Bastianich Tocai Friulano Plus 2006
Other White Blends from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
A single-vineyard of sixty-year-old vines, on a perfectly exposed hilltop, yields an extreme example of our native Friulano. We concentrate the flavors of our old-vine Tocai by harvesting at optimum ripeness. Ten-percent of the harvested fruit undergoes an additional period of appassimento and, if conditions are right, an attack of the noble rot, botrytis, adding another layer of depth and complexity.
The nose is ripe and powerful, showing mature mandarin oranges, melons and pears. Similar in flavor and complexity to a "Grand Cru" Alsatian white.
Plus can be served with frito, scampi and raw fish in its youth, but is also fantastic with hot peppers and very spicy dishes (Indian and Thai). As it ages, it becomes a magnificent soft cheese companion - try it with the likes of Taleggio or Robiola.
International Wine Cellar - "Medium deep yellow with hints of gold. Aromas of toasted almond, hay and ripe pear along with more exotic notes of passion fruit and papaya. Rich, ripe and fairly full on entry, with harmonious acids framing the ripe fruit flavors of apple, pear and papaya. Finishes quite long and creamy, with a honeyed note. This is one of Friuli's top white wines, made from late-harvested fruit and only in the better years."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Tocai Plus shows terrific depth and complexity in a bouquet of crushed rocks and flowers that melds into ripe, succulent peaches. This generous, textured white shows outstanding length on the palate, with attractive honeyed notes that linger on the finish."
Wine Spectator - "Exhibits aromas of white peach and apple tart. Full-bodied, with tangy fruit and a long finish. Tangy and rich. Very lively."
Wine Enthusiast - "Offers amazing intensity and layered aromas of honey, candied orange, caramel and butterscotch. The wine also delivers an interesting combination of sweet fruit flavors and a bitter almond close."
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The Bastianich winery, founded in 1997, strives to understand the history and culture of Friuli-Venezia Giulia and take it to a new level. We create unique wines that speak of place but, at the same time, show remarkable power and balance. Vespa Bianco and Vespa Rosso are named after the ever-present wasps attracted to ripe grapes. These blends are made in an area known for single-varietal wines, shifting the focus from the grape to the terroir. Calabrone, which means hornet, is an estate reserve red blend made only in the best vintages with hand-destemmed, partially dried fruit, and is released 5 years after the vintage. Native varieties, such as Tocai Friulano, are unblended to showcase the uniqueness of the grape. The pinnacle of this being Tocai Plus, a particularly complex example made with late-harvest and dried fruit from a single-vineyard of 60 year-old vines. View all Bastianich 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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