I Clivi 2015 Colli Orientali del Friuli 'Galea'

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I Clivi single vineyard wine 'Galea' is made from the Friulano grape variety, a native variety to this part of Italy, also known as Sauvignon Gris. The vineyard is located a on hillsides a close distance from the Slovenian border and planted to vines over 70 years old. The wine is only aged in stainless steel and spends 12 months on its fine lees.

The wine has beautiful aromatics of green and golden fruits with notes of herbs and honey and has such style and complexity and finishes with an appetising juiciness. Some of Italy's best white wines come from Colli Orientali and this is a brilliant example.

The Region



Friuli, or Friuli-Venezia Giulia to give it its full name, has a border with Slovenia to the east and with Austria to the north. Here you can see many wine producers with Slavic or Germanic sounding names such as Radikon, Gravner and Jermann. Friuli has a number of DOCs but most of the top producers are to be found up from the Italian plain into the hills around Gorizia and Udine, the most famous of which are Collio and Colli Oriental del Friuli. The region's production is around three quarters white, the highest proportion of any Italian region and is home to many of Italy's most ambitious and acclaimed of these wines.

In terms of grape varieties, there is the usual clutch of international varieties, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Franc to be found in abundance, but also many high quality local varieties such as Verduzzo, Ribolla Gialla and Refosco, among others. It is not unusual here for many of the top wines to be made from a blend of many varieties, and quite often made in an, it's reasonably fair to say, international style. On the other hand, there has been a movement here, initiated by the revered Josko Gravner, for wines made using ancient techniques, mostly using long macerations in Qvevri (large clay amphoras, originating in Georgia) with wines ending up with deep golden colours, the so-called 'orange' wines. These are remarkably profound wines, but very much an acquired taste.

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