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La Roncaia Picolit 1999
After raisining thoroughly on the plant, the fruit is selected and harvested by hand, placed in special cases and left to dry in the estate's drying rooms for over eight weeks. The fruit is soft-crushed and fermented, partly in stainless steel with selected yeasts and partly in French oak barriques. After fermentation is complete, the Picolit will be ready to go into the bottle in late summer. When it has aged in the bottle for four months, the Picolit will be ready to regale wine-lovers with its sublime aromas, fragrances and flavor. A unique masterpiece.
Color: apricot yellow. Nose: fruit-rich and flowery, distinctive and lingering. Palate: full-bodied, powerful and velvet-smooth. Generous, fresh-tasting and lively.
Just twenty-two hectares of superb vineyards set in the gentle hills of the Colli Orientali del Friuli, one of Italy's most prestigious DOC zones, produce La Roncaia's rare and much-admired wines. Our overriding principle is the unhurried pursuit of quality, not quantity. Today, La Roncaia is a model winery, making viticultural masterpieces for a knowledgeable public.
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 white 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 soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. 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.