marco felluga, collio friulano 2018 (about $20)

Italian Wine for november, 2020

Collio is a winemaking area of gently-rolling hills tucked away on the eastern edge of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region (typically shortened to just Friuli) that borders Slovenia. With its temperate climate, rich soils, abundant sunshine and adequate rainfall, Collio’s vineyards are generally recognized as a premier wine-growing area and wines from this area have been celebrated for centuries.

The vast majority of wines produced here are white and the Friulano variety is one of the most popular white grapes of the Collio DOC. While historically considered “everyday” wines, quality-oriented producers have been producing more serious versions and Friulano today is generally recognized as one of Friuli’s best dry white wines. They typically are fermented in stainless steel to ensure freshness and the best are left to age on the lees for several months to add richness.

The Marco Felluga winery in Gradisca d’Isonzo is one of the Collio’s - and Friuli’s - premier producers. Although the winery was founded in 1956 the Felluga family can trace its wine trade lineage back to the late 1800’s. The estate significantly expanded its operations in 1967 when Marco Felluga purchased the 125-acre Russiz Superiore estate located a short distance north of the original family estate.

About 80 percent of the winery’s portfolio consists of white wines made from Friuli’s traditional as well as some international white varieties with the remainder being red wines made with Merlot and Refosco.

Friulano is one of Friuli’s oldest indigenous grape varieties with recorded plantings dating back almost a thousand years. It has a strong connection to this limited area and very little is grown elsewhere in Italy.

2018 Collio Friulano from the Marco Felluga winery in FriuliFelluga’s Collio Friulano is considered the estate’s “entry level” Friulano and its price reflects that mind-set but frankly that’s selling it short. With its expressive aromatic profile, structure and complexity it punches well above its price.

The estate’s 2018 Friulano is made entirely of hand-harvested Friulano grapes that undergo a cold maceration followed by fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks. The wine is aged on the fine lees for 6 months, then bottled where it spends 2 to 3 months prior to release for sale.

In the glass the Friulano has a straw yellow color with some subtle gold reflections and appealing citrus, apple and white peach aromas. It is medium-bodied with a soft and enveloping mouthfeel marked with almond-accented stone fruit and apple flavors with some notes of citrus peel on the persistent and delicious finish. It also has an appealing 13.5 percent alcohol.

This wine pairs well with most appetizers and light pasta dishes; grilled or roasted fish of all types; simply prepared white-meat dishes; and, perhaps best of all, platters of cured cold cuts that include shaved slices of the famous, locally produced Prosciutto di San Daniele.


©Richard Marcis
November 5, 2020

To see reviews of other selected wines of the month, see Wines of the Month.

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