Rosé is so passé, we’ve moved on to Ramato! Just kidding, we still love rosé, but have you ever tried copper wine, or Ramato, as it’s known in Friuli? Ramato is made from the pinkish-hued Pinot Grigio grape, which is crushed and then the juice is allowed to sit on its skins for an extended period of time, usually less than a day. Copper wine is not to be confused with orange wine, which tends toward the funkier, cidery, oxidized end of the spectrum. Ramato is all about texture, texture, texture, with a richness & mineral character that is hard to define. The nose is highly aromatic & enticing, and the color is simply glorious! It makes us want to take up painting just to see if we can recreate it on canvas. We’ll taste the Di Lenardo Ramato tonight; you’ll definitely want to swing on by for a sip!
Di Lenardo Vineyards, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
The Di Lenardo estate produces wines from its four large (150 hectares) family owned vineyards situated in Ontagnano, in the heart of the Friuli region in the foothills of the Alps, as well as from rented vineyards in Aquileia and Manzano. The estate was established in 1878, and has been for many years now under the direction of winemaker Massimo “Max” Di Lenardo.
All the fruit here is hand-harvested and the winery is 100% solar powered.
Di Lenardo Sauvignon Monovitigno 2013
This Sauvignon Blanc is from Sancerre clones. It’s fermented in steel and left on its lees until bottling. This is a richer & rounder expression of Sauvignon Blanc than what we commonly encounter. On the nose it has peaches, melons, and on the palate there is the suggestion of fig, followed by more tropical fruit. It’s a perfect ham wine, but is also lovely with fish or as an aperitif.
Di Lenardo Pinot Grigio Ramato “Gossip” 2013
2012 was the first vintage of Di Lenardo Ramato, and only about 1600 cases are made each year. We’re not really sure why it’s called Gossip, but we think it has something to do with everyone in town talking about the new copper wine that Max was cooking up. And now we’re talking about it! As mentioned previously, this is a wine produced by letting Pinot Grigio sit on its skins for an extended period of time, 18 hours in this case (Ramato is sometimes called a baby-orange wine). The nose is pretty wild and intense; it’s fruity, floral and concentrated with notes of citrus, pears, tropical fruit & hay. The first sip reveals deep minerality, almonds, dried flowers, & dried fruit. The fine grained texture is intriguing and satisfying.
La Roche Bussiere Flonflons 2012, Cotes du Rhone
We meant to taste this a couple of weeks ago, nut we bumped it for a new Rioja. Here it is again!
Importer notes on the estate: Located northeast of Vaison-La-Romaine in the southern Côtes du Rhone, Antoine and Lawrence Joly work 18 hectare of organic vineyards making some of our favorite wines in the region. They maintain a freshness and lightness in their wines by dedicating themselves to very intense vineyard work that allows them to harvest earlier than several other producers in their area, resulting in less concentrated and lower alcohol wines.
Antoine’s family has run the estate since the early 1970s (his grandfather was a beekeeper in the area and his father Pierre returned to live a more simple life after his involvement in the Parisian student riots of 1968). Pierre was a pioneer of organic viticulture in the Rhone and the vineyards have been certified since the 1980s, although he sold most of the grapes to the local co-op when he started. Antoine and Lawrence took over in 1999 and, since 2003, have vinified 100% of the harvest themselves.
Flonflons is mostly Syrah and Grenache from 2.5 hectares of vines averaging 25 years old. It’s fermented and aged in concrete and bottled unfiltered and unfined with little to no sulfur.