Sariz 2008 Rosso

made from Pinot Noir and Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso; 13% ABV
Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC, (northeastern) Italy
$9 at the Oakland, CA, store on 19 Nov

Sariz_2008_RossoI quite liked the only previous bottle of Refosco I’ve had, so I was quite drawn to this even though I had trouble imagining how it could be complemented by Pinot Noir.  In that previous review, I noted that (from Wikipedia), “The wines this grape yields can be quite powerful and tannic” but “in the attempt of making the wine more approachable to an international palate, recent versions have taken well to new oak and cold fermentation.”  My interpretation of this blend is that it is an attempt to make a more accessible Refosco.

Out of the bottle, the wine pours an inky, dark plum color.  I thought it needed two hours of air in a decanter to start opening up, and was fully open after three.  The nose is pleasant but not strong.  On the palate, I tasted dark plum, purple cherry / black raspberry, earthy black olive, acid of above and some red raspberry, in a medium body.  The flavors of Refosco dominate, but the Pinot delineates and brightens those flavors with lighter-bodied fruit and lighter-flavored acid.  It’s an interesting wine, but somehow it doesn’t really strike me as all that complex or delicious.  If you’re curious about or a big fan of Refosco, I’ll definitely recommend it, but I suspect most folks would be unexcited by it.  However, please further thoughts on this below.

The next day, the saved single-glass screw-cap bottle of this wine still needed about an hour of air to fully open.  Compared to the previous night, it is smoother, better integrated, and a little more complex.  It showed black plum (if there’s such a thing) or blackberry that’s very ripe but not sweet at all, the same earthy black olive, perhaps even tar or asphalt, a little prune, but underlying and mostly hidden is what is probably the Pinot: earthy red cherry, perhaps a little orange, and tangy acid of cherry and raspberry.

For me, at least, this wine, like the other Refosco, required an adjustment in tasting attitude.  I sort of expect a wine to “show me what it’s got” when I taste it.  But with that approach, these Refoscos were initially rather “absent;” there seemed to be not much to them.  However, if I relaxed a little and instead patiently delved into them, there were actually quite satisfying wines waiting for me.  So, overall, I’ll give this wine a cautious Thumbs Up.  I enjoyed the experience, but I won’t be rushing to get more.  I would be more enthusiastic about it at $6 or $7.  If I run into it again, I’ll get another bottle to see what it’s like in a month or two.  And of course I’d be very interested to hear what anyone else thought about it.

Please note!  When I first published this, I wrote that I got it at the Richmond store.  It was at the Oakland store.


10 thoughts on “Sariz 2008 Rosso

  1. BargainWhine Post author

    I got a second bottle soon after I wrote this review, and I opened that bottle a few nights ago. Tonight, I drank the second half, which had been stoppered in a half bottle with very little air. The results were interesting. On the first night, the wine aired to show mainly a lighter purple plum. It was okay, but simpler than the first bottle, and a good bit more acid. The second half was again a lot better. After a bit more air, it tasted of all the flavors described in the original review, but very nicely integrated, and not too acid. I’d guess it’s likely that putting it in a covered decanter for a day before you want to drink it would bring out its tastiness.

  2. BargainWhine Post author

    In doing research for another wine from Ca’ Ronesca (in the gold banner at the bottom of the photo), I found notes for this wine from the Wine Advocate’s Monica Larner: “A blend of Pinot Nero and Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso, the 2008 Colli Orientali dal Friuli Sariz is a very unusual red wine that definitely treads into uncharted waters. You have the floral and small berry aromatics of Pinot Nero backed by the thick texture and boldness of Refosco. In the mouth, the Refosco side of this Odd Couple pairing is the dominant partner. Its bitter acidity pops up on the close. Drink: 2014-2017.”

  3. Seedboy

    I think this is the place where I want to talk about the white from this winery, the 2010 Marna seen today at the Richmond store. 2010 Vintage, a blend of pinot blanc, malvasia and a bit of chardonnay, from Collio near the Slovenian border.‘.htm
    This is a fresh and lively Northern Italian wine, nicely balanced, delicious. At $8.99, though, I’m not likely to buy more.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Thanks! I might get a bottle, but it sounds like there’s plenty of interesting stuff at Richmond now.

  4. permiesworld

    It sounds interesting. What is it that makes you cautious? The pinot addition that you mention on the first day, brightening the flavor? Refosco sounds like something I’d like…never seen it around here. Was in Salem today and didn’t see it.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi PW. What made me cautious is that it isn’t something I was totally wild about myself, and something that I would guess that most of our CA-centric or probably at least US-West-Coast-centric readership wouldn’t be wild about, either. Should you find it, I would of course be very interested in your reactions.

  5. Expat

    Very interesting and thoughtful review. I hope we get it further south down The Royal Path. Sounds like something I’d enjoy.


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