beautifully defined acidity, as the grapes experienced a long hang time. Among my favorites so far are these:

  • Cascina Roccalini Dolcetto d’Alba
  • Cascina Roccalini Barbera d’Alba (arriving in the US market in a few months)
  • Pio Cesare Dolcetto d’Alba
  • Fontanabianca Langhe Nebbiolo
  • Motta Morellino di Scansano

Of course, most Italian reds from 2009 have not been released and in some instances, such as Barbaresco, Barolo, Amarone, Taurasi and Brunello di Montalcino, we will not see them in the market for at least another 1-5 years. But based on what I’ve tasted so far, Italian wine lovers should be in for several years of finds from the 2009 vintage – white and red.

January 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm 4 comments


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