for both wines:
Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC, far northeastern Italy; 12.5% ABV
$6 at the Richmond, CA, store on 13 April. Still there.
As these wines came from the same producer and region of Italy, in the same year, with the same % alcohol, at the same price, I wondered whether they were actually the same wine in different packaging. I am now pleasantly satisfied that they are not.
The Gri Vo’ (photo, right) has the duller label, but who knows, maybe it’s just understatement? But no, the wine actually is the more dull of the two. It’s still quite good, showing a hint of apricot that carries through the whole taste of more typical flavors of yellow melon, bright yellow grapefruit, and lime, with a sort of musty (from wood?) minerality and slight bitterness of grape skin. This is a good wine for the price.
On the first day, I preferred the “Zuc di Volpe” bottling (photo, left). It is more nervy and subtle, showing integrated floral, lemony, and minerally flavors in close succession, reined in by a slight touch of wood.
The next day, the apricot flavor in the Gri Vo’ integrated with other flavors to resemble tropical yellow fruit with a weight that surprises me in Pinot Grigio. Still quite tasty.
In contrast to the Gri Vo’, the next day, the Zuc di Volpe bottling was still interestingly, subtly complex, but was rather dull compared to what it had been. Gone were the bright acid and minerally structure. Depending on whether you plan to drink it over more than one night, you might prefer the Gri Vo’. In contrast to other blending experiments I’ve done, I could not find a blend of these two that really improved on either wine alone.
Both of these wines show their age just a little. Drink them up soon, and there is certainly no reason to wait in this spring heat.