375ml (Half Bottles)
3000ml (Double Magnums)
Brunello di Montalcino
Agricola San Felice
Braida di Giacomo Bologna
Canalicchio di Sopra
Cascina La Barbatella
Case Basse di Soldera
Castello dei Rampolla
Castiglion del Bosco
Dal Forno, Romano
Fattoria di Fubbiano
Poggio di Sotto
Porta del Vento
Produttori del Barbaresco
Rocche dei Manzoni
San Giusto A Rentennano
Tenuta San Guido
La Roncaia Refosco 2011 750ml
A garnet beauty, this ’11 Refosco is resplendent with brambly blackberries, juicy plums and frutti di bosco. Round and soft fruit rest on a silky tannic backbone, as violets and wild roses waft aromatically. It’s a deceptively structured wine that hides its power like a fist in a velvet glove. A grape indigenous to Friuli, Refosco shows admirable balance and structure, and La Roncaia chooses to make its with an appassimento technique, partially drying the grapes before pressing to create a rich, smooth, complex palate.
Region: Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Many restaurants devote concerted efforts to authoring a high-caliber wine list that will pique the interests of their clientele, but few go so far as hotelier-restaurateur Mario Fantinel did. When he desired to offer the discerning customers of his Friulian restaurant some high-caliber selections, rather than going after top labels, he sought out top-quality vineyard land to start his own. That was 1969. Now, the Fantinel family operates a multi tiered wine brand, the original restaurant (as well as a restaurant-hotel), and an extensive wine bar collection, the first of which opened in San Daniele del Friuli in 1998 as part of a project—Pane, Vino e San Daniele—undertaken by Mario’s three sons, Luciano, Gianfranco, and Loris.
The original Pane Vino & San Daniele has essentially precipitated the launch of an upscale chain of sorts, with numerous outposts located in towns throughout northern Italy. These establishments are intended to promote the slow food philosophy and the enjoyment of local products, with an emphasis on the wines of Fantinel and the hams it produces in conjunction with the Testa e Molinaro company. At the time of this writing (August 2008), the locations numbered 20, though expansion plans include international destinations, as well as additional regional outposts.Such an operation, of course, provides a perfect context in which to showcase the extensive portfolio of Fantinel, which operates several distinct labels. However, Fantinel began serving as a foremost ambassador of Friuli shortly into its second decade, undertaking various partnerships dedicated to establishing a recognized place for Friuli on the international scene. In fact, it was one of the first Friulian estates to sell its wines outside Friuli proper. Fantinel’s efforts comprise two estates—Fantinel and La Roncaia—and have largely been devoted to delineating the specific attributes defining Friuli’s complex terroir, supported by a distinct focus on three of Friuli’s DOCs—Collio, Grave, and Colli Orientali. Each label is dedicated to evoking the nuances and tradition of a particular delimited areas as well as a distinct stylistic orientation. The offerings under the Sant’Helena label represent the extensive clonal research that the estate has undertaken in an effort to cultivate the highest quality of grape. This is maximized by low yields, dense planting, hand-harvesting, and a meticulous process of selection.
These influences collectively promote the articulation of the micro climates concerned-the Collio’s Venc region for the whites, and Grave for the reds. The Grave zone is the focus of both the Borgo Tesis and Paron Mario lines, with the latter dedicated almost exclusively to red. Of particular note is Paron Mario’s work with the Refosco grape, which Fantinel is particularly devoted to, regarding it as the red that will distinguish Friuli and draw attention to its work outside reds. It is the grape, in fact, that estate founder Mario desired to promote. Friuli’s indigenous varietals constitute the principal focus of La Roncaia, Fantinel’s estate in Nimis.
Extensive research informs the production, as several of the bottlings constitute meditation wines. Of particular note are the Ramandolo and Picolit productions, the former of which is Friuli’s most historically significant production. Bearing the name of its DOCG region, Ramandolo is an unctuous dessert wine derived from a local clone of the Verduzzo grape. As the vineyards are treacherously steep in this area, all grapes must be harvested by hand. The distinctive character of Ramandolo is frequently maximized through both late harvest and partially dried grapes. Picolit is another distinctive meditation member of La Roncaia’s portfolio.
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