Sant'Elena Quantum L’Autoctono Pignolo 2006
Other Red Blends from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Quantum is a powerfully rich and elegant wine. Dark cherries, tobacco, and cherries leap out of the glass as the aromas slowly evolve over time in the glass. Velvety and warm in the mouth, the noble tannin finish is a staple characteristic of the indigenous variety.
The wine is an ideal partner for gamy red meats such as venison and wild boar.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Quantum L'Autoctono (Pignolo) is an absolutely delicious, huge red that explodes from the glass with dark fruit, leather, licorice, anise and French oak. This large-scaled, exuberant wine exhibits remarkable depth and plenty of textural richness. Hints of mocha and espresso frame the huge finish. This is the finest wine I have tasted from Sant'Elena. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024."
Situated in Gradisca d’Isonzo, the estate of Sant'Elena was established by the Klodic, a dignified and powerful family of the region, in the late nineteenth century. At the intersection of North-Eastern Italy and the Slovenian border, in years past Gradisca d'Isonzo was a site of political turmoil, having changed hands from the Hapsburg dynasty, to the Venetians, the Austria-Hungarian empire, the Slavs, and finally becoming a part of Italy post-World War II. To this day, one hears numerous languages spoken in the area, including Italian, Slovenian, Friulian, and German, as reflects the region’s storied history. Exactly why the Klodic family chose the name "Sant’Elena" remains a mystery, as no surviving documentation exists. It might have been in honor of Flavia Julia Helena Augusta, mother of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, credited with having discovered the fragments of the True Cross and the tomb of Jesus at the rock of Golgotha. It also might have been after the mythological figure of Helen of Troy, known for her stunning beauty, and whose abduction brought about the Trojan War. Acquired by Dominic Nocerino in the late nineteen-nineties, Sant'Elena now finds herself on the path to modernity, with the singular goal of producing wines of the highest caliber. With over a century of growing history, Sant'Elena became fully dedicated to wine production as early as the nineteen-sixties, yet significant improvements of the past decade have taken the product’s quality level to new heights. Entirely new vineyards were planted in 2000, and a state-of-the-art cantina now exists, constructed in 2004. Sant'Elena's ceaseless pursuit of quality is monitored from vineyard to cantina under the guidance of Friulian Winemaker Maurizio Drascek and Enologist Stefano Porcinai. View all Sant'Elena Wines
About Friuli-Venezia GiuliaView a map of Friuli-Venezia Giulia wineries (free-oo-lee veh-netz-ee-ah gwee-yee-ah)
Notable FactsSuccessful grapes of the Friuli include Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. Then of course, there's the famed local variety, Tocai Friulano (not any relation to Tokay d'Alsace or Tokay of Hungary), which produces wine that is floral and nutty in character but light-bodied. Ribolla Gialla, another white grape making wine with the floral notes and acidity common to the region - it is a delicious alternative to the international varieties of the area. Reds are not to be forgotten, although found less often. Merlot is the most planted, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and few indigenous varieties. Most exports are white.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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