Tasting Wines of i Clivi at Lower Falls Wine Co.
On May 15th I had the pleasure of tasting through some wines of different vintages presented by maker Ferdinando Zanusso of i Clivi of Friuli, Italy. The tasting was held at Lower Falls Wine Co. of Newton, MA (located on Rt. 16 on the Newton-Wellesley line). This is an elegant light-infused wine shop with beautiful blond wood fixtures and a well-heeled clientèle.
I had previously enjoyed the i Clivi 2000 Galea Rosso (100% Merlot), but know that i Clivi is more generally known for elegant white wines made from local grape varietals Tocai Friulano, Verduzzo Friulano, Malvasia Istriana, and others. Friuli is at the upper right tip of Italy, and the 2 i Clivi vineyards (Brazan, Galea) are very nearly in Slovenia near the Adriatic Sea in Collio and Colli Orientali del Fruili D.O.C.s, respectively. i Clivi will be certified with the next vintage as 100% Organic.
I tasted the 1999 Galea Bianco and found it to be aromatically very exciting and quite complex with a beautiful lingering finish. The 2002 Galea and Brazan Bianco cuvees are subtly different but both quite pleasing. The 2003 Galea (the latest vintage) is from a very hot growing year and not quite as refined as either 2002, to my palate.
Mr. Zanusso answered many questions about his Organic winemaking techniques. I avoided asking him about Friuli cult winemaker Josko Gravner, about whom I know he has strong opinions, even though I was somewhat curious.