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Bortoluzzi Sauvignon 2012

Sauvignon Blanc from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
  • JS91
0% ABV
  • JS91
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Winemaker Notes

100% Sauvignon from five acres with gravelly, red soil loaded with minerals. Harvested by hand, the grapes undergo 24-36 hours of crymaceration at 46°F to enhance the varietal characteristics and are then fermented in stainless steel. Temperature-controlled fermentation enables this wine to fully express its varietal character. Light straw yellow. The bouquet has notes of bell pepper, peach and sage leaves endowing it with distinct elegance. Full on the palate, fresh, very appealing, with complex varietal flavors.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 91
James Suckling
A Sauvignon with lots of sliced grapefruit and apple character. Full body, with loads of gooseberries and a pretty aftertaste beside. Drink now.
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Bortoluzzi

Bortoluzzi

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Bortoluzzi, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
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Giovanni Bortoluzzi, born in 1944, started as a roving oenological consultant and bottler, and was very soon dubbed wine ambassador in his region for talent and expertise.

True enough, his 30 years experience, numerous oenological awards and operation of the area's mobile bottling plant have endowed him with an intimate, detailed knowledge of the Collio and Isonzo del Friuli appelations that very few can match.

Since 1981, Giovanni is proprietor and wine maker of the Bortoluzzi estate: 100 acres, 25 of which ideally placed vineyards on gravelly, mineral enriched deposit of the diverted Isonzo River.

The abundant minerals in the soil make for the grapes' rich components and extract, and for the wines' richness in fruity/floral nuances and varietal character.

The vines are sheltered by mountains from the raw northern winds, thereby allowing grapes to mature gently in the mild autumn sun.

Pruning is extensive, for low crop yield of 100% varietal wines. Production is 20,000 cases yearly, with only free-sun juice vinified. Giovanni's talent is more than evident in this superb range, striking for finesse and polish.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

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The source of some of Italy’s best and most distinctive white wines, Friuli-Venezia Giulia is where Italian, Germanic and Slavic cultures converge. The styles of wines produced in this region of Italy's far north-east reflect this merging of cultures. Often shortened to just “Friuli,” the area is divided into many distinct subzones, including Friuli Grave, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Collio Goriziano and Carso. The flat valley of Friuli Grave is responsible for a large proportion of the region’s wine production, particularly the approachable Pinot grigio and the popular Prosecco. The best vineyard locations are often on hillsides, as in Colli Orientali del Friuli or Collio. In general, Friuli boasts an ideal climate for viticulture, with warm sunny days and chilly nights, which allow grapes to ripen slowly and evenly.

In Colli Orientali, the specialty is crisp, flavorful white wine made from indigenous varieities like Friulano (formerly known as Tocai Friulano), Ribolla gialla and Malvasia Istriana.

Red wines, though far less common here, can be quite good, especially when made from the deeply colored, rustic Refosco variety. In Collio Goriziano, which abutts Slovenia, many of the same varieties are planted. International varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc are also common, but they tend to be Loire-like in style with herbaceous character and mellow tannins. Carso’s star grape is the red Teranno, notable for being rich in iron content and historically consumed for health purposes. It has an earthy, meaty profile and is often confused with the distinct variety Refosco.

Sauvignon Blanc

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A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. However, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and here is most important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand, California, Australia and parts of northeastern Italy. Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon blanc.

In the Glass

From its homeland In Bordeaux, winemakers prefer to blend it with Sémillon to produce a softer, richer style. In the Loire Valley, it expresses citrus, flint and smoky flavors, especially from in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. Marlborough, New Zealand often produces a pungent and racy version, often reminiscent of cut grass, gooseberry and grapefruit. California produces fruity and rich oak-aged versions as well as snappy and fresh, Sauvignon blancs, which never see any oak.

Perfect Pairings

The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor lends it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood and mild Asian cuisine. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like artichokes or asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.

Sommelier Secret

Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.

WWH130804_2012 Item# 130149