Delle Venezie IGT, northeastern Italy; 12% ABV
imported by Diageo “Chateau & Estate” wines
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 12 April. Still there.
The last Ribolla Gialla I reviewed was quite good, so I had to try this one, too. It is even more tasty, IMO easily worth the dollar more.
I find the wine a little closed straight from the fridge, but warmed up a little, it shows good intensity of lemony pear, yellow melon, white and yellow flowers, slightly astringent minerality and grape skin bitterness, green lime, and a little orange on the finish. In trying to help customers, I usually ask if they want something more fruity like a Chardonnay or more crisp like a Sauvignon Blanc. To me, this wine is somewhere in between, more fruity than most SB, and more acid than most Chardonnay. Yum!
The next day, the wine had smoothed out and integrated, and had a viscous minerality. It was more mellow but still delicious.
Delle Venezie IGT, Italy; 12.5% ABV
$4 at the Richmond, CA, store on about 15 Aug
The grape varietal Ribolla Gialla sounded only vaguely familiar. It turned out this site had only one RG review, and dluber wrote it. This wine is interesting, and IMO very good for the price.
The wine’s color is of less intense golden yellow. The nose of riper yellow and white fruit is immediately enticing. On the palate, the wine gives medium-intensity flavors of yellow pear / melon, ripe (maybe slightly caramelized) yellow apple, white pear, green grape skin (with attendant slight bitterness), slight almondy nuttiness, supporting wood, and moderately crisp acid.. The taste has nice delineation and complexity for the low price. While the wine does show its age a little, it is not at all over the hill, and makes for nice current drinking.
The next day, the wine has a more woody, getting-close-to-oxidized flavor, but the other flavors are still there, and the wine is still tasty and pleasant.
Colli Orientali del Friuli, Italy
50% Friulano, 50% Ribolla Gialla; 13.5% alc.
$3 at the Petaluma, CA store
The $2.99 price tag on this bottle was stuck on top of one of those bar-coded GO prices that are usually higher (yup – peeling it off revealed it was originally $10.99 – score). I found a lot of very good reviews for several vintages of this wine including a very recent one for the 2006, so I moved it up in my queue with the idea that maybe I’d get more if I liked it.
The cork was soaked about 2/3 of the way up, not a promising sign; the wine looks a bit dark but smells OK – perhaps a tad on the oxidized side, although Friulano is known for almondy notes, and I would describe the nose as slightly nutty. Pleasantly fruity, reminiscent of orange honeydew melon and lemon curd, this wine resembles a cross between an unoaked Chardonnay and a ripe (non-green) Sauvignon Blanc. The medium body, full, dry palate, and substantial but ripe acidity make it very drinkable. There’s a kind of roasty, savory quality that lingers on the tongue. It’s an interesting wine with no major flaws and a good overall balance. The next day, it seemed more stale, however, with the oxidized notes dominating.
I’m slightly torn between rating this one Drinkable or Thumbs Up; it’s certainly a good deal for drinking tonight at $3, although I would have been pretty disappointed for $11. I’m disappointed anyway because of all the good reviews I read – however, this bottle is six years old, and just has that not-so-fresh feeling. I may have liked a younger sample better – I like it but am not as excited about it as some of the other reviewers I’ve read, and wondering if the low price and soaked cork indicate a batch that got overheated somewhere along the line. Mishandling wine can lead to changes and losses in flavor and aroma, sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle…it’s always a gamble at the Gross Out. Others who enjoy more oxidized/nutty whites may like this wine more than me.