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Folonari Bardonlino 2003
BOUQUET: Fresh, and fruity.
TASTE: Light and refreshing, pleasantly fruity.
GASTRONOMIC SUGGESTIONS: Red meat, antipasti, pasta in red sauce.
The history of Folonari dates from 1825, when Francesco Folonari founded the firm in Valcamonica in the Veneto. In the latter half of the 19th century, he and his sons moved to Brescia, establishing one of Italy's first winemaking facilities. They pioneered the production and distribution of wine in bottle, thus making it possible for consumers to drink wines of good and constant quality on an everyday basis. This philosophy continues to guide the firm today as it offers a range of typical regional wines from the most popular viticultural areas.
Folonari Soave is the daily choice of many discriminating wine drinkers, an easy; gentle dry wine, which everyone will enjoy. Pinot Grigio is a fresh, dry varietal with a subtle touch of almonds, grown in the Veneto district, and the perfect step up from Folonari Soave. Compare Folonari Pinot Grigio to examples selling several times its modest price! Merlot, a soft, round red wine pleasing to all palates, is a terrific bargain in a variety, and still very fashionable. In keeping with their tradition of assuring value for money, Folonari also offers a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon at a fraction of the cost of comparable wines as well as other selections in keeping with their tradition of assuring value for money.
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.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.